Here’s some new stuff


sorry if this is buried somewhere in this thread, but how many samples can be played at one time? i finally scrolled alllll the way to the bottom and 35 slots is so many, but i felt like i had samples that dropped out when another played. it’s hard to tell with the script i’m running.

Is it correct that the comment operator behaves differently from the desktop version ?
Trying to replicate some tracker sequencers like: https://youtu.be/H0kNeD1ZzRk but can’t seem to get there…I must be doing something wrong

How so? Holding strings of operand in place bracketed by #…# should work.

I don’t think that you can quickly comment out an entire selection the way you can in the desktop version though.

When inserting capitals in the string to use as note numbers for instance I get operands and not notes…

I think (not super experienced norns user, but very fond of Orca) it depends on the engine; the Timber engine, the one that Orca rely on, has a 7 samples at once polyphony maximum.

(edit: added link!)

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Depending on where the capital letters are being routed to, they can function as notes or operators (this applies to capital and lowercase letters, lowercase will not act until banged)

EDIT One thing that sticks out to me that may work differently is the columns of variables at the upper left. In the norns port, I don’t believe you can define a variable as a bang without a hold function above the bang. this is incorrect

Without actually copying this script 1:1, I don’t know if I’ll be able to track down what else is happening. The video is from December 2018, I know that some operators have changed their functionality or in/out port positions since then. I only have really used the norns port and various dev branches, so don’t know the full extent of the difference.

Maybe someone with more practical familiarity with these changes can chime in?

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Thanks for taking a look… I tried another patch routing capitals from the string into Query and send the values to the Timber engine…but same issues hmm, I’ll take a look at hold. Another thing…What’s nice about the desktop version is that values between #…# are not highlighted and you can follow the tracker. minor detail perhaps :slight_smile:

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thanks Carlos, had a feeling this was a Timber question instead…

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Ok, first BIG difference is a change in how the clock currently iterates, in the demo video the cells defining the clock for the first query (Q) operand at the top read “8c4” and are outputting 0-1-2-3 and cycling. ORCA’s clock now iterates starting at 1, not 0, so the output of “8C4” is now 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-etc cycling 1 through 4, changing every 8 frames.

The offset for the “Q” operand is different as well.
Screen Shot 2020-04-13 at 11.54.28 AM
Here in the video, it appears that “218Q” reads right by 3 cells of Q and down by 1.

The way that Q offsets currently in the Norns port is as such

it reads starting right of Q by 2 cells, down by 0.

Agreed that it is nice that commented lines are not highlighted in desktop versions.

I’m glad you raised the question, I hadn’t been using Q because it was not acting the way I was seeing it in demo vids.

EDIT: Concerning bangs, they will stay in place in a commented section of cells, for instance #…*.# and will also stay in place as a variable definition without a hold function.


The norns version of ORCA wasn’t built by Hundredrabbits. It’s instead a port by use @its_your_bedtime

This port was built from a prerelease version of ORCA as well (something like 0.46 or something). As a result, there are a bunch of upstream changes that just haven’t populated here.

On top of that, Lua has a different style of indexing than other programming languages (indexes start at 1 instead of 0) meaning that some of the numbering systems might be offset as a result but this is far more conjecture than knowledgable fact.

Anyway, hope any of this buys help in discerning why these little bits are different.


Interesting issue I’m running into with a current patch idea. Making a tracker-ish sample sequencer where I can change sample, octave, note, loudness, position inputs for the timber operator per step and also independently bang (or not) per step. My issue is that the bang seems to trigger the timber settings from the previous step, not the current one. This makes some sense in that the change needs to be loaded and ready before it can be played back next step, and order of operations ORCA reads from left to right.

Currently I have two query tables next to each other, one defining a bang variable, the other defining the 5 params for the timber op.

Something like this:

My question is how to get the bang query to offset by one step from the params query so that I can keep bangs on the same line as the sample params they will act on visually but will be reading advanced by one step.

EDIT: I am asking here specifically instead of the main orca thread, because I don’t know if this function is the same across platforms.

Finally this week I had a chance to properly indulge myself with Orca (I’ve used it on desktop but always felt intimated by Norns’ teenytiny screen). Wish it didn’t take me a year, holy wow this is awesome! It did take me 3 hours to actually figure out how it works, but this topic her was really helpful. If anyone ever creates a version with Crow connections (even pulse outs and BPM would suffice) I’d be extremely happy.

Here’s some of my first Orca experiments:


It exists! @TanSaturn has a branch with crow output operators.

Look up thread at post 230 or so (I’m pre-coffee today so my brain isn’t working to just hot link a post in this same thread :sleeping:)

@its_your_bedtime any plans to roll the crow commands into the main branch?


I’ll link to @TanSaturn’s repo for crow operators;

It’s hella fun



Thanks! I’ll try to take some time soon and see if there’s anything new to copy over to my fork but I’m pretty sure it is relatively up to date.

Great, thank you! Semidumb question, since I’ve always just installed Norns apps via Maiden’s library: Do I need to replace the original Orca .lua file with the crow.cv.lua one, or do I create a new master folder for this?

Edit: sorry, I kinda rushed with my post, I meant this file: https://github.com/CoolLeRue/orca/blob/master/orca.lua

You can rename it and place it in a separate folder if you like.

Mine is titled something like OrcaCrow and its in its own folder. Just make sure this separate folder has all the library files necessary. Let me see if I can pull mine up and post what it looks like.

Here is a simple layout that worked well for me:


Hmm… I got the error: load fail and "no script information, plus the app name appears as orcacrow/orcacrow. I copied it as such:

The .lua file was copied from github and pasted to Atom.

Change Orcacrow to orca

It’ll show up on your norns as


The folders should be different names, but the script should just be orca, otherwise the libs don’t connect properly