Can you let norns drive the clock? Is there a specific reason in your use case to have hermod leading for the click signal instead if allowing norns to lead?

hmmm, i’m trying that now and it seems to be doing the same thing. i’ve got a sequence from orca running into port 2 on orca which is channel 1 on hermod. it seems to be sending the notes from orca, but it still seems to be firing off a single low midi note for each beat of the clock.

there was no real reason for me to be having hermod drive the clock. i’m pretty new to using midi between devices so i’m kind of just throwing things until they stick. i’ve been pretty lucky up til this point ha.

While I trust you have figured it out after finding the file, there must be more people that have non-US keyboard layouts and want to use ORCA on norns - like me. So maybe the following is useful to them.

I took some time last night to type through my Germany QWERTZ keyboard with the hid-events script (thanks @okyeron) and recorded the codes. Then I remapped them in a copy of the keycodes.lua and replaced the original under /home/we/dust/code/orca/lib/ [save the original!, accessed norns filesystem through WinSCP]. I am missing a few characters, which are there in the original (like []{}|~@) but I have no idea how to get the alt-right functionality working. Simple enough to use the knobs to put in those characters and still much better overall experience than memorizing the US layout. File attached, make sure to rename it to keycodes.lua. If someone gets it into even better shape, that would be awesome.
keycodes [DE].lua (5.0 KB)


Just starting using ORCA and I LOVE IT!
Some bugs I ran in to:

  • Maybe its described above, but I have to use | for Timber, ’ or ‘’ don’t work.
  • The level param in Timber is not working for me and when adjusted in the sample under parameters, it just keeps going back to -48.
  • BPM is not saved with project (by design?)
  • Sometimes I have to reload the folder of files Timber uses even when they show under sample 1, sample 2 etc.
  • The above also happens when I load a project, making it unfit for live situations.
  • When I switch from a file that uses Timber to a file that plays JF, the Timber files keep triggering and I have to restart ORCA.

Thanks heaps!! This is redefining how I compose, and already dreaming of a very small case with a crow, JF and some other things and just a norns and keyboard as a liveset!


Has anyone done a tutorial for orca, specifically geared towards norns??


I found this video to be very helpful as an intro, but alas it is not for norns specifically. You are probably aware of it.

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yeah I was gonna say the AA tutorials too but assumed maybe you already got there and it wasn’t Norns-y enough. there aren’t a lot of differences, mostly just Monome or Mannequins specific operators in Norns Orca, Softcut, Timber, Just Friends and Crow, but the AA tutorials got me going right away on Norns (Fates). I think there is an opening for some programming tip videos though, beyond the basic functionality.


I have to say @Allieway_Audio videos are so good – I’ve watched the Double Knot video a couple of times even if i don’t have one and don’t care to get one but the video is just to entertaining. This reminds me to watch the Orca videos again and put it to practice with norns actually


@Allieway_Audio was definitely one of the first tutorials I watched when I downloaded Orca on my mac. There was a lot of great info. The video they posted with the cascade effect really got me thinking outside the box with it too.
I’m still really new to the Norns adaptation though, and I personally do better with a show and tell method rather than a manual method of learning. If that makes sense. Anyways! I just wasn’t sure if anyone had put one together yet.


Are you supposed to be able to move the cursor with arrow keys on a standard keyboard? Only way that I can make it move around is with the encoders on the Norns (ok, Fates for me).

---- Update

Solved the arrow-key thing by switching to another keyboard. Guess it was something with the keymap of the other keyboard.

I’m having some issues with level and offset in Timber. They don’t seem to do anything. Otherwise I’m loving this. First tried out Orca on my computer, but being able to use samples directly in Orca so great.

Can you post an example of your Orca code? That would help with the Timber params debug.

Ok, something simple as a



Changing the two parameters after the 0 (sample) doesn’t affect anything for me.

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yes those timber params have been broken since the update.

I discovered a teeny issue with Orca failing to load previous state. Maiden disconnects. On startup:

The last thing in the Maiden log is

data found

and same effect if i remove the orca-state.pset and then try to load the project via parameters → EDIT → > Load project.

Things work just fine if i don’t try use the saved state.

Edit: a later untitled.orca works fine, a perhaps significant difference is that it does not use Softcut like the problematic one did.

I can’t get Timber “in-level” and “in-position” to work, changing values has no effect.

read up the thread a little.

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Thanks, @Knivtid, for helping debug the fix to Timber level and position issue (this will be part of v.1.4.8 release). I’ve made a pull request with @its_your_bedtime, so the update should be available via Maiden soon.

There’s 1 caveat that we came across because Timber only supports samples that are maximum: 10 seconds mono and 5 seconds stereo. (@markeats correct me if I’m wrong). This is ​stated in the Timber source code:

If file is over 5 secs stereo or 10 secs mono (at 48kHz) then prepare it for streaming instead.
This makes for max buffer memory usage of 500MB which seems to work out.
Streaming has fairly limited options for playback (no looping etc).
Additional TMI details

However, by reducing the sample rate you can use longer samples, as there’s a direct relationship between mono/stereo, sample rate, and length of sample.

For example:


  • Max 5 seconds stereo @ 44100 sample rate
  • Max 10 seconds stereo @ 22050 sample rate
  • Max 20 seconds stereo @ 11025 sample rate
  • and so on…


  • Max 10 seconds mono @ 44100 sample rate
  • Max 20 seconds mono @ 22050 sample rate
  • Max 40 seconds mono @ 11025 sample rate
  • and so on…

@xmacex there’s a known PSET bug, that I’ve A. had a hard time tracing the cause and B. have little to no time to investigate more deeply.


Yeah I mean you can play back super long samples but they are streamed from disk and that means you can do less manipulation of the playhead etc. If you play around with the script you’ll see which options get disabled when a long sample is loaded.

Ah, ok. I’ll have to dig in a bit to see how I would manage this in Orca. But for now, I’m going to add the above caveat to the documentation. Thank you!

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Looking forward to the release! I found a workaround to produce midi cc messages which correspond with my gear by making changes in the math that translates orca text into midi cc. Hardly a solution but I’ll give an other go and try to figure out the issue.