pirate radio

this is a wiki post and is editable by the community

pirate radio


pirate radio is a norns script running a pirate internet radio station that streams content, audio, weather and music that’s contributed from the lines community directly to your norns (uploader link below).

it also adds some additional features such as an equalizer, visualiser, commenter, timewarper and effects.

this was initiated as an educational project that teamed up folks who had expertise in creating norns scripts with folks who were interested in learning about scripting.


a norns device connected to the internet


download from the maiden library

or run: ;install https://github.com/norns-study-group/pirate-radio


first time starting

the first time you start the pirate radio it will take a minute. it will first install necessary linux tools if not already installed (vorbis-tools, espeak, ffmpeg and lame). afterwards, it will download available playlists for the different stations.

uploading your own music

goto coffer.norns.online/ to upload your own tracks. simply select a station and choose the files. optionally, you can add some information about the artist and other info.

to delete a track select the delete checkbox and upload the same file as you want to delete.

listening to the radio

once the radio is initiated, you’ll see a dial. use E3 to move the dial. once you hit upon a station you should see the frequency get brighter and the ‘magic eye’ get smaller. some stations also have graphics that will appear.



once the radio station is dialed in you should stop hearing radio static and start hearing the radio.


use E1 to change to the equalizer page. on this page K2 and K3 change equalizer preset or you can use E2 and E3 to customize the bands of the equalizer.



the visualizer shows the relative power of each band. use E1 to change to the visualizer page.



the commenter doesn’t do anything yet. use E1 to change to the commenter page.



the timewarper lets you change, slow down, and reverse time, as well as loop time points. use E1 to change to the time-warper.


to make a loop, press K2 twice to set start and end points. once a loop is created, you press K2 to deletel loop.

press K3 once to get back to “live” audio.

rotating E2 will slow down and speed up time. rotating E3 will change position in time. as of now, you cannot go into a time in the future.

use the norns TAPE to record your remixed audio.


in addition to the normal compressor and reverb available on the norns, there are other effects available to add to the pirate radio. go into the parameters menu and you will see delay and granulator effects:


known issues

installing on fates

there have been reports of fates devices failing to play stations. the root cause is still under investigation, but people have resolved the issues by following these steps:

  • install pirate-radio
  • run the reinstall command for libraspberrypi0 as recommended on TROUBLESHOOTING: GENERAL – Linux Audio Foundation
  • in maiden, delete the files in the directory /dust/data/pirate-radio/metadata
  • put the device to sleep and power it back on

reporting bugs

report bugs on this thread or on the discord channel

please include the following details:

  • device type: norns/shield/fates
  • norns version number
  • output from the matron tab (using the hiding feature)
    `[details=“matron output”]
    matron output goes here
  • output from the supercollider tab (using the hiding feature)
    `[details=“supercollider output”]
    supercollider output goes here

thank you for setting this up @tyleretters! i’m super duper excited to participate in this effort. :heart:


Oh wow I’m extremely elated to see this come together!


Hey! This would be awesome to participate in and seems like a great project for where I’m at on my dev journey. I’m a not very active of the Norns discord but I am totally in.

:wave:t4: (My raised hand.)


:raised_back_of_hand:t2: I’ll jump on board this ship.

Enjoying the pirate associations: a shallow and functional hierarchy, risk / reward, collective praxis.


@Zeke_B YES! i’m so happy you’re in. stay tuned for a pairing.

@edrapley thanks for your enthusiasm, interest, and jumping in! stay tuned for a pairing.


This so cool! I would really like to participate but I have zero dev experience and I don’t have a norns yet :sob:

Can super-newbs audit the project by following along on github? Will there be a dedicated room in the study group?


I’m interested! I’ve dabbled in some norns programming, but something like this should keep me accountable in actually delivering something.

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this looks like such an awesome project! excited to see what it becomes <3


I’d love to be involved :skull_and_crossbones:


Looks great count me in


@Taubaland @bezier @tbrooke ok - you’re all TENTATIVELY in. we’re out of tutors now so lemme see who can be summoned. also the team size at the top end of what i hoped (which is great). The two-pizza rule and the secret of Amazon's success | Amazon | The Guardian

@juje are you ok with swabbing the deck?

SIGNUPS ARE NOW CLOSED but stay tuned for future signals. :eyes:


20 doubloons of y’arrrr.


Clarifying questions:
Is this for people with little/no coding experience?

I want to maximise the benefit of this for the community, if there are limited places (didn’t realise this when I made my first post) it might be better for someone else to take my spot.


yes, this is for all skill levels! you’re in the right place :slight_smile:


Bummer. Missed the boat on this because I only just got my weekly lines summary email. If a space opens up, then I’d love to participate…

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@radioedit we’ll do more stuff in the future. this isn’t the first and won’t be the last. i’ll also keep my eyes open for ways you (and others) can participate. maybe you could be one of our early beta testers and give feedback to the WIP?


Sure! Would gladly test and give feedback.


Damn! I arrived too late :´(

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wanna jump on the qa crew?

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