Process for Recording Norns to Tape?

It seems like the built-in Tape function is the most convenient way to record happy accidents (as well as others) on the Norns without first setting up a connection to an audio interface, DAW, etc. I was wondering what the best practice is for using Tape for this purpose? I press start to begin recording on the Tape screen, but by the time I get back to the script I am using and reorient myself, figure out what I want to record, get it started, etc., I always have a few second gap of silence in the beginning of the recording. I know I can cut that out in editing, but I was wondering if anyone has developed an easier way to (for example) get Tape to start recording from within a script? Is there a setting that would begin recording to Tape once the output went above a certain threshold? If not, do people just usually live with a few seconds of silence (or maybe everyone is just quicker than I am)?

I’d be very curious to know your thoughts on this, and thanks in advance!

When I’m needing to capture something with norns tape I usually load up a fresh tape so that its named, primed, and ready to press k3 to record. I then press k1 to flip back to my script and make sure I’m prepared to perform the audio I want. Press k1 again to take me back to the tape menu. I’m ready now. Then I very quickly press k3, then k1, so that I’m recording and I’m back in my script. This usually leaves me with less than a second of silence. Depending on the script, having a grid often allows the user to hang out on the tape page while performing on the grid. I also use ORTF to get clean loops/edits without a DAW.


this has got me thinking that it’d be great to be able to universally map play/record to midi controller buttons


Yes, the tape functions are included in the scripting API

No, youd have to build this using amplitude polls. To make it work nicely you would need to add a delay to the Inpout for “pre roll.” This starts to get convoluted so if it is about capturing input, at some point it makes more sense to create the thing in supercollider.

Theres a lot more features that could be added to Tape in theory. That could include a rolling pre-record buffer. Tape features are not high priority though, mostly because there are other tools in the platform suitable for developing more complex interactions. If somebody is interested in contributing tape c++ features then we should discuss it.


This is all very helpful information - thanks!