Received a monome for Christmas! Best way to learn?

So my wife knew that I wanted to learn to make some music at home so she got me a monome128 and ableton live lite for Christmas. I’m stoked to learn all these new things! I was wondering if there was some good reading and learning material out there to help a total noob get started? Thanks everyone!


Nice. I’m learning too.
I think the best way to understand the whole thing is using SUM and TERMS for Ableton.
I thinks is a good start!

Do you have to have a higher version of live than lite to use terms? When I Try to use terms ableton says that it cannot be used with this version.

welcome! this is an exciting time to come into monome!

terms and many other ableton-integrated monome devices require Max 4 Live, which is obtainable through the Suite upgrade or standalone purchase. def worth it, if you have any holiday $$ hanging around, if not just for @elquinto’s re:mix.

otherwise, start with sum, mlrv, party van and mark eats sequencer to utilize monome/intro to its fullest potential. you’ll have to get very intimate with midi to do this, so make sure you cash in on berklee’s free ableton course (see Ableton’s website) or / Groove 3.

I found that watching videos from @tehn and @Rodrigo were some of the best tutorials. both of their performance videos are fantastic and really show how versatile monome can be.


Yeah very exciting!

Definitely worth playing with sum/terms/mlrv, and party van too (though it’s only mapped for 64, so it would only use half of the 128). That will be changing soon, but it’s not quite there yet.


Thanks for the replies guys, gonna download those today and check out those videos. Upgrading to the suite may take some time, it’s a good chunk to spend on a brand new hobby so soon.

Although the Max For Live apps are quite nice, they aren’t strictly necessary. Most monome apps were made to run in Max standalone. You can run patches in Max for free, just download Max from the cycling74 site. No need to pay for Max until you are ready to save your patch modifications. You can still interact with Ableton Live Lite via MIDI from most monome apps.

Here’s a complete list of monome apps:


If you’d like to get your hands dirty with customising the grid yourself, the Grid Studies are very highly recommended as an introduction to how the monome works, and how it integrates with different software. There’s a number of free environments in which you can build programs for your grid, and learn a bit about code if you haven’t done that before:


Thank you @Galapagoose this was soon to be another question for me. This piece of musical wonder is currently like a giant puzzle for me. I am immersing myself in reading material, I hope to put it to good use soon. I also need to start reading up on ableton, having never used any software before, I am quite overwhelmed! But still loving it!

That overwhelming feeling will probably last a few years (and I suspect it never goes away entirely).


Hi all! I have a similar situation to the person who started this thread. I have a monome and little idea of how to get started. Are there any important updates to what was mentioned above for advice?

This post is 4 years old so if there is another thread that would be more beneficial to a beginner in 2019 could you point me to it?

Thanks everyone:)

ooo good reminder that we need to overhaul the grid docs to reflect changes in the ecosystem, but the current page is mostly still valid if not a little bit outdated (replace Max 7 w/ Max 8, make sure to get @andrew’s prosody, etc).

can you share any specific goals that inspired getting a grid so we can help shine a light on resources that’d help you achieve them?


Sure. The musician Daedelus initially introduced me to the grid. I liked the music and it looked fun to use. I would like to make music in the same way he does. So take tracks of various short to longer lengths that I either record myself or source and then be able to mess around with layering and repeating them.

Does that make sense?

I had a version of Ableton Live that I was trying to get it to work with along with something called 7up but was never able to figure some part of the process out. When I just back into it now it is safe to say that I’ll be starting from scratch knowledge-wise. I’m also not sure if I still have that Albeton Live to use so if there are other programs I should be checking out now is a good time to let me know!