Samsara: a minimalist looper

@21echoes Samsara is simply amazing, I have been experimenting with turntables and loopers for several years and this script is simply perfect for the music I am making. The only two features I would love to see in the future are:

An indicator for the loop window such a simple bar moving from left to right with vertical indexes marking the beats (this seems to be already on the roadmap).

A visual metronome, a simple blinking dot such as the one you used for the tap tempo would be perfect.

Thanks again for creating Samsara!


v1.1.0 is up! It adds an audible click track. Enable it via holding K2 and turning E3 (clockwise enables, counter-clockwise disables). Installable through the standard methods, or here as a ZIP.

@bluesmoke hopefully this matches what you wanted re: the blinking dot! However, for now it is only shown when the click is also audible. If you’d like a visual-only “click track”, I can look into adding that as well :+1: my norns did just break the other day, though (USB power jack was torn off the board) so it may be a little while… (EDIT: I got it fixed! wonderful support from monome, as always :smiley:)


Wow, I love this looper. I’ve been looking at expensive hardware options but this makes my day. Any added features will just be icing on the cake.
So sad about the jack, I had that happen tp my 16n. I hate those little jacks. The visual only click track would be nice to stay in the groove. (nevermind about the click. I just noticed it. Doh)

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Hi David,

I am running the 220306 image and I can not get any sound from Samsara. I am running internal clock and all levels have been checked and re-checked, restarted a couple of times.

Any ideas what I could be missing?

Cheers, Morten

@21echoes , am getting error: missing PolyPerc when trying to run script? Have tried restarting and removing and reinstalling app. What am I missing?

Hmm, that’s quite strange! PolyPerc has been built into the norns system since the new image, and before that it was in we (which every norns shipped with).

What version of norns are you running? Do other scripts that use PolyPerc (e.g., awake) work for you?

Awake is coming up with the same error message now. What’s strange is that they both used to work. I’m guessing I should do a reset of the whole system?

Might be a duplicate engine somewhere that you need to remove. Ran into this issue not too long ago

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Anyone using Samsara with an external clock leader? (MIDI, Link, Crow, whatever)

Would love to chat with you about how that’s worked out, and see if you can beta test an updated version that may (?) play nicer with external clocks



Dummy question maybe (as I couldn’t test this yet), but wouldn’t it make sense to add Grid support so as to replicate on it those actions with buttons and encoders (and possibly do something else)? Thanks.

Samsara is meant to be dead simple, so it’s hard to imagine what a grid interface would be other than a few buttons, basically exactly duplicating the 3 buttons on the norns itself :thinking:

  • Toggle record on/off
  • Toggle continuous/one-shot recording
  • Toggle play/pause
  • Double buffer
  • Clear buffer
  • Tap Tempo
  • could also convert the encoder actions to increment/decrement buttons
    • Buffer length
    • Preserve level

It feels like it would just be a pile of unlabeled buttons, harder to use than the norns on its own. But it wouldn’t be too hard, either, so if people think it would increase its versatility a bit I could add it to the roadmap! :person_shrugging:


Okay, new version posted! v1.2.0 (79f449e)

This version should better follow external clocks!

I originally wrote and used Samsara in a context where it was effectively just a bare-minimum tape loop for me to jam into and build up ideas on my own. But then I started using it in group contexts, and quickly found that it didn’t play nice with others. This is because external clocks are not always perfectly stable, so Samsara would latch onto one particular external clock timing and set its tape loop to match that exactly, but as the external clock drifted, Samsara would not update its tape length.

Now, by switching fully onto the new norns clock system which speaks in “beats” (rather than the basic softcut.loop which speaks in “seconds”), Samsara can always stay on beat, even if the duration of those beats drifts a bit. So yeah: apologies if you’ve been trying to use Samsara as a MIDI/Link/Crow follower and seeing strange behavior. Please let me know if this version fixes it for you!

Available at http://norns.local/maiden/ (via the library, or via typing ;install in the REPL)


Would love arc support for this. Might try to add myself if I get some downtime this week.


v1.4.0 (97944f3) is up! This adds two main things:

  1. More params!

There were some key things Samsara could do via UI (recording, play/pause, and doubling the length) that weren’t controlled via params. This meant that controlling via MIDI mapping (or mods like matrix) wasn’t possible. Now, everything that can be done can be done via params. Params are also saved/recalled by default when leaving/loading the script (via the normal PSET behavior)

  1. Arc control!

Used the wonderful arcify to add arc control. There’s not too many params in Samsara (especially non-boolean ones), so it’s maybe a bit little sparse… but I want to make sure everyone can use Samsara with the controller that they want! Defaults are play/pause, record/not, feedback, and loop length. But as always with arcify, you can go to params to remap the wheels as you see fit (and Samsara will store these mappings across script loads / alongside PSETs)

Let me know if there are any issues! :pray:


A la Cyrene 1.9.1, Samsara has a bug fix release v1.4.1 (3e2ea3e) up now to make sure the “playing” state is always kept in sync with params after boot.


am i confusing the different labels? :crazy_face:
not seeing Play/Pause or Feedback under Arc Parameters.

pre_level = preserve?

My bad! Samsara had included a version of Arcify that did not support binary parameters.

So: new version of Samsara is up! v1.4.2 (6857e05) adds playing and recording as Arc-mappable parameters

And yes, pre_level is the “preserve” % on the main screen :smiley: