Should I buy a monome grid this year?

Grids are worth it just for mlr. You can get really creative.

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i’ve never seen a control device more pleasantly designed. if ever you check out some other controller, you can side by side them and the monome will literally appear as a work of art where the other will be anywhere between pos to well designed tool. grain of salt, sure, but this is my experience for years every time i enter the studio. now more than ever.

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Hi All,

I’m a software engineer and musician and am musing about buying a monome. I’m looking for something that would allow me to trigger & alter samples and improvise during a life performance, as well as incorporate some experimentation into my recordings. I’ve got a few months of experience with max msp and excited about the idea of being able to write my own patches for it. I’ve spent the past few weeks watching video after video and am so confounded by all the uses people find for this magic board. That being said…

Is it still a good buy in 2018? A lot of the videos on youtube and vimeo seem to be from a few years ago, and even some of the major projects on github don’t look like they’re under active development. The tool is built on top of the community, and I’m curious what the state of the community is right now. Of course everything is still available that has been built, but i’m curious if I’ve missed the boat. Are there any other pieces of hardware that might be taking the Monomes place? Or is it just at the low end of the hype cycle.

Curious what people think!


A lot of the community development seems to be focused on the Monome modules. So if you are a modular synth user then that’s a positive point for Monome in 2018.

If you’re learning Max and want to roll your own solutions to your desired goals using that, then buying a Monome in 2018 is also a perfectly reasonable purchase. Plus two for Monome!

If you’re looking for ready made Max (or other software) based applications they certainly do exist but quite a lot of them are fairly old now and may or may not have been broken by the various Max upgrades that have happened over the years. You may find this thread (and the lists it contains/links to) useful:

woops didn’t see that, thanks for sharing

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Can’t wait till next year’s “Is it worth buying a monome in 2019?” :joy:


Stay tuned as there are constantly new tools and apps that are being developed - some by Monome, some by the community, and some strategic partnerships as well. Lately, there’s been tremendous focus on TT and I2C communication. Grids ops are now part of the TT environment which means even more integration. So is Monome a good buy? I think we are all going to be a little biased there. Specifically, you should research Teletype and the ER-301 if you are interested in sample manipulation. That being said, there’s several “new things” on the horizon that we can only speculate on. The existing tools are mostly finalized with some tweaks here and there and I think this isbecause of their thoughtful design and already polished state - Monome is developing new stuff and focusing their efforts there.


maybe we need less hype about the new things and more hype about the OLD THING :slight_smile:


I’ve been saying that for years…


Sorry… thought I was helping.

no need to say sorry - i thought your answer was helpful and informative! mine was meant just as a testament to the concept of grid still finding new applications after so many years. wasn’t meant as a critique, apologies!


Oops yeah, same! …

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Cool, this was a really helpful response! I was almost thinking of getting a monome as a way to stay more digital and software based as opposed to starting a eurorack journey so there is certainly a lot to think about.

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I did this at Christmas, purely as a means to sequence the Eurorack.

It’s not cheap for this purpose, but in terms of having something that is instantly playable and manipulatable in a live context (I don’t play live but set up patches and then evolve sequences on the fly in a single take) it’s ideal. The ease of setting up polyrhythms is terrific.

Oh, and it looks amazing.


Hey I bought a grid around November and the seller didn’t let me know it was a pre-2011 model that doesn’t even have variable brightness.

I gotta say though, I’m absolutely loving it. The problem with every other piece of muisc tech I’ve ever owned is that they keep you inspired while you’re learning to use them, you play and you learn and you write while learning… but then you start noticing ways in which they don’t perfectly fit with your playing style and so you have to either mould your style to fit the gear or maybe you buy some new gear and the more you use them, the more obvious their design faults become.

With the arc and grid whenever you notice a software design fault ITS YOUR FAULT SO YOU HAVE TO FIX IT.
After a while you end up with a huge library of little elements that you make or rip from other people and you can mix and match them or start new things but with old elements to make it quicker and easier and so the more time you spend developing the more fun and easier it is and for me I just can’t imagine it getting old any time soon.
I was planning to sell on my old grid to buy a newer one but I think I’m gonna keep and AND buy a new one and hell maybe I’ll buy some of monome’s modular integration gear as well EVEN THOUGH I DON’T HAVE ANY MODULAR STUFF but I’ll start with monome because its that much fun and that satisfying.

So my vote is yes, buy a grid.



With this being my first post on the forum I’d like to take the opportunity to say what a brilliant place this is (been lurking for some time)! Over the last few weeks I’ve been listening to all the available episodes of the Sound + Process podcast which I find very inspiring and interesting. It ultimately led me to sign up on the forum.

I’ve always been intrigued by the Grid. it sort of keeps coming back to me again and again as a piece of gear I’d like to invest in, understand and explore. I’ll probably never get into programming myself, but i feel some of the patches out there would already give me a lot of what I’m looking for. Particularily mlr, the Party Van (live audio manipulation) and the patch for pairing with the Organelle.

Now for my question; would the available patches out there work on a Monome 64 non-tilt version, assuming I have the correct files installed and have Max (runtime)?


I have a 2011 Walnut 64 grid and have had no problem running the recommended apps in Max runtime (party van, mlr, etc.) Definitely worth it imo


I love my 64 grid, and hope to try and make it stay relevant by modding norns 128 patches into working with the 64 grid.