Should I buy a monome grid this year?


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.


Thanks for your answers guys :slight_smile:

Guess I’m that guy of 2019! :joy:

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Any advice? I’ve been looking at them
On and off for the last four years and with the world coming to an end figured now is the time. I’m just worried the learning curve is too steep.


I don’t know you well enough to say if your are capable of learning how to use a grid. But if you try and need help someone here will surely try to help.


go for it we will help ~

I think the most critical thing is the community around these tools. that's really the most important element to engage with. the community helps keep it all magic. so, if you don't end up with a grid (now, or ever), stick around and engage with folks here. that might be all you really need?

but, to expand :slight_smile:

a grid is an entry point + a catalyst. if there is any learning curve, it’s honestly joyous – that curve is really just the process of discovering your voice and finding new ways of working with sound, sequencing, and all the art-making in between and beyond.

there are so many fantastic applications being built these days (by people you can just @ mention!) and so many ideas to engage with if you want to build you own. i’m sure there’s something you want to do with a grid, yeah? start there, at the closed-ended purpose. with just a little bit of time and patience, you’ll find your bearings and that seed will inspire you endlessly.

that curiosity, that “how do i play this?” experience doesn’t dissipate. every few weeks, somebody releases a wonderfully idiosyncratic tool that poses (and answers) really wild musical questions. what grows + changes over time is your orientation to that experience (/ the unknown).

it really does adapt to your needs – or at least, it doesn’t block any avenue. there is no other tool that does this, that can switch contexts as you refine what you want to be making (and how).


I owned a Monome Grids for about 5 years.I felt instant gratification when I first got it. Things can get very complex too, if you want, of course.
But you can totally just plug it in and run a max msp patch like grainfields in minutes
What set up do you have or plan to use it with?

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I’m going to buy it tomorrow. :slight_smile: this made me feel like I can work my way through it and have you all helping is pretty amazing!
Thanks! Mcqueen

I got mine (second hand) at the start of the year. I’ve been somewhat obsessed with “grids” and looping for a few years, and Monome + MLR was always the pinacle after working my way through numerous Launchpads, product managing Novation Circuit etc.

Since that time, I’ve also gone all in on building up the Norns DIY and finding a lot of joy in the exceptional scripts that the community has built.

Re:Mix, and Meadow Physics were my initial experiences to get going.

Using the Monome with VCV Rack is also a lot of great fun (Meadow Physics again). I don’t know if you’re coming from the Eurorack world or not.

To my mind the results far outweighed the learning curve. I think the whole craziness with MaxMSP as part of the learning process had blurred into the background for me. The documentation and this forum are incredibly rich with information and support.


I’m not a modular person. I have a dfam, mother 32, subharmonicon and matriarch I don’t use a lot. I’m really using the op-1 and a 104m delay. My idea was to plus it into Logic Pro x and start at that vantage point while learning and then eventually investing and learning more modular stuff. I have some good teachers who love it but even after performing at Moogfest and being around it, it hasn’t clicked.

disclaimer: you might already know these things, apologies if so!

this is maybe where the learning curve will feel most steep. the grid doesn’t do anything when you plug it into Logic. it’s not a pre-programmed MIDI interface like a Push or Launchpad. the grid relies on applications and scripts to interpret its presses and to tell it what to display.

on a laptop or desktop, these applications (nb. the site is down at the moment, apologies!) are primarily written with Max/MSP – Max can shuffle MIDI or audio into and from Logic, so you’ll just need to run Max alongside Logic. Max can be run for free, you only need to pay for a license if you want to save edits to an application or write your own applications.

so, depending on your comfortability with routing MIDI inside Logic, that’ll be a first hurdle. this’ll be useful to know anyway and it’s not specific to grid – if you wanted to plug your OP-1 into Logic to send note data, you’d have to work through the same logistics. Max should just show up as another MIDI source/destination in Logic.

was there any particular use-case (a video, a document, etc) for grid that you were most attracted to? we can totally help contextualize things, if needed :slight_smile:


First off this is the best forum going! Thank you! I love the Nick Sanborn video they shot for the Moog Sirin but also every YouTube video that actually showcases what it can do. What would be helpful I guess is a starting strategy. What to download and implement to help me start. I have a lot of time right now as my tour is cancelled and show is on hiatus. I’m home and really want to learn how to utilize this and talk to all of you. Thank you for being so cool!

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ah, dope! an excellent starting point.

nick was using a modular rig for that video:

once the monome site is back up today (the one I linked in my last post), I’d suggest downloading some of the apps there and downloading Max 8 (and Max 7 from start digging into the apps before your grid arrives and find threads here that discuss them.

happy to see where you take things! or, get taken to by things!

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Thank you! I think what scares people off is the unknown. Having this crew takes that fear away! XO



Cost? What should I be paying for a 128 walnut used with updates power source?

i can’t really advise on that, unfortunately. you can use this listing of editions to determine how you value certain features: it sounds like you’re talking about a bus-power upgraded “series” 128 from 2007-2010, which was monobright.

i will say that if at the moment you are primarily interested in playing with others’ scripts + apps (vs scripting your own), a varibright model (from 2011 onward) will give you the most flexibility to meet the aesthetic design of many current and future community applications.

if you are primarily interested in scripting your own applications, then a monobright series 128 is a beautiful object and could be the right fit, depending on what you want to do / what resources you have.

Going to buy one new from Monome. Why take a chance :slight_smile:

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It will be here Thursday XO. Prepare for questions, haha!