Norns

Intriguing slow reveal/announcement over at monome / lines

what is it?

an everything?

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Someone on reddit suggested its a hardware MLRV. If it is I’m fookin getting one :smiley:

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Hi Buska, can u explain me what’s MLRV? I tried to do a internet search but it’s not really clear for me…:thinking: It’s something related to Monome?
Thanks

Mlrv is a grid based sample instrument that works With controllers like the livid block and the novation launch pad.

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I’m at work so can’t get to the good stuff but Google “MLRV sampling” or something and you’ll get some videos.

I had a Monome for a very short while but from memory, if I’m thinking of the right thing, this was by far the most fun I had with it. Was a bit of a pain in the arse to set up but once going, you went some interesting places.

So a hardware version that allows sampling and playing in some combo using grids would be pretty cool. Also likely ridiculously expensive knowing their stuff…!

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Makes me wish I had my Grid still here.

So looking more into this thing, Im going to go out on a limb here and say the OT officially has a competitor.

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why does this only have like 5 posts and why am i just hearing out about this?

this looks like the answer to all my sampler problems :)))))))))

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I’m still trying to get my head around it honestly. I’ve seen some videos and it kind of reminds me a bit of a Critter & Guitari Organelle - a little sound computer flexible thing. I’m into it. I love the Monome aesthetic and have been into their stuff for years, but haven’t yet pulled the trigger.

Norns is worthwhile if you already own Grids and are prepared to code. Sold mine fairly quickly. :wink:

BSold mine quickly also. It has a lot of potential but there are bugs and frustrations.

Scripts that ship with Norns are hit or miss. Many do work. Some are really cool. Few have any documentation to speak of. Virtually none adhere to any common convention for UI or interaction. Sometimes clockwise encoder turns scroll down; others, not. Button mapping is also script dependent. Sometimes button two triggers ‘back’; sometimes ‘forward’. It’s minor, but makes everything more cumbersome than it need be.

The community is good but they need a one-stop wiki for reference instead of relying on old posts nested in long forum threads. With the release of new firmware updates, those old ‘answers’ become less helpful. Sadly, they aren’t maintaining a complete tome of knowledge, issues, how tos, etc.

The latest version ships with a bug that prevents updating the firmware. It’s a known issue and simple to solve when you understand it, but when I asked the community didn’t think it needed to be patched in the installer.

One last note:

The buttons and encoders both feel loose and sloppy. It’s not at all what I expected from monome. I never had a grid, had wanted one, but any desire for one has now waned.

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That was a great, candid review of the Norns. Aesthetically, it’s pleasing - very Dieter Rams minimal and clean. It always seemed like a lot of dough for something that didn’t seem to check many boxes for me. I enjoy coding, but haven’t had much time for hobby programming projects. Couple that with the eventual want/need for a grid to fully take advantage of Norns, and it’s a lot to overcome, despite it’s “coolness.” Hearing that there’s a lag in documentation and other ecosystem basics completes the gas relief for me. I do hope they overcome those initial obstacles though, because I think it’s a cool project. If it’s flourishing in a few years, I would consider it, free time permitting.

Then again, I’m having way too much fun with my Octatrack, and there’s enough there to keep me busy for at least a decade.

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When I gas for something I see if I can recreate it with the OT. With Norns, my interest piqued seeing people run it with MLRV. You certainly can get something similar with slices and live recording and maybe a couple prepped patterns, but the main disadvantage afaik is that you don’t have such immediate access with a grid based controller.

Though this issue would be almost moot if Elektron would enable MIDI triggerable slices :expressionless:

Ah well. OT certainly makes up for it in sooooo many other ways.

I’m kinda weary of the whole coding thing myself.

I have no interest in coding but I like the idea of a minimal looper/sampler/tape machine that can get the job done quickly without menu diving. Tbh I feel like I’m going to invest in an Octatrack first because it seems to get the most out of it you need a grid and that’s now a 1500 dollar investment

In case anyone’s wondering what this really is, despite googling and youtubing and whatnot, latest issue of Sound on Sound has a great review on Norns. The reviewer’s clearly got some experience with Grid before and digs into the scripting part as well, so it gives a very fair description of what you can expect from Norns.

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Your post has helped me a bunch. If I start wanting to buy more instruments, I just sit down and try to make those instruments with what I have. Always works, and I learn more about the instruments I have too!
Thanks!

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TLDR - Monome Norns / Grid (running Takt) sequencing Blackbox with stock samples: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1pr6mgsvb1zld5b/1010takt.MOV?dl=0

Oh man. Someone created an app called Takt for the Norns which replicates most of the Digitakt’s functionality. I hooked it up to the Blackbox (running the Norns through a Keystep into the Blackbox since I don’t have a USB type A to MIDI cable).

Above is a quick vid I put together showing off some of the functionality with Blackbox stock samples. Takt has a Deluge style isomorphic keyboard (although I can only figure out how to hook it up to Midi channel 1). I installed the app 30 minutes before taking this so I’m sure there is other unique functionality I’m missing, but this Deluge / Elektron frankenstein sequencer with the Blackbox is super immediate and powerful.

Again, I didn’t buy the Monome specifically to sequence the Blackbox, I’m interested in writing my own software, but what a great byproduct!

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Very cool. I’m intrigued for sure.

Are there any decent synth scripts for Norns, or is it more about samples and control?

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I’ve only tried one synth app called Molly the Poly, but it sounds way better than I anticipated. https://www.instagram.com/p/BoXJavpAE3R/

Norns runs the Supercollider sound engine which is a really nice sounding audio programming language.

You can view a list of some of the popular apps with descriptions here: https://monome.org/docs/norns/app/

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Thanks.

Feeling the itch now …

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