Norns

Apologies for encouraging more gear lust.

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No worries😊I’ve been looking for someone who can just comprehensively explain what the Norns is, without falling into some kind of poetry prose on travelling without moving and how change is many things.

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glad you have had success with the Norns! Im definitely building a Norns Shield as soon as I can get income coming in again. My rig is becoming geared toward tiny as possible and a Norns Shield is waaaay smaller than an Organelle…

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I’ve checked vids all morning now. Takt alone is a complete environment on its own. Geez, this thing is beautiful, versatile and flexible. Makes you wonder why more aren’t on board, as if there’s some obvious “Oh, all right, okay, well that won’t do”, that scares users away.

I mean, I can use this as an fx pedal, as a sequencer, as a sampler, as a loop creator, as a synth. Kind of like the Zoia, but with a more accessible architecture (for those who decide to venture into LUA land).

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Yeah I’m loving it… I had an Organelle in the past and found the interface to primitive and menu dive-y coming from the Elektron workflow. The Norns overall seems like a more cohesive product (although the latest Organelle updates were super intriguing and I love Critter & Guitari as a company).

I’ll likely build a Shields in the future too. I wish I had a device for each app!

I held off on buying one for a long time because I had an Organelle a few years back for a similar reason as to why I bought the Norns. Essentially that there isn’t any single instrument that does the very specific things that I want from the plethora of sampling units out there (a little bit of Deluge, a little bit of Digitakt, a little Octatrack, a little Blackbox). But my day job is writing code and I found coding in a visual language (Pure Data) to be really cumbersome and wasn’t super excited about any of the community’s patches over dedicated synths and samplers.

The Norns fulfills the hopes I had for the Organelle (it is also 5x as expensive if you get the Norns + Grid + Arc). Writing code in Lua & Supercollider is much more similar to my programming experience (I also have a better understanding of how code & audio work these days). But the community’s apps are pretty mindblowing as well and while there are apps like Takt that expands on the built in Digitakt functionality, a lot of the app creators are attempting to create loopers, samplers, synths, and sequencers that broaden the scope of what music creation is. I’m diving into those worlds way more than I anticipated.

I’ve only had it for a few days, so I may be in the honeymoon phase. We should probably move Norns discussion to a dedicated thread if there isn’t one. While I’m not super interested in creating gear tutorials, I do think it’s extremely difficult to find basic information out there. For example, syncing it to other MIDI gear is rather confusing and a straightforward documentation about how USB midi hubs work as well as the fact that only specific apps support MIDI syncing would be nice to be aware of.

I have a pretty basic app idea that I’m hoping to build in the next few weeks - I’ll make a dedicated thread at that time as well.

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Very cool, all this. Yep, there’s a Norns thread, not much going on there, but we can easily change that :slight_smile:

Calling @LyingDalai or @AdamJay or @avantronica or @tr909 (or just the @Mods) Mod Edit Tags Fixed

Wanna move us to the Norns thread? We’re just getting started, after all.

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I’m sorry to ask such a simple question but I couldn’t find an answer on Monomes website.

Can you run multiple scripts at a time or only one?

I took the dive now.

Sold of all my fx units in one go, and my Mono Evolver which was just a phase I had to go through. Got me just enough to fund this.

Norns and Grid incoming.

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See you on the other side @mbillz :sunglasses:

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You guys are reading my mind or something. I’ve been eyeing norns since it was announced. Now that there are a lot more (awesome) scripts in the repository, it is getting more attractive. If @circuitghost is diving in, then maybe I should also dive in? I have some mad money in the stash after selling some gear. Really interested in FX / processing apps and granular stuff. Have had a hard time finding enough examples to push me over the edge. What Im afraid of is will getting norns require me to also get a grid?

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I’ve been tempted. You guys might push me over the edge.

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Yess

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I purchased everything in one go. There are lots of apps that don’t utilize the grid at all, but one of my favorite parts of the Deluge is the grid so it was one of the most attractive parts to me. But I definitely think you can get a lot of the Norns even without the grid.

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Have a Fates coming, and as I am building a 128button sequencer with neopixels I just should have my custom grid, if i get the firmware running on my teensy… I am exited

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How difficult is the DIY(fates?) build? I’m a bit confused about the BOM. Do you still need a raspberry pi and other things on top of the “Fates - Full kit” or does it include everything?

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Here’s my monome thought process journey, for what it’s worth -

It all begins in 2015. The winter was cold. I saw Grid for the first time. Loved it. But figured - it’s tied to a computer. I know I’ll loathe it eventually for this. But how lovely it was.

I kept circling the Grid until 2017, when I finally said: “To hell with it! I shall take the plunge!” Which I didn’t, but instead borrowed Grid from a friend who got one shortly after. And I was right. It didn’t take long until a mix of despite and lust grew. It really was lovely. But the environment was a mess. To a hardcore hardwarer like me, that is.

Onwards to 2018. Norns arrives. I’m now an older man, wiser and not so easily seduced by the lights that shine. I’m thinking - could this be the one? But on closer look, the scripts are curious at best (with the exception of mlr), some of them hardly working. Another friend of mine jumped on the Norns debut and was never the same. “I feel like the fool”, he said between sobs. “They promised me so much. But all I got was … this.”

Time goes on. More scripts to the Norns emerge. The community seems vibrant and growing. And mlr is great, sure. That fool friend of mine? Around late 2019, he goes - “You know … it’s getting there. It’s not so bad, actually.”

I leave it be. @mbillz appears. I watch his progress with curiosity, while also googling up new videos on Norns. I run into apps by @itsyourbedtime (he’s not around here, is he?) I now found numerous applications which on their own would accomplish a lot of what I’m scrambling together pieces of gear to do for me, with the Blackbox. I do the math, realise that if I sell this and that, that and this, I’ll go break even and have even more options than what I do now, for sample manipulation alone. And that’s before I’ve looked closer into the synths and sequencers, of which it also seems to have a decent collection.

Also, I can code Lua.

So now it’s on its way :slight_smile:

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I didn’t build it myself, I just slapped a raspberry pi 3 b+ plus onto it after it was shipped to me otherwise fully built from the Denki Oto webshop. Even down to the screen cover, which was a special request. I think I got an unnecessarily fancy rpi3 canakit for like $80, so it was about $250 total, if memory serves.

Very nice, but the buttons are a bit hard to press, which is really the only big downside for me. I chose the non clicking type as to be silent in a recording environment. I would say I like Norns more, because it’s such a well designed “appliance” and less finicky since it’s not DIY - and Fates’ GitHub is forked from Norns at this point (somewhat complicating the update process, but not by much). Fates is really nice since it has that additional (4th) encoder, which is great for using with the Norns Mother Organelle/Pure Data patches… or other things.

Edit: The only other potential downsides to Fates are the 1/8” audio connectors (as opposed to Norns’ 1/4” I/O), lack of internal headphone amp, lack of internal battery and finally - micro SD card performance is inferior to Norns internal storage, but I don’t think it’s caused me any issues. I just made sure to purchase a higher quality/performing Micro SD card.

FYI: Fates is not the only option here, and it is the non-official option. The DIY Norns that Monome itself made available is called Norns Shield. It has a smaller footprint. Shield also uses a Raspberry Pi.

Relevant links below:

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I have my Fates somewhere between the US and Germany currently. I can document the process as soon as it is here. I choose the Fates over Norms because of its price. As I already own a piece of hardware, that can emulate the Grid, I thought it might be a good way to combine two of my interests, music and programming.
Currently I am working on a 8 track Euclidean Sequencer that is a little bit inspired by Ndlr on a Teensy and NeoPixels with a display and 4 Encoders. If I like the Norms Universe, I think about migrating it to Norms.

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Thanks for clearing that up. I have a RasPi 4 laying around and I wouldn’t mind using it for a project like this. Is the grid controller some kind of must or does it run fine standalone or with other controllers?

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