The original Monome 40h music (and other media) controller has been replaced by new models, led by the new 256, a 16×16 grid. The buttons are smaller, retaining the approximate size and form factor of the original, but you get more buttons, a wooden case, and other improvements. Pre-orders are set for September 26. Lots more info on the Monome site, but most of all, I want to share two things of beauty. First, there’s Kelli’s gorgeous box design, which may qualify as the prettiest musical instrument packaging I’ve ever seen. (I think it needs a Mycelium-inspired Processing sketch to go with it.)

Monome 256 packaging

Second, there’s Brian (tehn) playing a really lovely piece entirely built of Wurlitzer samples. I’m really into his musical imagination, and the instrument design seems to perfectly compliment it.

tehn with two fifty six from tehn on Vimeo.

I think we’ll get to see Brian (hopefully also Kelli) and the 256 in person at the next Handmade Music night from CDM, Etsy Labs, and Make, on Thursday, September 27. I’ll be sure to get some photos and/or video, as well. Locals, keep your eyes peeled for coverage in the next issue of Time Out New York of that event — quite a lineup we’ve got emerging (and, of course, as always everyone is welcome to show up with projects and surprise us).