The Monome‘s clean-slate grid of light-up buttons has proven a huge hit, not only among musicians but multimedia artists in general. It’s been such an Internet sensation that many people assume some significant company is behind it. In reality, part of the clarity of the design comes from the homemade approach to design and construction, and the personality of its two primary co-creators — Brian Crabtree and Kelli Cain. Our friends at — specifically, resident videographer saguirl — got a chance to shoot some video in their loft.

“People have used it as a drum machine, sequencer, as an egg timer…” said Crabtree. The open-source software can be used and altered by anyone.

Crabtree and Cain assemble most of the Monomes at their loft, a daunting process that involves countless hours of wiring and soldering. A new Monome, the 256, was about to be released to the public when we visited. Crabtree assembled one for us on the spot.

Watch closely for some videos of Brian’s performance from the CDM Handmade Music event, co-hosted with and Make Magazine. I have some videos I’m going through from those events, too; not fantastic but I’ll post soon.

This Handmade Life: A Moment with the Monome [Etsy’s The Storque online mag]
Monome-tagged stories on CDM

By the way, if you’re curious about 256 assembly, there are some interesting updates over on