It’s an even more performative monome. Creator sonocircuit has built a new take on the monome norns/grid app mlr, adding new macros, transposition, LFOs, and lots more.

The monome has had an enormous impact on machine-human interaction in music over the past years. And what made that formula work was always a combination of factors working in tandem. It was the elegant hardware by Brian Crabtree and Kelli Cain – that’s the bit that made it into the Museum of Modern Art. But it was also the way hardware, open software, and community amplified one another. And a big part of what fueled the transformation of live performance tools in Akai APC and MPC, Novation Launchpad, Native Instruments Maschine, and others was a single app – mlr, by tehn (aka Brian).

Get into the die-hard monome community and you’re unlikely to ever see exactly the same version of mlr in use twice. mlre is a new extension by sonocircuit that has a ton of really lovely features like pattern recording.

  • Refined macro slots and views (record, cut, transpose, LFO)
  • Easy recording and playback of macros
  • Global scale transposition
  • Tape warble
  • LFOs

Watch – sonocircuit even has tehn’s “demo stuff with pretty chimey sounds” thing going here:

Everything is locked into system clock, too, so it all looks nice and beat-y and tasty.

That quantization of patterns is especially elegantly done. I suppose if you’re into monome, you’re into grids not only in the visual sense but in the musical sense, too. Auto-length recording is absolutely in the milieu, and separates monome’s digital looping from free-clocked stuff like tapes or simple looper pedals.

But the ability to use LFOs here means a lot more detail to how a sequence shifts over time, not just endlessly-repeating patterns. Watch in the video as patterns modulate other patterns and live-recorded loops get layered. It’s good stuff, and really shows off the performative philosophy here.

Full track transposition is something I really appreciate on the Polyend Medusa, etc., so it’s nice to see here.

Check out the community post:

mlre: an extended version of mlr

Download and documentation on GitHub – and yeah, this was all a project to learn Lua!