The mini-USB plug provides power and charges the internal battery. Use the cable and power supply provided. (The included supply supplies 2A via USB connector.)
Hold K1 for three seconds.
Be still, and norns will awaken.
There’s a small light near the power plug. ORANGE means power. WHITE means disk access.
On the bottom of the norns there is a tiny push switch that will hard power-off the device. For general shut down use the sleep menu function. This fully turns off the norns with a proper software shutdown. Use the bottom switch only if something in software went wrong.
A changing melody will play.
E1 changes the mode. K1+? means hold K1 then push ?.
- E2 navigates position, E3 changes position.
- K2 toggles the sequence to edit. K1+K2 clears all steps.
- K3 morphs the current sequence. K1+K3 randomizes.
- E2/E3 set loop length.
- K2 resets to play to zero. K3 jumps to random position.
- E2/E3 adjust selected parameter. K2/K3 move selector.
- E2 adjusts BPM. K1+E2 change division.
- E3 changes root note. K1+E3 selects scale.
(bonus: try plugging in a grid.)
Tap K1 quickly to toggle between PLAY and OTHER.
You are now at HOME.
In OTHER mode:
- E1 moves between pages.
- E2 scrolls up/down.
- K2/K3 move back/forward.
At HOME press K2 to toggle additional system information display:
- BAT: current battery %
- mA: battery’s current power draw; negative values indicate discharging
- DISK: available disk storage
- CPU: current CPU utilization
- c: current internal temperature
- IP: current IP address if connected to a network
The installed software version will be listed under the script’s name (eg. 191101). The format is YY-MM-DD.
Explore the collection of scripts. Selecting a script will show a description. Forward again will run the script. The play screen will return upon running. Quickly tap K1 to toggle between PLAY and OTHER.
- AUDIO - Like the parameter list, but for the global audio settings. Includes output and input levels, headphone gain, aux send (reverb), and insert (compression). See the AUDIO section below for details on the parameters available.
- DEVICES - This is a list of connected USB hardware with their associated port number. Most scripts address port 1. See norns study 4 for a scripting guide to multiple ports. This section lets you re-assign connected devices to specific ports.
- WIFI - Networking settings. Requires USB WIFI interface. See CONNECT.
- UPDATE - Checks for updates. Internet connection required. See UPDATE.
- RESET - Quickly resets the audio system.
Powers down cleanly, saving current state.
Scripts can define their own parameters. Note that some scripts may have no parameters.
- E2 scrolls.
- E3 changes values. Hold K3 for fine tuning.
HOLD K1 to access parameter set saving and loading:
- E3 scrolls set number (0 is default, with 1-99 available).
- K2 loads the selected set.
- K3 saves the set to the selected position.
Enable MIDI-mapping with E3 while the MIDI-map item is selected. Release K1 to return to the Parameter list, but now you see MIDI CC assignments. Push K3 to enable MIDI-learn, whereupon the next incoming MIDI CC will be mapped to this value.
Get out of MIDI-mapping mode by holding K1 and toggling off.
On this page you can record and play directly to and from disk.
K2 toggles focus between REC and PLAY.
- K3 to arm recording.
- K3 again to start.
- K3 again to stop.
- K3 loads file.
- K3 again to start.
- K3 again to stop.
PLAY expects stereo 48khz files. WAV, AIFF and other uncompressed header / sample formats supported by libsndfile will work (including raw). FLAC also.
Mixing and VU display happens here.
- K2/K3 to change selection, which is highlighted.
- E2/E3 modify the respective highlighted levels.
Audio routing is shown below:
Control of various audio parameters happens in SYSTEM > AUDIO. Note that the topmost levels are also controlled via the LEVELS page.
|output||[-inf, 0] db||output level|
|input||[-inf, 0] db||input level|
|monitor||[-inf, 0] db||monitor level (input mix to ouput)|
|engine||[-inf, 0] db||engine level (ie, supercollider)|
|softcut||[-inf, 0] db||multivoice sampler level|
|tape||[-inf, 0] db||tape playback level|
|monitor mode||[MONO, STEREO]||MONO = mix input 1 and 2 to both channels|
|headphone||[0, 60]||headphone gain|
|reverb||[ON, OFF]||reverb state|
|rev engine input||[-inf, 12] db||engine input to reverb|
|rev cut input||[-inf, 12] db||softcut input to reverb|
|rev monitor input||[-inf, 12] db||monitor input to reverb|
|rev return level||[-inf, 12] db||reverb return level|
|rev pre delay||[20, 100] ms||delay before reverberation|
|rev lf fc||[50, 1000] hz||crossover frequency between low and middle bands|
|rev low time||[1, 32] s||time to decay by 60dB in low band|
|rev mid time||[1, 32] s||time to decay by 60dB in mid band|
|rev hf damping||[1500, nyq] hz||frequency at which high band decay time is 1/2 of mid band decay time|
|compressor||[ON, OFF]||compressor state|
|comp mix||[0, 1.0]||dry/wet mix. 0 = dry, 1 = wet|
|comp ratio||[1, 20]||compression ratio: for each N dB increase in input level above threshold, output level increases by 1dB|
|comp threshold||[-100, 10] dB||amplitutde above which the signal is compressed|
|comp attack||[1, 1000] ms||time constant (1/e smoothing time) for compression gain to exponentially approach a new lower target level|
|comp release||[1, 1000] ms||time constant (1/e smoothing time) for compression gain to exponentially approach a new higher target level|
|comp pre gain||[-inf, 30] db||gain pre compression|
|comp post gain||[-inf, 30] db||gain post compression|
Scripts can be created and edited using a web browser when norns is connected to a network. These scripts will appear in the SELECT list for later play.
The WIFI nub must be inserted before starting.
To connect to your local network router:
- Navigate to SYSTEM > WIFI.
- Select ADD.
- Choose your network from the list displayed.
- Enter the password. E2 toggle between top and bottom row, E3 scrolls character, K3 selects character. Select OK when complete.
- With success, you should be assigned an IP address shortly after.
If you do not have access to a router, you can turn the norns into a WIFI hotspot. This will create a new network which you can then connect to with your computer:
When connected via WIFI you can SSH into norns at the IP address shown in SYSTEM.
Without WIFI, you can connect to norns via USB-UART by connecting the power cable to your computer. On Mac/linux, open a terminal and type:
- then, press TAB to autocomplete your serial number
- then type
So, in total:
screen /dev/tty.usb[TAB KEY] 115200
If you see a blank screen, press ENTER.
You’ll be asked for login credentials. Login is the same as SSH above.
Updates to the core norns software can be installed easily via the SYSTEM menu. You must first be connected to the internet via wifi and have at least 400M free disk space. If a new version is available you will be prompted to continue installing. Audio will be disabled during this time. Note that the download time may be a few minutes, have patience. Upon completion you’ll be notified of success or failure, then the unit will shut down after confirmation.
If you are running 181101 or earlier it’s recommended to do a fresh install.
See the dedicated help page for solutions to common problems.
The community forum has various informative threads. Please join us!
Check the known bugs list for problems and solutions.
If you’re experiencing hardware problems contact
firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help right away.