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 with a welcome chime.
There’s a small light near the power plug. ORANGE means power. WHITE means disk access.
Please DO NOT USE THE BOTTOM WHITE BUTTON. This button is essentially like pulling the power cord on a desktop computer and runs the risk of disk corruption. If you are unable to SLEEP your norns due to a lockup situation, push-and-hold K3-K2-K1 (in this order) for 10 seconds and the system will safely reset.
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 NOPLAY.
You are now at HOME.
In NOPLAY 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 NOPLAY.
If you wish to clear a currently running script, highlight SELECT + hold K1. You’ll see
CLEAR in the middle of the screen – press K3 to clear the currently running script.
- 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 NETWORK CONNECT.
- RESET - Quickly resets the audio system and resets current configuration data to a default state, restoring audio levels to maximum and clearing the currently loaded script.
- UPDATE - Checks for updates. Internet connection required. See UPDATE.
Powers down cleanly, saving current state to be restored upon next boot (including audio levels and which script is currently loaded).
If you are unable to SLEEP your norns due to a lockup situation, please DO NOT USE THE BOTTOM WHITE BUTTON.
Instead, push-and-hold K3-K2-K1 (in this order) for 10 seconds and the system will safely reset.
Provides control over system audio levels, mix bus, and script parameters.
EDIT begins with a parameter list for the global audio settings. See AUDIO for details on the parameters available in each section.
- E2 scrolls
- E3 changes values. Hold K3 for fine tuning
Scroll past the global audio parameters to reveal the script-level parameters (nb. some scripts may not have their own parameters).
- K3 on a separator jumps to next section
- K1+E2 jumps between separators (plus top line)
Parameter set saving and loading:
- E2 navigates SAVE, LOAD, DELETE
- E3 scrolls PSET slots for each section
- K3 executes the command on the selected PSET slot
When you execute SAVE, you will have the option to name your PSET, with default text.
* indicates the currently loaded PSET.
Enable MIDI mapping and control over parameters. If a parameter has a
- to its right, it’s mappable.
- E2 navigates
- K3 opens for mapping
To assign a MIDI control to a parameter, you can either LEARN or manually edit:
- E2 navigates
- E3 scrolls values
- K3 executes
On this page you can record and play directly to and from disk.
K2 toggles focus between PLAY and REC.
- K3 loads file
- K3 again to start
- K3 again to stop
PLAY expects 48khz files (both stereo and mono supported). WAV, AIFF and other uncompressed header / sample formats supported by libsndfile will work (including raw). FLAC also.
- K3 to arm recording
- K3 again to start
- K3 again to stop
When you arm recording, you will have the option to name your file, with default auto-incrementing text.
REC writes 48khz stereo WAV.
To share / sync audio files between norns and your computer, you’ll need to use a file-sharing client. Learn more in our file management guides.
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:
nb. DO NOT plug modular-level signals into norns (both stock and shield). The inputs are designed for line levels only, so please attenuate any modular signals before sending them into norns.
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|
|input adc||[0, 1.0]||hardware input level to softcut|
|input engine||[0, 1.0]||engine input level to softcut|
|input tape||[0, 1.0]||tape input level to softcut|
With norns firmware
200424, a global clock system was introduced. This means that it’s dead simple to pass clock from an external source to a norns script, provided the script has been updated to use the new clock system.
To clock a script from MIDI:
- navigate to PARAMETERS > EDIT
- move down to CLOCK
- set it to MIDI
To ensure a connected MIDI device is recognized by a currently running script, navigate to SYSTEM > DEVICES > MIDI and select your MIDI device:
To control a script’s parameters with MIDI, please see the PARAMETERS > MAP section above.
Open Sound Control (OSC) is a network protocol for sending messages supported by numerous sound and media applications.
OSC allows you to control norns over WIFI using applications like Max/MSP, TouchOSC, Clean OSC, OSCulator, or Wekinator. You can create custom control surfaces to extend your gestural interactions with norns – eg. rather than using MIDI faderbank to change reverb damping, you could use a biometric sensor or Wiimote.
All of the audio parameters have OSC names. To see them, navigate to
PARAMETERS > MAP:
|rev engine input|
|rev cut input|
|rev monitor input|
|rev tape input|
|rev return level|
|rev pre delay|
|rev lf fc|
|rev low time|
|rev mid time|
|rev hf damping|
|comp pre gain|
|comp post gain|
Format your messages as
/param/osc_name value, eg:
/param/comp_ratio 2.3 /param/rev_monitor_output 0 /param/output_level 0.5
Please note that norns receives OSC messages on port
Want to see norns + OSC in action? Check out
@felart’s TouchOSC template for the LEVELS, REVERB, and COMPRESSOR controls.
For more detail on norns + OSC scripting, please see study 5.
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 from another computer on the same network at the IP address shown in SYSTEM.
- open a Terminal on a Mac/Win/Linux computer
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 ask for your confirmation to shut down.
If for some reason you wish to re-run an update, hold K1 while selecting SYSTEM > UPDATE. norns will notify you that it has found the most recent update and you can follow the prompts to install.
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
email@example.com and we can help right away.