the grid is an interactive tool with an open framework that allows the user to define its function. with a focus on minimalism, the simplicity of its design imposes constraints meant to temper the endless reprogrammable possibilities. the ability to determine how inputs and outputs relate is a source of both creative control and creative potential.

tactile and visual feedback. decoupled by design. clear response and intuitive play. when you push a key the input data is sent to the computer for various forms of interpretation while the output data, light patterns for example, are controlled separately in response. use is determined by the chosen application running on the computer or module: sequencer, sample cutter, tone map, polyrhythm machine are just a few of the many possibilities.

monome sum

a collection of essential monome apps synced together to work as one flexible tool for creating music.


a live sample-cutting platform. sound clips are assigned to each row of the grid. the playback position of each sound is represented by the moving light across the row. pressing a key causes playback to cut to that position.

many more →



16 x 8 backlit keys — bright warm white light
two-tone aluminum assembly — usb powered
10.2" x 5.4" x 0.6" — $700

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do i need to be a programmer?

no programming knowledge is needed to run our applications or the hardware. they run just like normal desktop software. depending on what you would like to accomplish, knowledge of midi routing or specific programming languages will be helpful.

if you are a programmer or aspiring programmer, check out grid studies— a series of introductions to coding with the grid in various languages. information about libraries and protocols are in the docs section.


who writes these applications?

many of the original patches were written by tehn who also designed the hardware. most were written by the large community of users who share their work in the spirit of open source.


will your applications work with other controllers?

potentially-- some more than others. you could always rewrite the applications to accept different input. keep in mind that our applications were designed specifically with our devices' capabilities in mind, and the experience of using the application with ill-fitting hardware is less than optimal.

will it work on os x, windows, linux?

mac os x and windows are fully supported. in general mac usability and installation is the most stable, tried, and tested. linux integration is available but you're largely on your own.


what is max/msp? do i need to purchase it?

max/msp is a graphical programming environment maintained by cycling74 with which many monome applications are written. all are fully functional using cycling74’s max/msp runtime, which is free.


will it interface with ableton live, logic, etc?

we've created terms, a pack of max for live devices that bring the grid into ableton live very well.

applications are available which enable the hardware to act like a standard midi device, so interfacing with various software packages becomes the same as with other controllers. getting midi data out of the software (back to the hardware, for light activity) will be a different matter and vary largely between packages.

a typical use case would be running some sort of monome-centric sequencer that sends midi notes to a DAW, which will generate the actual audio and record note data.

why is there no hardware midi in/out?

midi can be sent/received using various applications on our wiki. we prefer to use a network-based protocol called opensound control because it is faster and tremendously more flexible. the device itself communicates using serial via usb.


can i use my own samples?

many applications are sample-based and allow (usually require) you to load your own samples.


does it come with sounds?

some applications synthesize their own sounds. others interface with midi instruments. if you need samples you can either make your own or check out


isn't it just a bunch of buttons with lights?

yes, isn't it wonderful? by having separate light and button systems, the device can be reconfigured infinitely. new applications and uses are continually being explored and invented.