changes. travels. is open to possibilities.

norns is many sound instruments. it connects to grids, MIDI and other objects. norns lets you define its behavior with scripts and DSP.

past. present. future. norns is many tomorrows.

what is it really?

norns is a small, portable sound computer that dynamically runs scripts and DSP, such as:

  • sample-cutter (using a grid, aka mlr)
  • polysynth (connect a MIDI keyboard)
  • algorithmic drum machine (MIDI CC-mapped)
  • drone box (no input)
  • granulator (controlled via OSC using a phone or tablet)
  • asynchronous looper (stompbox-style)
  • polyphasic sequencer (using a USB-CV interface to control modular synths)

these are just a few examples. scripts can be created or modified to completely alter the functionality of the system. we maintain a growing repository of scripts which means the machine will continue to have new possibilities.

norns is designed to be changed, encouraging customization and invention.


norns connects via WIFI where you can then use a computer to edit scripts through a web interface.

scripts are written in a simple programming language called Lua. scripts manage the keys and knobs and screen-- they're also where grids and midi and metronomes happen. scripts choose which sound engine to use and then control its parameters. sound engines are made with SuperCollider and are also fully customizable.

everything is stored internally. once editing is done, instruments just work when run from the onboard selector.

we've created studies to help get started. or you can just browse the library of prebuilt instruments.


norns was made possible with the support of a vibrant international community who have been enthusiastic to engage and share new explorations in instrument design.

norns is open source and continues to grow with the generous efforts of many contributors.

for a more detailed and conversational explanation of norns, see the slow unfolding introduction.



  • 1/4". 2 output. 2 input. all line level.
  • 1/4" headphone with gain.


  • 128 x 64 OLED, 16-level bright white huge pixels.
  • 3 rotary encoders, standard resolution.
  • 3 keys.
  • rear status LED indicating power and disk access.


  • 4 x USB ports for devices.
  • serial tty via USB-mini.


  • power/charge via USB-mini (high output USB power supply included).
  • internal lipo battery 2250mAh.


  • compute module 3 SoC. quad core 1.2ghz, 1gb RAM, 4gb eMMC.
  • cs4270 i2s audio codec (low latency).


  • linux with realtime kernel.


  • 6.2" x 4.0" x 0.8"
  • 1.2 lbs.
  • milled aluminum, hard anodized