….Thinking of getting my first Monome

Nov 1, 2010 at 12:21am

….Thinking of getting my first Monome

Would you guys recommend one? I know that it would be a great little device of generating midi into max and could have endless amounts of fun launching buffers with this and loops :).
Would like your thoughts on the devices and if so what size would you recommend think 64 is plenty big enough?

Nov 1, 2010 at 1:25am

I personally love he monome design, I think it’s incredibly versatile, especially when paired with max. 64 is plenty big enough but the more buttons you have the more options you can have (although, if you ask me, inventive programming with a 64 can give you nearly infinite amount of controls anyway).

It sounds like you might find this interesting…


Nov 1, 2010 at 3:09am

The 64 is definitely a good size, but if you look at apps like Obo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0S_zWQ8tu88) it’s pretty clear that having more buttons can also be nice. In the end it’s up to your personal preference. I opted to build my own 64 (http://docs.monome.org/doku.php?id=tech:mk), and it went pretty smoothly. I love the open-source approach of the monome.org group, and there is a really great community around it as well.

Nov 1, 2010 at 3:47am

The minimalist monome thing is visually appealing, but I pretty much always want a few meta-buttons and some knobs, so I went with the Livid Instruments Block:


Nov 1, 2010 at 3:50am

i started with a walnut64 3 years ago, created the app C¥¶€R for it:
then built 2 40h kits which inspired me to make MonoMahna:
along the way, writing externals for certain things made it even more fun:
and now, it’s grown into an obsession:

i’d recommend 128 or higher(more fun)… but 64 is still very versatile(everything’s as versatile as you are able to see and make it).

there is some work, there is a certain mindset,
it is for some, not for others:
the fun part is the open-endedness… your thinking perhaps even your brain develops into a new form, new connections… detection of button-presses is decoupled from led on/offs, words fail me, but… the process of building your own interface on the monome is transparent to the process of building your own max patch with its own interactivity and expressiveness becoming as simple and natural as making any mere original utterance.

Nov 1, 2010 at 4:28am

Hello dthomas,

I just bought my monome 128 a month ago and it’s opening up new doors having an open tool to program. I’m not sure how advanced your max skills are but mine were close to nothing until I received my monome. I’m already coming close to finishing my m4l patch that will have a step sequencer, 2 drum racks, and some faders. Having a device that’s adaptable will move your visions forward.

+ “the fun part is the open-endedness”


Nov 1, 2010 at 9:20am

agreed, if I had one I’d probably use the bottom 2 rows for “meta-buttons” which change presets or activate toggles etc. This way you still have 6 tracks that all do the same thing, but the last two change overall settings in some way (dependent on your patch). Also you can re-use bpatchers for the top 6 rows, each with its own bank of presets or pattrs.

Nov 1, 2010 at 2:26pm

Thank you everyone for your posts and links to other threads corresponding to the monome. I would really like to get the 128 but as I am living in the UK delivery does not come cheap for such a device :( do they offer parts for the 128 to buy separately? Or should I just opt for the 64 because it is priced cheaper (I know delivery is only £20 difference really between the 128 and 64).

Nov 1, 2010 at 3:06pm

There’s no easy answer to that question: take a long, hard look at the current applications and try to work out which ones benefit from 16×8 buttons and which ones work on 8×8.

I have a 128 and a 64 (one of which I took delivery of in Prague, to maximise my experience of teetering bureaucracies, the other of which was delivered here in London). I’ve done most of my development work on the 128 (as in http://vimeo.com/2260727 ) but these days I use the 64 more often, as it’s smaller and more focussed to work with.

Nov 13, 2010 at 10:26pm

Buy the mk-kit.
It got me a 64 for 220usd
I now allso want to expand to a 128.
I just need to order another keypad and driver.
One 128kit is 380usd.
all kits will be available again next month.

Nov 16, 2010 at 11:18am

@stufflin what exactly comes with the mk-kit? Is it practically everything you need to get your monome up and running bar the leds? So all I really need is a soldering iron some solder (which I have) and then I can get it up and running? Silly question sorry.

Nov 16, 2010 at 11:47am

don’t underestimate the price and hassle of boxing and getting a faceplate done for your self build monome. i have a sparkfun arduinome 64 and a grayscale 64. the grayscale is expensive but very nice and i much prefer it to the arduinome i built. the arduinome is about half as big again as my grayscale and takes up a lot of desk real estate. wouldn’t trade either for anything though!

me and a few mates built 4 arduinomes. here they are in action:


Nov 16, 2010 at 6:42pm

its all on monome.org
kit is everything except;
you only need to buy 64 leds and a faceplate (at praxworld.com.)
and offcourse build an enclosure.
i tried to dremel a faceplate>>>not advised, pain in the ass.


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