April 12, 2006


by Chris Randall

This is the monome, probably the first to actual market of the slew of upcoming multi-button interfaces. It will be available in two sizes (8x8 and 16x16) and includes an application which allows you to determine how it will work, and to intercept MIDI data for it. The 8x8 one is going to be available shortly for $500. No price or availability on the 16x16 one. There is a short movie here which will illuminate you as to what it is for. I can't see this being terribly useful in a studio environment, but it might be nice live for improvisational loop performance. (Which is tedious to watch, but fun to do.) Thanks to Chris O'Shea for the heads-up.



Apr.12.2006 @ 6:26 PM
oh man, *drool*

Apr.12.2006 @ 7:04 PM
For something that is neat in a Fruity Loops kind of way, I'm always surprised when these things hit market at such a high price point.

At $150, I, and probably the Fruity Loops legion, would be all over this. At $500 for 8x8, it leaves me thinking that I could easily assign these functions to a MIDI keyboard and do without the neatness factor.


Apr.12.2006 @ 7:55 PM
c'mon now.
you get what you pay for.

$500 is pretty fair (if not terribly cheap) for a product that is itself unique and inspiring.


Apr.12.2006 @ 8:25 PM
I visualize a huddle of Fruity enthusiasts surrounding the person using this thing live in some sweatbox performing some Hawtin type stuff..The owner of the monome has the highest Fruity cred amongst them all.
All jokin aside its gonna get great stage cred...all the Fruitons will be on ya Dilz!

Apr.12.2006 @ 8:54 PM
I'm just saying at $150, it would seem like a no-brainer (which is just the right level for the Fruity legions).

At $500, I look at it and wonder if it really would do much more than what I could rig together with some cheap mass-market MIDI gear. Might not be as cool to look at, but that's why they invented gogo dancers.


Apr.13.2006 @ 2:40 PM
$500 is reasonable. If this product were made by some huge corporation like Yamaha, it would be unreasonable.

From what I gather here,

link [monome.org/procss.ph...]">link [monome.org]

Monome basically looks like a super well orgranized DIY project. That in itself makes the 8x8 worth every penny. To my understanding it also ships with open source firmware and drivers for all platforms, and a variety of software tools.


Apr.13.2006 @ 6:10 PM
If they made this with a built in sampler, I would be all over it! A cool little box that one could use for live improv style music, or a couple people could sync together and do some sort of multi-person live thing... it is really neat. There is something to be said about a cool little self contained music machine.

But, if I have to hook it up to a laptop, I wouldn't use it. I wrote my own software for live performance that does the same thing, but mapped over to the computer keyboard. It is probably just as easy to use (but doesn't have the same nifty facto with glowing buttonsr).


Apr.14.2006 @ 4:02 AM
I would have to say that 500 bucks is somewhat steep/yet still somewhat a good deal (being the whole DIY thing)...the 16x16 version is a beast, and for most musicians, I wouldn't see why the 8x8 wouldn't be more than enough.

I think we've gotten used to companies like M-Audio and Behringer cranking out shoddily-made products with flimsy materials on the cheap. But hey, if I had 500, I'd totally get this. It's one of those devices that could really transform your music out of just using a mouse all the time...

Oh, and I was wondering if anyone knows of any good Mac software that is akin to an emulation of this hardware. I tried Alphabet Soup, which you can play via the keyboard, but it was too simplistic, and when you start one sample, you have to turn it off if you want to cut to another one, unlike the monome.
Please let me know, thanks!


Apr.15.2006 @ 6:56 PM
Having looked a little closer at it, I've softened on the price a bit.

But, I've been wondering about the functionality of it. Just how easy will it be to map its buttons and lights to other software?


Apr.16.2006 @ 3:33 PM
Man, I think you all are missing some of the key reasons why this is cool. Sure, you could trigger different parts of a loop on your midi-keyb or your qwerty, but this thing lights up! That means it gives you visual feedback without have to look at your computer screen. It also has tactile feedback from the buttons (unlike Jazzmutant's Lemur). Watching someone perform with this thing would be a whole lot cooler (to me) than watching the proverbial "e-mail checking" performance that is all too frequent at some electronic music shows.



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