The primary features of monome devices are tactile and visual feedback. the decoupled design allows for clear response and intuitive play. when you push a key or turn an encoder 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. all decision making is controlled by the chosen application running on the computer.
monome devices are interactive tools with a focus on minimalism. simplicity in design impose creative constraints that temper the endless reprogrammable possibilities. the ability to determine how input and output functions can present unlimited possibilities for interaction.
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, we’ve collected a large and growing number of tutorials, examples, and libraries for integrating our hardware into various frameworks. see the documentation
who writes these applications?
many of the original patches were written by tehn who also designed the hardware. most were written by the fantastic community of users who share their work.
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.
there are a few monome emulators available which work relatively well.
will you add (some feature) to (some application)?
we didn’t write most of the applications shared on our wiki. the forum is a good place to discuss and encourage ongoing application development. be respectful! applications are shared by the good will of our community members.
will it work on os x, windows, linux?
os x and windows are fully supported. linux support is very good, though does not enjoy the same level of integration largely because max/msp and similar packages are not supported in linux.
in general mac installation is the most straightforward. as a forewarning we have found windows installations to be more problematic, though most users get set up without issues. help is always available.
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?
• Ableton live is presently supported very well, through max for live and other bridge applications written by community members. this is not the same tight integration you’d see using ableton-branded hardware, though in numerous ways monome devices provide more flexibility.
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 freesound.org.
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 invented.