Monome

monome

Monome is a family of interface devices for computers made by a Pennsylvania company of the same name. Despite being produced irregularly in small quantities since its introduction in 2006, the Monome button-grid controller has had a significant impact on electronic music. Together with the physically similar Yamaha Tenori-On, which was released a year later in 2007, the monome inspired interest in minimalist, grid-based music controllers. That interest spawned hobbyist projects like the Arduinome and commercial products like the Akai APC40 and the Novation Launchpad. The Monome has a minimalist design. It is simply a box with no letters or labels. There are random buttons that are back-lit. The box that holds the monome is entirely made up of timber, usually walnut. Notable users include deadmau5, Flying Lotus, Daedelus, and Nine Inch Nails contributor Alessandro Cortini.

Monome devices do not produce any sound on their own; they must be connected to a computer. A core design principle of the Monome is that it is not intended for any one specific application — the function of each button and the decision as to which lights are lit are completely up to the software communicating with the device over the Open Sound Control protocol. Several models have been produced, with typical sizes ranging from 64 to 256 buttons — plus a very limited run of 512-button devices. Monome applications span a wide variety of capabilities. Several applications provide sample sequencing capabilities. One such application is MLR, an application that allows for live sequencing and re-cutting of samples. There are also many applications that allow for synthesis either via their own internal synthesizers or by sending MIDI/OSC messages to external synthesizers.

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