The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Synths for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Let's talk about the monome for live performance
Old 6th August 2011
  #1
Let's talk about the monome for live performance

Hey guyz

All the current monome threads are at least a year old, so I figured I'd open up a new one.

I've been jamming with a bunch of musicians lately (guitars, bass, live drums) using my laptop, primarily covering drum and synth duties, triggering loops, arpegs, etc. Controller-wise, my setup is currently Maschine, a Novation remote 25, and my APC 20. I gotta say, the APC is on its way out. I used to have a 40, but it was just too damn BIG so I sold it for the 20. Can't stand how the 20 controls effects sends/basic navigation (and it needs a wall wart ), so that's on its way out too. I've been researching the novation launchpad or the possibility of some kind of ipad/android tablet, but when I noticed that monome was gearing up for another run, I found myself intrigued.

No doubt a big step up in terms of price, the monome just looks so much sexier than the competition - even the touch screens! Looks aside, it seems to have nearly unlimited functionality if you're willing to take the time to
learn it inside out; I've seen videos of people doing VERY cool things with them (programming every pad as a fifth of the pads around it, crazy step sequenceing, etc).

Who has/uses a monome, either in the studio or live? How do you use it? What do you use it for? What programs do you use it with? Is it really worth the price, or should I just stick with the current mass-produced offerings and/or get an iPad? How could I make it an integral part of my set, an actual instrument instead of an expensive clip launch/step sequencer? ANY INPUT IS APPRECIATED

Old 6th August 2011
  #2
ark
Lives for gear
 

In order to use a Monome effectively, you need to do one of two things: (1) Find a Monome app that does what you want, or (2) write your own.

So, for example, you cannot just plug a Monome into a computer running Ableton Live and expect to use it the way you'd use a Launchpad. You can't even map it manually in native mode, because it doesn't send MIDI.

What you can do is download an app such as 7up Live, which gives you a variety of interesting functionality. You do, however, absolutely need Max for Live in order to go that route.

So... If you're thinking about a Monome, you should be prepared to spend a lot of time learning how to get it to do what you want. If that's what you want to do, it's great. If, on the other hand, you want something compact that will give you more power over Live out of the box, a Launchpad will get you off the ground much faster and for much less money.
Old 6th August 2011
  #3
I have some background with OSC apps, i've used OSCulator with touchOSC on my android phone, and messed around with the 40h app and M4L, but never enough to really understand it. Some of the other threads had links to other resources, which I've been reading, but I was hoping to get some examples from forumites of cool/unconventional monome uses.
Old 6th August 2011
  #4
Gear Addict
 
giorgio's Avatar
 

i found everything about the monome to me was that it required too much setup to use live (or at all for me) I need an instrument that I can just play whatever on. YMMV
Old 6th August 2011
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
oopfoo's Avatar
I concur with the general sentiment about the Monome. Even as a Max user, I didn't really want to have to constantly deal with application issues and "shims" between me and my equipment, particularly for a simple pushbutton interface.

The APC40 and Novation alternatives work okay...and they don't require all the work..but OP is correct is stating they just aren't quite right.

The Lemur (which I sold) and now the TouchOSC apps on my two iPads have been my favorites to this point. Not perfect...the shims are still there...but they're customizable and easy to use. Add an Alesis iDock and you've got a nice general-purpose unit.

I'd look at the Livid Instruments stuff, too, if I were you. The Ohm64 and the Code are pretty nice.
Old 6th August 2011
  #6
Had a monome 128 sold it after a year. Too much setup headaches and hassle. All the soft for it is pretty buggy an unreliable as it is most a diy affair. Unless you are a very technical and skilled at programming max msp I would avoid it. For that price I would get an ipad with some cool sequencer apps.
Thats what I did
Old 6th August 2011
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
bs333's Avatar
 

A Monome is a very inspiring tool/instrument. I've never owned one but I have an iPad/touchOSC app that emulates a Monome. You should check out the monome.org message boards for some launchpad or APC emulations before you spring for a monome. Sure it's a bit of work to set a Monome up when you compare the process to playing a VST or something but it's not that difficult and the documentation is excellent. It's definitely less work than busting your ass 40+ hours a week to buy a Voyager or something. Besides, if you think the Monome could inspire you to make music then you should go for it.
Old 7th August 2011
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Monomes are cool. I've used one before that belong to someone else. He had set up an emulator running Zelda to trigger sounds when Link moved, twirled his sword, etc. The monome changed what sounds were made and could make little loops of it. It was a blast, but said fellow is completing a master's degree in computing science (actually Humanities Computing, but that's a pretty new department idea). And he worked on it for a couple months.

It was really pretty great-feeling though. Those buttons were really nice to use. Visual and tactile response/feedback was awesome.

I have an Ohm 64 and I'm selling it. The Livid stuff is without a doubt cheaper than the Monome and generally have more options as well (faders, knobs, endless encoders on some things). However, I really dislike how it feels. The faders have no resistance at all, which some people probably like but for me makes fine adjustments much harder. Bumping it can shift the faders. The buttons are not particularly responsive if you're re-triggering quickly. Also, no velocity.

I don't like the knobs, but I also think that what I don't like about them would be remedied by more use than I've ever given it, which is maybe telling - it doesn't inspire me to use it. I've always looked at it and thought I should put time into setting it up, but I've never actually felt like meaningfully starting the build process.

Build quality is surprisingly flimsy feeling to me. It would be very easy for the faders esp. to break off. I also am pretty darn sure I could bend it with my hands if I put in some effort (as a result of thinking this, I have never tried to bend it in my hands, so maybe I'm just imagining it). Mine arrived bent and unbalanced, but I'm almost positive that's from the Canadian border people.

Livid does have amazing customer service and overall I think they're great people with a well-designed product. I think there are some build issues, and from my standpoint I think they're a little bit over-priced because of that. Mine is also the one with the all-aluminum chassis and the wooden ends. I know a person who has the design that has the faceplate sunk into a larger piece of wood and it feels much, much sturdier, although it still suffers from the easy-to break faders.

Ultimately I don't think either of them are particularly hard to use, but they are dependent on your to define how you're going to use them. The more complex functionality you want, the more work you will have to put in to achieve it.

But really, that's the case for absolutely everything....



Edit: I would really love the Ohm 64 for video stuff. I've only done a little bit of that but to me it feels best for that. I've never enjoyed using it for audio stuff (but I know a lot of people do, including some people I know personally).

I think it would be a lot of work (which is not a bad thing!) to make it a unique instrument, and I think the monome-style layout lends itself very much to sequencing and clip triggering.
Old 7th August 2011
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Also, this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bs333 View Post
Besides, if you think the Monome could inspire you to make music then you should go for it.
Old 8th August 2011
  #10
Thanks for the input everyone ! After much deliberation, I've decided that I'm going to pass on the monome for now. As cool/sexy as it is, I just don't have the time/patience/know-how to be my own programmer/tech support right now (this is part of the reason why I sold my trigger finger).

I think I'm going to sell my APC and pick up a launchpad. At the very least I won't have to deal with wall warts anymore.
Old 9th August 2011
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aunshui View Post
Hey guyz

All the current monome threads are at least a year old, so I figured I'd open up a new one.

I've been jamming with a bunch of musicians lately (guitars, bass, live drums) using my laptop, primarily covering drum and synth duties, triggering loops, arpegs, etc. Controller-wise, my setup is currently Maschine, a Novation remote 25, and my APC 20. I gotta say, the APC is on its way out. I used to have a 40, but it was just too damn BIG so I sold it for the 20. Can't stand how the 20 controls effects sends/basic navigation (and it needs a wall wart ), so that's on its way out too. I've been researching the novation launchpad or the possibility of some kind of ipad/android tablet, but when I noticed that monome was gearing up for another run, I found myself intrigued.

No doubt a big step up in terms of price, the monome just looks so much sexier than the competition - even the touch screens! Looks aside, it seems to have nearly unlimited functionality if you're willing to take the time to
learn it inside out; I've seen videos of people doing VERY cool things with them (programming every pad as a fifth of the pads around it, crazy step sequenceing, etc).

Who has/uses a monome, either in the studio or live? How do you use it? What do you use it for? What programs do you use it with? Is it really worth the price, or should I just stick with the current mass-produced offerings and/or get an iPad? How could I make it an integral part of my set, an actual instrument instead of an expensive clip launch/step sequencer? ANY INPUT IS APPRECIATED

I personally do not own a Monome but my friend has one and uses it exclusively with Max/MSP. Max seems to be the best and most logical choice for a programming environment to use it in. What everyone has said before is correct, you really either need to find a patch that someone else has made that does what you want or write your own. Either way you are looking at not only a deep financial investment, but a pretty strong time investment too if you want to get the most out of it. The Monome is a great choice if you have a desire to program and really make the instrument your own. If programming or learning the fundamentals of OSC (which is what the Monome runs best transmitting) isn't really your thing, then you may find yourself overwhelmed and disappointed with the rather steep purchase price. Great tools require great dedication and the Monome is no different.

I would think hard before selling your APC20 though, I love the 20 and the 40 personally, and a lot of really awesome patches are being written for those devices since Max 4 Live has become more prominent the last year or so. Many of the features that made the Monome really appealing are being adapted in full for the APC. Just a thought
Old 9th August 2011
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aunshui View Post
Thanks for the input everyone ! After much deliberation, I've decided that I'm going to pass on the monome for now. As cool/sexy as it is, I just don't have the time/patience/know-how to be my own programmer/tech support right now (this is part of the reason why I sold my trigger finger).

I think I'm going to sell my APC and pick up a launchpad. At the very least I won't have to deal with wall warts anymore.
sorry didn't see your next post . the Launchpad is a nice addition and yeah I totally get where you are coming from with the power cable situation with the APC20 and 40. It can get annoying at times
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump