Why so many monome sales?

  • Just curious - why are you selling your monome? Is it that you don't use max, or don't have/want to take the time to make something personal for yourself?

    If it's a patch issue, what kind of patches would you like to see? I'd love to make some stuff if anyone feels like that magic patch they want doesnt exist - and making monome patches will just help me flext my max muscles.

    I'd love to hear from some of these sellers. I'm sure you've all got your own reasons and that's totally fine, but if i can do anything, i'd love to help :)

  • I'm the same way, but there was a time when i bought my GS 128 - which i love - that bastard is the most solid piece of gear i've owned!

    Where i am financially it's not possible for me to be a monomeaholic, but oh yes, that will happen - definitely.

    I'm aware of the many sales that occur for the sake of upgrading to a larger size as well. I'd sell my GS 128 if i had the extra money for a 256 varibright - all in good time tho!

    I'm not the best max programmer yet, but i want to grow beyond isomorphic keyboards - working more with resampling and synths based in max - but if anyone has ideas for patches, throw 'em out and i'm sure i'll be inspired :)

  • i'm a monomaholic as well, recovering, but still using. i have a lot of personal obligations to attend to right now or else i would buy more (probably an arc 4)
    expect a large sale from me soon.. :/

  • i'd wager a fair number of people see a cool MLR video and think to themselves 'that looks easy, i can do that.'

    the reality is, it takes a little more effort than a lot of people are willing to go through. personally i wanted a monome for years but once i could run a proper emulation on the block i found i didn't really like MLR, i find it to be clunky.

    i do find other's work with MLR to be very impressive, it just doesn't work for me. i'll bet a fair number of people have a similar experience. i'm a pretty decent programmer so i just make my own patches, but for the common user, the monome experience is a little complex.

  • @Misk
    I would love it if you would make a quick monomer_midi_256 patch!
    I have been using Insanity 2 for ages but I am having some problems with lights turning on from wrong messages. In monome base there is a nice midi patch for both 64 and 128 but none for the 256. Is this something you would be able to do? I can give you some of my music for free as a symbolic payment if you want.

    Feel free to answer here or email me at kristoffer dot lislegaard at gmail dot com.

  • The Monome experience is a bit complex - and it can be hard to balance the time between making tools to make the music that you envision, and actually making that music. I would imagine that's why Ableton's push appeals to so many people - you can get in there and just do it - though it's very limited.

    But consider the reality - if you want to sound like everyone else, you acquire the tools everyone else uses.

    You want to make and EDM Anthem, then you're gonna use Sylenth1 just like everyone does. That's valid, if it's what one chooses to do, or that path appeals to them - deffo not knocking it.

    But all the artists that have truly developed their own sound, that resonates with their own voice, have pushed the boundaries - and to me, that's what's at the core of the Monome philosophy.

    Sure, it's daunting at first (wait, there isn't just an INSTALLER for this hardware? WTF?) but i urge people to get into it. download the 30 day trial of max and poke around. make things!

    Hell, that's what Amon Tobin did - with his Pacarana - and that thing's a bitch to learn - but look where it's taken him.

    I suppose this is really just an extension of the same old argument - are you gonna rinse presets from your new synth, or delete them immediately and see what you can make it really do?

  • @KristofferLislegaard - my problem is i only own a 128 - but i don't see why i couldn't just build the same thing for a 256.

    Truthfully there's so much I don't know about max and developing for the monome - but what you're asking for is something i've been thinking of throwing together recently - just a nice quick chromatic midi note generator - for drums, or keys or whatever - that's what you're thinking right?

    shoot me a PM man, and i'll get on it! why the hell not - i've been upping my max game lately, and i wanna put my license to the most use I can!

  • @misk
    Just sent you a pm ;)

  • I sold my arc because over a couple years i could never consistantly get any of the apps i liked to run on my system. Between Max version changes, serialosc problems and OSX updates, nothing ever worked for long for me.

    I kept my grid hoping it would work with my aleph and it does.

  • I recently sold my Monome 128 and a kit that I assembled for financial reasons. It was a matter of how much I used it versus how much I needed the money.

    However, I still love the Monome and I decided that if I were to get another one I would learn Max MSP to be able to use it to its full potential.

  • sold a 128 three years ago
    loved it to death but, at the time, it was my only piece of gear with decent resale value

  • i just sold my 128. i've always loved the design and idea of the monome, it's just a bit too much getting into the nuts and bolts of things for my taste. there is always some driver that doesn't work and i can't figure out which version of an app works with the updated os on my computer and everything crashes and i don't know why and i just want to tear my hair out. and i'm quite tech-savvy as well, so read through the forums and figure stuff out and get stuff working somewhat, but that's not really how i wanna spend my nights. i guess i want stuff to just work and not have to think about it.

    i wish i was more into the programming side of it, i really do. but i'm just not. so now it's just ableton live. no controllers no nothing. simple and stable and i get shit done. and if i get tired of the computer screen i play with my op-1 or my octatrack. good fun.

    (buuuut....i'll probably end up missing my monome like crazy in a few months time and i'll buy a new one...)

  • @Clarknova I fully understand what you mean there. I got into monome culture actually through a launchpad emulator called Nonome back in the day - and when i had the (student loan) money, i got a 128. Given my degree was in electro acoustic composition - i was even able to get my professor to back me up on the need for said purchase for school, as we used max in a lot of our work - and I explained it was my "instrument".

    I understand the feeling of wanting to throw your first monome through a window when you're first getting into it!

    What I dig the most about the process one goes through when buying a monome, is that moment when you realize that it's really limited only by your creativity, and you start to dig into patches and make weird shit.

    it's really empowering, and I think it's turned a lot of musicians into what i see emerging more and more, a sort of 'musician-programmer' - yet much of the music monome artists are writing is not academic and intellectual, as they initially approached their work as a musician, hence they adapt their creative programming to the same end.

  • I want to sell my maple 128 to upgrade to a 256 eventually. As far as apps go, I would really like to see a sequencer like Mark eats sequencer combined with stretta's 'plane.' Mark's sequencer limits you to the size of your monome, yet it's a solid sequencer, and stretta's plane has unlimited lengths of clips but doesn't have as many layered sequencing/launching options.

  • I'm selling my gs128 mainly because music creation is a second-tier hobby for me. As such I just haven't had the time to devote to making music, and when I do I prefer grab-and-go, computer-independent devices, including guitar and bass. This may be heretical to admit on the monome forum, but when it comes to a grid I use my Tenori-on way more than my 128. Despite the TO's limitations I can turn it on and be making layers of sounds in a matter of seconds or use it to sequence an analog synth without a computer in sight. I got tired of connecting the monome, waiting for Max to load, then waiting for a patch to load (and often troubleshooting errors), then trying to sort out how to route the audio to be able to record my output.

    I'd love to explore more with the 128 and am selling somewhat reluctantly, but without some extra hours in the day to devote to it that ain't gonna happen.

  • "music creation is a second-tier hobby for me"


    completely understand your stance

  • @misk yeah, i hear what you're saying, and i like the idea of that - having time to learn max/msp and make the ultimate sampler/looper that's tailor made for me and then share it with the world. i love the idea of that too, just like i love the idea of writing a novel or walking the appalachian trail or building a tiny house. the problem is, as always, time and priorities. i work with television and that's a time sucker for sure, but i have six months of vacation coming up so maybe i will start looking into programming then. we'll see. i still have a wonky old 40h i can use.

  • people misunderstand completely what it says on the front page about the open nature of the device. most will see the grid as a device that is like some magic instrument out of the box instead of the bare bones collection of buttons and leds that it is.

    most don't care for the sweat and tears to get to the point of effortless looking music making in the videos. i think many will decide to sell when they get to this realization.

    those that don't want to get into a patch in PD, SC, or max will be further at a a loss, IMO. half the fun for me is pulling apart patches and poking around.

  • I have a self built Arduinome 128 and it was MLR that got me into monome in the first place.

    I can program in Max, I can work most any audio application that you throw at me and work in the audio industry for a living. I write and output music regularly. https://soundcloud.com/herringson

    That said I have struggled with the complexity of getting consistent musical output from my grid and related apps. Some of this is due to the fact I don't have a legit grid device but a lot of it is not.

    The whole monomeserial->serialosc thing has been a massive pain and has meant I'm constantly having to think about which version of an app or which version of max I need to use to make something work. I understand the perspective that the monome is a box with leds that does nothing and can do anything, however I feel a lot of people go into monome becuase of the apps and community.

    The apps feel somewhat fragmented at the moment, I guess I'm missing that killer reason to use my grid. The original MLR is great but a bit limited, MLRv is a spaceship from the future but is also a bit demanding on the CPU and has never played nice with Max and rewire for me so is hard to integrate. There are some great MLR->M4L ports but they are all out of date and buggy from what I can tell and also mostly don't work with serialosc.

    When I look around my desk of musical gadgets (which is not a big desk nor a large number of gadgets) I just don't have the same reason to go to the grid as it's not going to necessarily help me get to some musical output, I always end up trouble shooting and messing around with Max versions and settings and crashes. I would imagine this contributes heavily to why people would leave their grid behind.

    This all said, I still am working towards making my own apps for my grid that do what I need, it's a long slow learning curve but I'm getting there. I hope one day to use the grid as the key part of my music making if I can hit on the right balance of simplicity and stability for it to be a solid part of my setup.

    I'd love to see a small set of unique, simple(this bit is important) and stable Max and M4L apps from monome or the community that perform well in modern versions of Max, are easy to setup and integrate well in a wider musical context to keep brining me back to my grid.

    I'm not selling mine, I built it, invested time and energy in it and learnt from it.
    I hope to also include it more in my music making in future but it's slow going.

  • I have always wanted a monome since the first kits, but could never afford them. Now when I can afford them, my situations has changed and it seems that I don't have the time for them. Im still learning music production and I'm sure that some day I will find myself ordering new ones!
    My biggest reason for selling is that for me, the start up time is to long. I only have 30-60min per session on the evenings. So spending 10-15 min setting up grid+arc was too long. So convenience win over awesomeness, good looks and freedom. For the moment.

    So too really be able too keep mine, it would be necessary to be able to just plug the arc to ableton and have it to instantly recognise it and to recall settings from the project. I know this kind of defeats the purpose of the monome/arc and that it should not be tied to a specific environment and that its purpose is much bigger then this.

    PS. I still have the Arc4 for sale ;)

  • I have no doubt I'll come full circle and end up with a monome aleph combo eventually

    as stated elsewhere on the forums
    monome got me into aalto / rodrigos amazing app monolase
    aalto got me into the soundplane
    monome/soundplane all wrapped me heavily in a blanket of PD and MAX
    monolase sent me down the ciat-lonbarde rabbit hole
    I found a like minded synthesist in that there P.etroleum B.ottle
    I dropped all my computing and went for analog banana patching based on my max/PD/monome/aalto experiences

    I had a 40h at one point and a 256 vari that was just gorgeous
    the 40h was a crazy good price and I never really could justify having bought it other than not being able to fully justify a 256. Which I eventually did and it was good. Between the extra real estate and the variable brightness I got along very well with the 256.

  • There's several stages to any hobby. Awereness, Learning, Trying & Practice and then Sharing.
    You need to dedicate a fair amount of time and not let frustrations stop you when you are in the learning and practicing stages. Most people see these awesome monome videos and want to do it themselves immediately and buy a device. There's no warning that you'll need to spend many hours to get to that stage and many will lose interest when they realize it takes several steps to get good and efficient at it.
    But unlike learning piano or guitar, I can't just leave it aside for many months and pick it up and use it right away. In many monome cases it sits to the side, reminding you of the last frustrating experience and then when you try a few months later, your OS is updated they moved from one OSC router to another. Trying to get back into my Monomes after a few years hiatus was just like relearning to setup the device all over again.

  • @c1t1zen
    point taken on the setup process. there was a very long thread a few weeks back that we've been using to critique & update the current process. a streamlined version is on the way.

    on a personal level i'd actually say i had a very similar piano experience to your monome experience! every time i plug in my midi keyboard i'm imagining the great progressions and melodies i've heard others play but then am endlessly frustrated with my ability / memory / coordination when i actually start to play... i think 'learning the monome' has accelerated my search for an individual sound aesthetic much faster than had i spent 5 years devoting myself to learning piano. this is a strange hypothetical!

    *on topic*
    there's definitely more devices available for sale/trade on the forum these days which could simply be an indicator of the growing number of devices in existence. the gradual decline in resale value might also make for slower-to-sell devices, which creates an appearance of additional sales via many thread bumps.

  • I think there are a few devices/instruments I could rattle off that I went through the to learning and practicing and then giving up, selling, and then coming back to years later (MIDI converters, Piano, etc.) and feeling like starting all over again. But with the Monome I had taken the Max classes with Tehn and really got to see the guts and tinker and make it my own. I knew it wasn't their fault the OSes keep updating and switching to a more universal OSC patcher was smart for their latest devices.
    In the end the Grid or Arc might not even be an instrument the owner originally saw as acquainted to their style.
    I think the thread bumps are a large part of the perception of many sales. I notice a lot of European sales...or are they bumping harder!?

  • I did some analysis of resale values based on the community trade list a few months ago in this thread


  • I can see myself as being one of those newer users that are partly frustrated and partly gratified. Some of the midi apps, in particular Polygomé, Decisions, Insanity, Dharmawheels really did it for me... plug'n'play doors into a totally different direction / dimension from what I'm accustomed to. I feel I've had instruments that allowed me to go to other parts of my expressivity.
    OTOH I am still stumped by most of the sampling-based apps: MLRV, Party Van, etc just require proportionally too much of my limited free time just to be set up correctly. I really wish I could "just plug in a guitar" and do a Johnny Greenwood so to speak, but in reality this could only happen if I'd dedicate a whole weekend just to that, period.
    All of this to say that other grid instruments out there probably offer much more in terms of the effort/result ratio and will probably continue to attract those who are looking for some kind of immediate musical gratification. I'm holding on to my 64 and arcs because they also represent "something" to me, something that has to do with the passion, creativity and care that Brian, Kelly and everyone else put into them which are values that I believe are worth defending in other instances of our productive / professional lives.
    And yeah - them monomes look cool as hell :-))

  • thats wild

    i am the exact opposite (mlr's, tpv, and the few other sampling apps are all i use)

    currently trying to figure out midi to use arc and grid apps but havent had much time to sort out mapping/cc and all of that

  • i'll be the first to admit that i'm addicted to possibility. I'm addicted to grandiose visions of what open-ended hardware can do - and when you combine that with max, i can be really screwed.

    I'll fall into a project only to come up for air weeks later - probably due to a combination of an unquenchable thirst for knowledge for anything relating to audio and sound, and the desire to make manifest an idea that i feel will bring my music closer to my initial vision.

    I still consider myself very new to max, and newer to other languages (lets keep the "max isn't a real language out of this one ;) - but i keep pushing at it. What's important to me is to constantly remind myself of the true end goal - which is for me, finishing music that i'm proud of.

    Finding a balance between these two paths is hard - and i could use some self-discipline at times!

    "on a personal level i'd actually say i had a very similar piano experience to your monome experience! every time i plug in my midi keyboard i'm imagining the great progressions and melodies i've heard others play but then am endlessly frustrated with my ability / memory / coordination when i actually start to play... "

    I know all too well where you're coming from there man. I had this great weighted MIDI keyboard, and i would pour over notation, slowly trying to work it out. I can "theory" around a keyboard, but it takes time, and if it weren't for modern sequencers and multiple takes not costing more tape, i'd be screwed :P

    Regarding the need for a more streamlined setup process - i agree. At the moment i'm pretty much not touching a patch that's not running serialosc right now, and I admit it's because i don't want to deal with the extra time spent tinkering to get everything working.

    It seems a streamlined setup package would be incredibly beneficial to newcomers - as well as some sort of package of patches that come with a newly-purchased device (except for Aleph, which kind of comes with everything).

    Even better, experimenting with compiling standalone apps from max projects that can be included, so new users can literally play with a device out of the box.

    I'm sure that I know too little about too much to realize how complex all of this would be to implement - but if that was an end goal - then i've got a feeling more people would associate the word "monome" with "pick up and play" - but the possibilities of open-source development that still appeal to us geeks would be there. it seems like the community that currently exists is going to, to a small extent, determine how user-friendly we want these things to be.

    Tehn can only do so much, and I know there are many others working hard as well - i guess i'm ready to step up.

    for the record, gimmie a while though, i'm just starting to make SUPER basic multi-page patches, and i'm hardly following any of the serialosc standards in my patches. haha, you're done using it? sure hit 'disconnect' but i dont care if the lights turn off :P

    I'll have to work on that!

    Also, truth, there's more units available, and so i'm sure more are being resold. Hell, i bought mine second-hand. Good point there though.

  • apologies for the meandering rant!

  • haha ^^ you're pretty close to the package we're working on to ship with the installer!

  • @misk: "i'll be the first to admit that i'm addicted to possibility."


    I think the open-ended nature of monome devices is both a blessing and a curse. I kept feeling like a failure because I spent a bunch of money on a device that can do a hundred different things and 99% of the time I used it for one or two.

    In the end I realized I am someone who works better within limits. I pick up my acoustic guitar and start playing and I am instantly transported. Now, I actually SUCK at guitar, but I also LOVE it. It relaxes me, focuses me, releases my mind from the grip of all the BS rattling around in there.

    To be fair my gs128 has allowed me to create sample cuts and structures that would be nearly impossible to recreate via other means, and when I hit that zone I am a happy camper. But that zone has been elusive lately. That's my fault, of course, not the device's. I'm still a believer in monome; I'm just not the motivated user I used to be.

  • one thing i must say is that its totally crazy that monomes still have the occasional ftdi crash-on-unplug issue on mac, and i'm sure that alone is driving some people away. seems like ftdi isn't going to address the issue and we are stuck with it forever... imagine all the sales when an ftdi-less monome is released.

  • I moved through the ranks of 64 up to swapping my 128 for a 256. Whilst i wouldn't sell it, I have always found myself unable to incorporate the monome fully into my set up. It seems like an either/or situation. I have never been able to fully midi clock apps to ableton/mpc's/other external hardware despite multiple attempts and this has frustrated me. Setting midi clock within apps seems very hit and miss and doesn't seem to work? Particularly integrating into ableton has been a real point of contention. Hence why I say either/or - i tend to work with just only the 256, or my other kit, which is a shame as i always want the monome to be fully synced with say one of my MPC's? i enjoy the journey but do find myself still in over my head and generally tend to stick with a few apps......would be awesome if I could get midi clock between apps working, and even to sync with my MPC's?

    Is that to do with the OSC protocol does anyone think?

    I would never sell it and actually met a fellow user face to face when doing a swop which was nice to put a face to a name.

  • If I were looking to buy a monome and came across this thread, I'd probably be scared off so I'll share my experience. When I finally purchased my first monome (40h) I was a little worried about getting it up and running and incorporated into my workflow. I followed the setup guide for mac and pc and had no problems or hiccups opening up mlrv and a few other patches. The whole process took maybe 15 minutes to get it working on both laptops and I do not consider myself a technical person. It took another 5 mins or so to get a couple of pages of samples in mlr and I'll never forget that feeling of getting lost in the grid. I cannot imagine making music without something like mlr and hate the thought of a musician being scared away by others troublesome experiences. Somewhere in the monome guide it says, "There has never been a problem that the monome community could not collectively solve." That is very true and you will find people here who are willing and enthusiastic to take time out of their busy lives to answer your questions, no matter how simple or complex.

  • i got an emulator working on a livid block in about 5 mins too.
    oddly, from everything i've read, seems that may be easier than using an actual monome!

  • Those things aren't as responsive as the monome though and they feel toyish in comparison. My block would work in mlrv for about ten minutes until the lights would start randomly flashing and then the block would become unresponsive. I'm sure it's works for ableton stuff though.

  • I'm not hero-worshipping Brian here or anything, but nobody's buttons compare to the grid's. i swear their the best silicone buttons i've ever touched.

    and I've had over 30 years of experience dialing phones, changing channels, and using atm machines - I know my buttons :)

  • @galapagoose well i live downtown. shoot me a PM and i'll come over today! i wanna se this thing. promise not to take spy photos :)

  • @elquinto ftdi seems to be the weakest link in the chain.

    I wanna make a point too, installing the ftdi driver, serialosc, and max, was LIGHT YEARS easier than back when i was using a launchpad emulator. that thing was so unreliable - every time i ended a show i was shocked that it was working. Though whoever coded it on here, my hat's still off to you - you gave me a chance to dip my toes into this world.

  • @ootini same could be said about max. learning max has been like slamming my forehead against a brand new wall every day. am i a massochist?

  • @misk lol. sounds familiar.

  • @ootini yeah, and then when you break through a wall, it's usually because someone on this forum or the c74 forums explained some basic pre-algebra to me and put it in an expr object. so then you bang your head against the wall for a different reason!

  • @misk

    As a cure for my hangover yesterday I actually managed to create my very own midipatch for my 256. All debugged and ready to play with. Loving it so far!

  • @misk - regarding new patches, you've been privately messaged here on this board!

  • ah,
    this thread is a good one...
    i gotta long story for ya!

    i recently sold my ole 256...
    basically, when i was using my 40h lunchbox, i was pretty happy...
    just monomeserial in MIDI mode....
    easy easy...
    i wanted to expand though...
    make things more complicated...
    so i gotta 256....
    unfortunately, more buttons is more problems...
    MIDI doesn't work the same, and serialOSC came along, pages MIDI issues....
    from 2012 - 2013 i played enough shows to literally shellshock myself...
    and it was always a cobbled together thing...
    and it was always a pain...
    and a lot of times i had emergency reinstall everything panic attacks before big shows...

    when i finally took a hiatus from playing out, and sat down to focus on some new music, i kinda vowed to be finished with the monome...
    not that i had anything bad to say about it...
    i just wanted easier again....
    i tried to move to just regular MIDI controllers, or hardware...
    plug and play bitches!!....
    i tried and tired out tons of different configurations...
    basically, without the 256, i couldn't achieve the same level of complexity... as nothing else has that many buttons...
    i built out some crazy convoluted multi page MIDI configurations for the push and maschine...
    nothing has really had the interaction that my last set had...
    and setting up this new push/maschine show was an insane amount of work.....
    but i was still happy that every time i fired up ableton with MIDI controllers...
    i didn't have to worry...
    so i sadly sold the monome....

    2 weeks ago, i was still working on building out my live set, finishing and mixing my new record...
    i was taking all the sessions to a studio for a final mix....
    i had a major dropbox/laptop/whothefuckknows mishap, and basically lost everything...
    all the show work... all my mix sessions...
    everything except 1 folder of 24/48 aiff files...
    the final bounces from my ableton sessions...
    fortunately, i had put some serious work into those ableton sessions...
    so, the aiffs sounded damn decent...
    i ended up just taking them to the studio and mastering them...
    the end of this longwinded tale...
    im fucking done with computers man...
    i know they can't be avoided in full...
    but i just can't work like that anymore...

    new record is coming out, but i won't be playing it live...
    on to the new!

  • edison i hope u still have the lunchbox.

  • @edison Kinda bittersweet hearing that story, getting the bad with the good.

    Does this mean no more videos of you punching on your boombox?

  • no more beats on the streets?

  • well,
    i still have the lunchbox...
    it will never die!
    so, it's not as dramatic as it sounds...
    but for the immediate future... i won't be using any MIDI button gear...

    honestly, the whole finger drumming scene needs a cool down anyway...
    shit is hella hyped right now...
    seen a few too many launchpad lightshow faked funk weirdnesss going around...
    but, no doubt im forever hooked on these forums...
    and the crazy insane things you all do with a blank grid of buttons...
    keep killing it hosses!

  • @edison, That's a bittersweet one for sure. Can't wait to hear the new record and I know we all hope you play it live somehow. I have a buddy who's really talented on the finger drumming front and uses a block and a 404 without a laptop. It's fun to jam on his setup, no latency and no screens.

    The last couple gigs for me, I built this really elaborate set in mlrv complete with live drums/transitions on the 404. When the drummer and I got on stage we played like 2 of those songs because people were going crazy on our live drums/bass guitar improv stuff. That took up the whole set and I've never had as many people come up to me afterwards and chat me up about music. I just wanted to grab some of them and let them how hard it is to setup up and memorize 20 songs in mlr with 6 groups where the groups are all basic tracks and most of them aren't cut to a bpm. Shit is more frustrating than fun but those moments where you really lock in and get lost in grid world are so worth it for me.