If you’ve seen Pretty Lights or Sound Tribe, then you might recognize the above grid of LED lights as an instrument they use onstage. They are called Monomes and seeing someone perform with one is definitely a unique experience since these little gadgets aren’t very widespread.

For example, check out this video of David Phipps of STS9 showing his Monome skills.

Learn some more about how Monomes work and see some more live vids after the jump…

Monome is the name of a company that produces devices that musicians can use on stage to manipulate sounds and samples through computer software. The devices they make are referred to as Monomes themselves. Basically, it is a grid of lighted buttons that connects into a computer and controls live mixing software such as Ableton or Reason.  Artists such as Pretty Lights (pictured), Sound Tribe Sector Nine, and Deadelus are some of the more popular acts today that use Monomes in their music.

Here is a short video that explains how these things actually work.

With its minimalist design, one might thing that these things are pretty cheap to buy. Not really. There are alternatives, but if you want to get an authentic Monome through, you better to be ready to pony up $500 for the 8×8 model or $1400 for the 16×16. However, they only produce about 100 every month, so they are always sold out.

See below are some more videos, including a nice HQ video of Deadelus, who keeps his Monome facing the audience during live performances.

Monome Demo


Pretty Lights

If you want to see some other crazy shit, check out this thing called the Reactable:


~ by johnnyjay on February 21, 2010.

2 Responses to “Monomes”

  1. This is the craziest shit I have seen. Really intriguing, wish it was a bit more accessible. Part of Daft Punk’s setup uses Lemur controllers, which seem sort of similar, but I really have no idea.

    I watched like 3 videos and still feel super stupid.

    This is my favorite post though.

  2. […] Episode 7 – Pretty Lights (He also uses a Monome […]

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