Two weeks ago my dad has finished another project for me — Monome clone. I wanted it to be different from what’s offered by the respected authors in some ways, and it is obviously cheaper to build it than purchasing the read-made piece from them (of course if you have all necessary tools to carve nice rubber buttons, case, face plates etc).

For those who don’t know, Monome is a USB device with 64, 128, 256 etc number of buttons with LEDs inside each. Buttons can be lid and key events (presses and releases) are sent over the USB to a computer program that does something useful. Classical applications are:

  • Controlling a MIDI device (synthesizer, sequencer, sampler etc)
  • Visualizing data with LEDs

Here’s what we’ve got as the result:

… image went missing over time …


  • Red wood polished case
  • Plastic buttons of increased size (to match the size and spacing of faders on my mixer)
  • Soft rubber pads under the buttons for pleasant touch
  • Ultra-bright blue LEDs
  • Modified firmware to support hardware blinking

And here’s the device in action:

… image went missing over time …

Additionally, I wrote a simple but nice Ableton Live driver to talk to the device, and now enjoying the creative potential of this little thing fully. Currently working on my live set.


And now something really exciting. It’s probable that we will be building this on demand. Currently there are plans for 64 and 128 button models. We found that the same components are cheaper here and every part of the body is produced in-house making the overall cost visibly lower.

If you have interest in ordering one, leave a comment with a note. Currently we need about 10 orders of the type to launch the production cycle. If there is necessary demand, I will put together a page with the counter and some other helpful info to keep all interested parties informed.

UPDATE: It became obvious that the mass building isn’t going to happen, partially because of people come and go off the list, so that at any given time we have not enough requests to start the process. My apologies to those who still had hopes.

Comments from the past

Andrew Dashin said at 10:32 on September 18th, 2008:

omg. hang drum, monome… crazy tools

corporation said at 20:28 on September 18th, 2008:

I’m interested in either, a 64 or 128 depending on price…

stenogriz said at 10:18 on September 22nd, 2008:

cool gadget!

pipapo said at 21:27 on November 5th, 2008:

beautiful… wanna have

Hehrye said at 00:27 on November 10th, 2008:


Aleksey Gureiev said at 00:39 on November 10th, 2008:

OK. That would be 3 so far. I will be contacting each and every one who expressed the interest before starting the production cycle to be sure you still want to have it.

The exact price will depend on some factors, but I can promise it will be fair (if everything works out of course). It take time as we can see to collect votes. :)

Auditory Canvas said at 13:53 on December 3rd, 2008:

Might be interested in a 128, but am wondering if you have any plans to build a 256?

Aleksey Gureiev said at 15:13 on December 3rd, 2008:

There wasn’t too much of the demand for these (256), plus I suspect it will be hard to ship out of here. Just a random guess, though.

brendan benham said at 22:37 on January 30th, 2009:

i would definitely be interested in a 64 model, depending on the pricing.

Steve Burtenshaw said at 00:51 on February 3rd, 2009:

You might want to look at monome’s open source conditions

But this looks so nice, where are the buttons from? I’d be interested in a 128 if shipping to the UK isn’t too nasty.

Aleksey Gureiev said at 01:12 on February 3rd, 2009:

Can’t see how their open-source free license that I can see ( here: ) contradicts our intentions.

The buttons are custom-made (cut from semi-transparent plastic) to fit my own dimensions since I wanted the columns of buttons to be right under the channels of our previous device.

I keep counting of course, but it seems that there’s not enough demand so far, and probably many of those who voted before have their toys already. :)

drew said at 01:47 on February 7th, 2009:

Yeah interested in a 128 to the UK too – looks great :)

Simon said at 19:59 on March 25th, 2009:

I’d definitely be interested in a 64 if you would ship to the UK.

Dan Knight said at 05:11 on April 23rd, 2009:

Very interested in a 128 Please get back to me at me email Thanks

najrock said at 21:23 on November 28th, 2009:

is there any way you would make one to order again?

najrock said at 21:26 on November 28th, 2009:

i cant seem to find an email anywhere… i am very interested in getting a 128 made by you or purchasing your modified firmware and project plans…

i have looked everywhere for something of this nature with mpc style pads…

please contact me at

diggin some of your compositions by the way!


Aleksey Gureiev said at 07:32 on November 30th, 2009:

The mass building of these never started due to the lack of interest, and building one or two is not worth the effort. So, no, we won’t be selling them.

As for the modified firmware, I believe it’s not the best idea. Thing is that it makes the device a bit different and some of the existing scripts for the original Monome may not like it. I didn’t care since I’m a programmer myself and can fix anything, but in your case I would stick to the classics that works exactly how it is for everyone else.

You may want to check the APC50 and LaunchPad on the Ableton site. They both are excellent products with very good pads.