monome – a grid of internally lit tactile pushbuttons @monomes | Light and sound #adabox10 @adafruit

monome 40h app demo 1 (11 years ago)

So far we’ve looked at the Yamaha Tenori-on, Nine Inch Nails: “Echoplex” and next up our tour of light and sound – Originally, or prototyped as the “Bitbox (?)“… The monomeWikipedia

monome two fifty six (11 years ago).

Monome is a family of interface devices for computers made by an Upstate New York company of the same name. Brian Crabtree and his partner Kelli Cain are credited for Monome’s creation. The Monome has a minimalist design, and has been complimented for its interface design. It is a box with a grid of back-lit buttons, with no labels or icons. No screws are visible on any surface of the Monome. The box that holds the Monome is made entirely of wood, usually walnut, with a clear aluminum top plate. There are three different size options for the Monome: sixteen by sixteen, sixteen by eight, and eight by eight.

Monome devices do not produce any sound on their own; they must be connected to a computer via USB, in which an app affords use to the device. The creators of Monome said: “The wonderful thing about this device is that is doesn’t do anything really… It wasn’t intended for any specific application. We’ll make several applications, and others will make more. We hope to share as many of these as possible.”  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. The Monome is not strictly a musical device. Depending the software used, the Monome can function as anything from a sample cutter to a math machine.

85713201 Bb5Efb5E2B O
Debuting around $500 – From monome.orgDec 2005 & Feb 2006:

we aim to refine the way people consider interface.

we seek less complex, more versatile tools: accessible, yet fundamentally adaptable. we believe these parameters are most directly achieved through minimalistic design, enabling users to more quickly discover new ways to work, play, and connect. we see flexibility not as a feature, but as a foundation.

we strive for economic and ecological sustainability. careful design standards enable us to contribute both to culture and the environment by choosing local, high-quality, and responsible providers and production facilities. we acknowledge that our future will depend on our ability to support and maintain a regenerative economy.

we are a collective community.

85713134 Ff15C617D3 O

a grid of internally lit tactile pushbuttons. each button has an internal light. two models exist:

40h - an 8 by 8 grid for a total of 64 elements.
100h - a 16 by 16 grid for a total of 256 elements.

the light and button systems interface to the computer independently: the light feedback does not necessarily follow the button input. this means that a button press doesn’t always toggle its corresponding light, which would be completely limiting. by splitting the systems, the computer can display different information on the grid of lights continually while collecting button presses.

the interaction between the buttons, lights, and computer software is all configurable by the user. of course we provide several preset configurations which feature our favorite uses. we’ve designed an easy to use routing system, so that programming skills are by no means required to integrate the box with a preexisting computer software setup. for those interested in making more complicated control applications we provide direct software access to button and light activity.

Prototype (12 years ago).

The original monome Flickr is still around with photos from 2006. Here’s the first (find-able) video on YouTube of the monome (video) & all the rest since then.


  • monome on vimeo.
  • LINES – “A gathering place for discussion about sound, process, and technology. To foster the exchange of ideas: an in-depth response to a newly discovered album, or a possible solution to a common programming/patching issue, or a curious use of toasted pumpkin seeds and mango.” – Line.
  • Music Thing: Monome Controller – Engadget.
  • SoundSquare standoff: Monome vs. Tenori-On – Cnet.


The upcoming ADABOX 10 is a multi-sensory feast of light and sound. All throughout the month of November we’ll be posting up what inspired us to create one of our favorite ADABOX yet that YOU can get delivered in December if you sign up now! Give ADABOX as a GIFT or treat yourself to sonic and photonic goodness.


Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here:

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in!

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.