Monome is a family of interface devices for computers made by an Upstate New York company of the same name. Despite being produced irregularly in small quantities since its introduction in 2006, the Monome button-grid controller has had a significant impact on electronic music. Together with the physically similar Yamaha Tenori-On, which was released a year later in 2007, the monome inspired interest in minimalist, grid-based music controllers throughout the industry. That interest spawned hobbyist projects like the Arduinome and commercial products like the Akai APC40, the Novation Launchpad, and the Livid Instruments Block and Ohm64.
Monome devices do not produce any sound on their own; they must be connected to a computer. 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. Since 2006, several models have been produced, with typical sizes ranging from 64 to 256 buttons — plus a very limited run of 512-button devices. In 2011, the first non-grid controller in the Monome family was introduced, the Monome Arc.
Several applications provide sample sequencing capabilities. One such application is MLR, an application that allows for live sequencing and re-cutting of samples. There are also many applications that allow for synthesis either via their own internal synthesizers or by sending MIDI/OSC messages to external synthesizers.
Notable users include progressive house producers deadmau5 and hip-hop producer Flying Lotus, electronic DJ/producer Daedelus, and Nine Inch Nails contributor Alessandro Cortini. On August 31, 2009, singer-songwriter Imogen Heap appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman and sang sitting at a grand piano with a Monome in her lap. Letterman was intrigued by the device, and, while playing with it, jokingly asked "Am I contacting someone from space?" Paul Shaffer replied, "You just Twittered Ashton Kutcher."
See also 
- Peter Kirn (3/7/2011). "On arcs and monomes, a Loyal Community Makes Music Together". Create Digital Music.
- "Monome: Music with Buttons". Analogik.com. 3/29/2011.
- Donald Bell (8/23/2007). "SoundSquare standoff: Monome vs. Tenori-On". CNet News.
- "Did The Monome Just Become Irrelevant?". Synthopia. 6/13/2009.
- Peter Kirn (10/1/2009). "First Hands-on: Novation’s New $199 Launchpad Grid Controller for Ableton Live". Create Digital Music.
- Ryan Block (4/14/2006). "Music Thing: Monome Controller". Engadget.
- "A Brief History of monome Production". The Stretta Procedure. 3/2/2010.
- James Lewin (4/5/2010). "Monome 512 Available Via Limited Auction". Sonic State.
- Joseph L. Flatley (1/24/2011). "Monome Arc OSC controller is simple, elegant, and expensive". Engadget.
- Frere-Jones, Sasha (12/1/2008), "Heavy Water: Steven Ellison’s atomization of hip-hop", The New Yorker
- Jose Garza (11/7/2010). "Daedalus – The God of the monome". MyBeatFix.
- ninofficial (12/11/2007). "30:5". YouTube.
- Ben Rogerson (9/1/2009). "Imogen Heap plays Monome on Letterman show". Music Radar.