dreamsequence
project name: dreamsequence
project url: https://github.com/dstroud/dreamsequence
author: modularbeat
description: chord-based sequencer, arpeggiator, and harmonizer for norns + grid
discussion url: https://l.llllllll.co/dreamsequence
documentation url: https://github.com/dstroud/dreamsequence/blob/main/README.md
tags: generative sequencer grid crow midi

Dreamsequence

Chord-based sequencer, arpeggiator, and harmonizer for Monome Norns+Grid

Required: Monome Norns (v2.7.6 or later) and Grid

Optional: Crow, Just Friends, Disting EX, MIDI sequencers/controllers

Watch the video

Dreamsequence demo and basics on YouTube


Intro

Dreamsequence is a chord-based sequencer, arpeggiator, harmonizer, and arranger for Monome Norns+Grid.

Depending on your need, it can be your primary live performance tool, a compositional assistant, a generative sequencing playground, or just some thing you poke at that happens to make nice-sounding beeps.

The joy of using Dreamsequence is in its intuitive, theory-informed interactivity that allows us to explore various ways of reinterpreting simple musical patterns. Dreamsequence does not aim to be a fully-featured sequencer that can do anything and everything. In fact, sequences are limited to just 8 steps at the moment. But I think you will be delighted by what can be done with these simple inputs.

While fun all by itself, Dreamsequence really opens up when you add friends (anything that can send CV or MIDI notes), in which case it becomes a Voltronesque band leader capable of processing external musical data streams through its harmonizers. Sequences and harmonies can be intelligently merged with natural sounding results.

For those looking to make experimental music that goes beyond randomization and LFOs (not that there’s anything wrong with that), Dreamsequence features an Arranger and Event scheduling system that lets you create your own procedural layer for controlling (or ceding to chaos) every aspect of your creation over the course of time. If you’ve ever enjoyed the feeling of creating a monster modular synth patch that may or may not have become sentient at some point along the way, you’ll be rewarded by spending some time with Events.

I hope you have as much fun using Dreamsequence as I have had creating it, and I’d love to hear about how you’re using it at l.llllllll.co/dreamsequence

Cheers, Dan


Overview

This Overview will explain how the components that make up Dreamsequence operate. It’s a bit dry and technical, so if you are more of the skim-the-manual type, feel free to skip ahead to the Grid interface guide and keep the Norns interface guide handy for reference.

NOTE: Dreamsequence supports saving/loading of your song through the system PARAMETERS»PSET menu but you should expect these saves to break when doing updates. I’ll do my best to notify of breaking changes in patch notes, but things will be missed and I recommend you wrap up any work before updating.

Chord sequencer

Grid-based chord pattern sequencer.

Seq (sequencer/arp)

Grid-based monophonic pattern sequencer (formerly ARP)

MIDI Harmonizer

Note reprocessor for chords, sequences, arpeggios, whatever

CV Harmonizer

Magical sample and hold + quantizer + chord/mode remapping (requires Crow)

Arranger

Like a DAW but [worse/better]


Grid interface

dreamsequence

The Chord view is used to program chord patterns A-D. Since the Seq and harmonizers can create notes based on the active chord, this is typically where you’ll begin composing.


dreamsequence

The Seq view is used to program the notes in the monophonic sequence/arpeggio/strum pattern.


dreamsequence

The Arranger view is used to sequence chord patterns and enter the Events view.


dreamsequence

The Events view is used to manage the scheduling of parameter changes and functions at certain points in the Arrangement.

TIP: To make it easier to keep track of your events, consider dedicating one lane/column to a certain type of event, such as having chord velocity changes in lane 1, pattern manipulations in lane 2, etc.. or just embrace chaos.


Norns interface

Norns keys and encoders

Norns screen

dreamsequence

Most of your work on Norns will be done through 5 main menus that look like the example above. Scrolling to the top menu (GLOBAL in the example above) with E2 will allow you to browse using E3. Before taking a closer look at the contents of these menus, let’s take a look at the mini dashboards on the right side of the screen.


Pattern Dashboard

dreamsequence

TIP: Active chord reflects the CHORD»“Chord type” menu option (Triad or 7th) but each sequencer/harmonizer can override this with the similar “Notes” menu.


Arranger Dashboard

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dreamsequence

The left portion of the Norns screen displays one of the following “pages” and associated menu items:

To navigate between pages, use E2 to scroll to the top of the list of menu items until the page name is highlighted, then use E3 to change the page. To change a menu item, simply scroll down the list using E2 and change its value using E3. < and > symbols will appear when you are at the end of the range of possible values. Descriptions of each page and menu options follow.

CHORD menu

SEQ menu

MIDI HARMONIZER menu

CV HARMONIZER menu


Preferences


Crow Patching

Dreamsequence supports using Crow to send and receive CV and triggers: