Monome Mainstream: Performance On Letterman


The monome was spotted being used in a performance by Imogen Heap on Late Night with David Letterman. Imogen uses the monome 256 model connected to a laptop sitting on the piano. In her performance she uses a combination of live samples and pre-recorded loops proving how great this product is in the hands of an accomplished artist.

Although not identified by name (or function), Letterman does notice the monome at the end of the performance. To see this kind of exposure for an innovative open source product is wonderful. Check out the Letterman clip as well as a monome bonus after the break.



This bonus video features a monome that sequences not just audio clips, but video as well. This way you can get a live video perfomance at the same time. [Eliot] ran across it a couple of weeks ago and mentioned that it reminds him of the Amateur – Lasse Gjertsen video. We agree and think that the monome is perfect for making this kind of product.

[via soundwidgets]

[related: Econo Monome, RGB button pad, RGB monome clone]

20 thoughts on “Monome Mainstream: Performance On Letterman

  1. ya know, circuit benders already hate me so I’m gonna go ahead and say it, these are GREAT, a prime example of what it takes to succeed in music: musical talent. And using the monome WHILE playing an instrument like the piano, DOUBLE KUDOS! This takes talent. Wonderful!

    ok I’ve had my rant. go ahead and try to verbally bitch-slap me if ya want, IDK!

  2. Indeed, everyone has their own taste, the only thing I might ‘slap’ you on myself aztraph:
    ‘Double-kudos’? I’m sure you meant triple, as you forgot they were using the monome, playing the piano, AND singing in either of the cases. Whether you like it or not it’s gotta be acknowledged… that takes a lot of talent to pull off.

  3. to the bad wolf,(i like the dr who reference) just search out a few circuit bending hackaday post, you’ll find something that i’ve commented on

    to flashpoint: I stand corrected, I can play the piano, but i can’t sing when i do, consider me slapped.

  4. @thebadwolf, little boots is better? I’m not a fan of either but I’d have to say that Imogen Heap is more pleasing to the ears.

    Guess it’s time to put down the electric guitar and move on to the monome. Or just hack a monome into the guitar. who knows.

  5. clark, that is a real cool idea, maybe redo the switches and lights to fit the contours of the guitar, I wonder if there would be any room left for strings afterward? might be a good combo.

  6. Nothing special here. Some friends of mine and I have been doing similar work with samplers and such for the longest time. Live performances using audio loops and clips alongside other forms of ‘instrumentation’ has been around forever.

    What happened to all the innovative stuff you guys used to post?

  7. argh, music bending stuff fries my brain. i try to keep track of it all in my head but can only handle seven plus or minus two. these items are a wonderful thing, monome’s in particular as you can do so much with them. unfortunately i haven’t seen much music from it. just rough noise. its a great change of pace to see more artists using it to do vocals at the same time.

  8. Wow, Little Boots, fantastic! This is the first time I see monome in a non-bullshit context.. But wait, the girl can play and sing and does it fantastically great, what monome has to do with that? Nothing probably.

  9. Maybe I’m missing the point but what is all of the fuss about a sequencer? This seems like a rather expensive open source project when you’ve got a computer that is more than capable of handling all of that right in front of you. To each their own though.

    I’ve used Abox to fire my old VCO synths and I still have a handful of MIDI to VCO adapters from way back. I just don’t get this monome thing. Can someone explain to me how this machine is OMFGZ awesome? I feel like I’m missing out on a big inside joke or something…

  10. I was watching this and at the end of it realized there was no news in this at all. It’s a sequencer.

    None of the examples were anything out of the ordinary either. Meh. But a cool sequencer, I should add. If it’s open source that’s only a plus, but hackers wouldn’t ask for permission anyway..

  11. tenori-on != monome
    The Tenori-On is what lil’ boots uses, imogen uses a monome, btw.

    The monome has no functionality built in, it’s just leds behind buttons (like a low-low-res multi-touch touchscreen)
    All the step sequencers running on the monome are just apps people wrote, most of them open source.
    A monome+computer setup can do everything a tenori-on does and many things more because it is, as a controller, not embedded in any context.
    Running Tetris, home automation, step sequencer, sample cutters, video clip launchers or whatever on the monome is no ‘hack’ because the device never had a specific purpose to begin with.

    Running anything but the 8 (i dont know) styles of operation that Yamaha implemented on the tenori-on however is quite difficult and would file under hack, it is not a controller, it’s an instrument.
    You see, it’s apples and oranges.

    And mind you, when it comes to music, it’s not about who did what first, it’s not about who is the most skilled or owns the most expensive gear, it’s about having the most fun listening and/or making music.


  12. Thanks Sigg and Robb :) I am now sure this monome is yet another of the “open source” buzzword hype projects that float around the net. Been there, built that, sad someone else is smart enough to charge a thousand bucks for it under the open source moniker to the new feel-good generation. Learning to build a series of weighted switches is a great beginner project. I am rather perplexed how this became important enough to become an updated “hack” here on had imho.

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