The monome 40h is a reconfigurable grid of sixty-four backlit buttons, designed to be an open-ended musical interface. The buttons can be configured as toggles, radio groupings, sliders, or organized into more sophisticated systems.
When the monome was introduced, the biggest question I had was whether the device’s minimal design would lend itself to expressive music, or whether if it would be used primarily to turn loops off an on. While the design has a certain sex appeal, an interface made up of a bunch of tiny switches placed very close together seems very limited in its potential for musical interactivity, especially compared to current DJ control surfaces or MPC-style controllers, which offer continuous controllers and touch-sensitivity.
The 400 monomes that were created have quickly sold out, though, and a community of experimental musicians has grown up around them. There are also plans in place for a larger monome.
Here are some videos that showcase what people are doing with the monome:
monome 40H (demo 1)
monome 40h mods
phineus: monome 40h + Reaktor 5
The above video was made by phineus in the moment using Reaktor 5 and a patch written by kid sputnik to work with the monome 40h. Samples are homemade, as well as found.
monome – Net Ball Clone
monome running KSD
7up for Monome’s 40h
AV Sequencing with Live + VDMX + Monome