Latronic Notron reborn as software...

I've posted in the past about the Latronic Notron, the culty British step sequencer. In one post, I asked: "Can't someone build a software-based Notron Emulator?" Now DSP Audio have released Nortron, a really quite spectacularly complicated-looking software sequencer for OSX, obviously inspired by Darth Vader's toilet seat. Has anyone tried this yet? It's $200, but there is a demo. (via k.e.p on the Electro-Music G2 forum)

It's PowerPC only. I get a nice fat hang on my Intel MacBook. Which is a shame as it looks like a cross between an Octamed-type tracker and the Atari arcade Star Wars. And as those are two of my favouritest things I was quite excited.

I know that there are that many more PowerPC machines than Intel machines in use but given that Apple doesn't have any PPCs left in their line up not releasing it as a universal binary seems really strange.
its been available for some time already.
MP3 samples are severely lacking.
Yep, they're the most uninspiring mp3's they could have put up there.
I like the MP3 samples. Not everyone likes Eagles covers.
Universal Binary is coming. I'm working on it now actually. Sorry about the mp3's not being to your particular taste. I can assure you the platform is solid, we're doing lots of interesting things the original Notron did not, and we've covered most of the originals features. I didn't expect a musicthing post, so i'll get to work and get UB going. We were actually waiting to market until we had a UB demo of 1.1..
-anthony/epk/castine - DSPaudio
Hi Anthony @ DSPAudio or anyone else that has knowledge of this product,

Does anyone know if this will actually act as a Host and allow you to "run" soft synths/VSTi's in it or is this just going to be a program that allows you to route audio into iot? It would so much rule if this can actually act as a vsti host and not just another plug-in to mangle audio.
Thanks in advance...

check out numerology, much easier interface to navigate and a 'better' demo - you can output midi. not to mention its cheaper. ....and crazy, oddball, oldskool sequences a-plenty

version 2 is in beta testing, and version 2 is going to be a free upgrade for 1.X users - yes thats right, FREE...which includes macintel support amongst other things. I'm not aware of another audio-software company which is providing the mactel crossover/upgrade for free.

some time ago, I downloaded the nortron demo and numberology demo at the same time...looking for something (other then maxmsp) to satisfy my lust for this type of sequencing....and, numerology came out on top
Thanks Anthony, I'll wait for the MacIntel demo.
i think this looks fantastic! ui looks lovely, great idea at work (how many of us have lookng longingly at notrons on ebay?), can see the potential!

has anyone used this and a notron? is it a good substitute?

will it ever be possible to use it in conjunction with another program eg. rewired or sync'd or whatever into a 'serious' song-based sequencer or DAW?
Hi anonymous,

Nortron does not host any plug-ins, it is a MIDI only application. With the Mac OS X IAC (interapplication communication) bus you can route your MIDI out of Norton to any standalone application that supports CoreMIDI. So you can run Nortron along side your favorite softsynth running as standalone or as a plug-in hosted by your DAW. It also, of course, allows you to output directly to a port on your MIDI interface for driving MIDI hardware.

Currently Nortron will generate and slave to MIDI beat clock so it can lock up to any MBC capable hardware or software device.


-epk/anthony/castine - DSPaudio
cough [rip off] cough cough
"I'm not aware of another audio-software company which is providing the mactel"

Actually, Cycling '74 provided MacIntel upgrades to Max/MSP/Jitter/Pluggo free of charge.

I'm partial to Numerology, but I think the Nortron looks pretty excellent, if you like ticky sequencing apps with lots of depth to them (which I do ;). DSPaudio also makes some of the low-level building blocks of the Nortron available to Max/MSP users as a package called iCE, so patcher geeks (like me) can also roll their own.

It *is* a bit on the pricey side, but they're small developers in a niche market, so I can understand. And it's far less than you'd pay for an actual Notron.
I'm aware of the building blocks they provide...dont see how thats relevant here. But come on, $200 dollars and it doesnt host any instruments ?

not to mention you're limited to 4 sequencers, and as far as I can see it doesnt provide any functionality that numerology doesnt.

and you think five12 isnt a small developer in a niche market ?
[rolls eyes]

numerology is way better than this software, for exactly the same type of sequencing and beyond - for half the price.

seriously folks, dont be duped into dropping $200 on this limited software. No disrespect to the coding - its just way over priced.

"I'm aware of the building blocks they provide...dont see how thats relevant here."

If the only thing relevant here is the price of a specific item, with no expansion of topics, which is all I was doing, then perhaps this site should be renamed Money Thing?

"and you think five12 isnt a small developer in a niche market ?
[rolls eyes]"

These guys are even smaller than Five12. Their primary customers prior to the release of Nortron are Max/MSPers buying tools. And while I like Nortron, I've already stated I'm partial to Numerology and agreed with you the price for Nortron is on the high side. There's no need to [roll your eyes] at me.

As for people dropping their cash, both Five12 and DSPaudio provide demos so anyone who's interested may decide for themselves what the software does for them and what it's worth.

Except for development, I'm on MacIntel almost exclusively these days, so I'm waiting for both Universal Binary demos to hit before I make any absolute judgements.
"If the only thing relevant here is the price of a specific item, with no expansion of topics, which is all I was doing, then perhaps this site should be renamed Money Thing?"

no, the only thing relevant here is the SEQUENCER itself, and its counterparts. MaxMsp building blocks have no relevance here...the only reason you mentioned that was to blow sunshine up DSPaudio's ass. As if that somehow makes the nortron software a more attractive package or something. if anything, it only draws attention to another product which in turn means you'd have to have MaxMSP to use it. Do you understand yet ?

"These guys are even smaller than Five12. Their primary customers prior to the release of Nortron are Max/MSPers buying tools."

Doh. great logic you have going for yourself there, a smaller client base (if it is that) makes for a smaller developer ? I'd have thought the size of the development team is what makes a developer big or small. five12 is essentially one guy. perhaps they are both as small as each other, but you're earlier justifaction of the enormous price tag is BOGUS if you insist its because DSPaudio is 'a small developer in a niche market' ...its certainly no smaller than five12. if at all. so I wont retract my rolling eyes. they were well deserved.

and you dont have to wait for a UB numerology to try out the demo, numerology 1.4.3 works great and is supported under rosetta. For someone interested in this type of sequencing, numerology is the answer....unless you're some gear-slut shmuck who HAS to have the much less-functional sequencer for the sake of the Nortron name & GUI. and by the way, I'm aware of the importance of interface - and the nortron comes in second in this respect too.

seeing as all nortron does is sequence four midi tracks, I'd say it -should- work under rosetta, if all you want to do is sequence (as many and as twisted as you like) midi tracks with numerology 1.4.3, it -definatly- works great under rosetta - I've not been using it for hosting instruments.

I'm not interested in debating with you- so dont pick my reply apart for witty retorts- just stick to the hard facts like I have, and tell me the nortron is worth that disgusting price-tag. Cashing in one the nortron name was a cynical move, matched only by the cynical price tag.

Have fun with your $200 4-track sequencer, suckers.
and by the way - the numerology demo is USEFUL - yes you can actually output midi - AMAZING.

its almost laughable, that the nortron demo wont output midi. compounded with the price tag, and the limitations.... you might as well pay some $200 to put a pointy stick up your ass
hahaha, riiiiiiiight. let this be a warning to all suckas who want to step to "anonymous" in internet battles about software step sequencers ...?
Can Numerology force scales and change transposition on the fly like Nortron?
and more. so much more my ulser is spewing in my stomach that nortron even gets a musicthing mention, as if its something special. superficial whores! way too much time was put into the aestheticaly pleasing, but ultimately counter-productive interface

get a real nortron if thats what you want, otherwise do the right thing and get maxmsp or numerology to satisfy your funky sequencing needs.
"MaxMsp building blocks have no relevance here...the only reason you mentioned that was to blow sunshine up DSPaudio's ass."

If I've already said I think Nortron looks good but is over-priced and that I prefer Numerology, why would I blow sunshine for DSPaudio?

Their tools for Max/MSP are also over-priced for my use, unless you have a need for exactly what they offer, at which point someone might find the price more than reasonable. I mentioned it in case any Max/MSPers reading this thread might not know about it and would like to check it out for themselves. Surely I'm not the only Maxer reading Music Thing?

And yes, a small developer is one who does not have the resources, both manpower and financial, to devote to a project that a larger one has. When you're a lone coder spending time producing a niche product with a very small potential user base, you don't get much return on investment.

My only witty retorts are questions:

What's with all the hostility?


If you have such strong opinions, why are you anonymous?
.....cos I'm trying to hide something?
-even more eye rolling-
It seems like a good product, but the price is kinda up there.

For those complaining about how it's only 4 tracks, I believe you can run multiple instances and sync them via MIDI clock. Since I don't have a Mac, I can't verify that.

I'll be looking forward to a Windows demo.
running multiple instances, and keeping sync via midi clock.....its a little clumsy, after spending $200 ? dontcha think ??

the reason for my tenacity is simply the outrageous price tag....its worth about $75

if they werent such greedy bastards I'm sure they'd sell x3 as many licenses if it were priced at $75 - tho I dont know if they are paying royalties for the nortron name.
The anonymous troll likely works for numerology or is friends with them (true friends wouldn't play the fool), anyway I founded dspaudio. I have nothing bad to say about numerology, however we're doing the UB crossgrade without charge, we're doing a major feature revision without charge and in fact we spend most of our time adding adding features rather than arguing about our greatness on a blog.

A 1.1 demo is coming. It will not output MIDI, *it will be useful*. Thanks for listening.

Someone get a medal for this guy.

for $200 if you did any less you'd get jail time.
Jim Coker, the developer of Numerology, is a classy guy. I strongly doubt he would engage in hostile behavior of this nature. I I also believe he would strongly disapprove of someone else representing his company and his product in this matter, if he should find out about what has been said in his name here.
For Windows users, check this out Matryx, has a similar philosophy except its not trying to rip off the Notron, which cant be done in purely software form anyway Lol

Oh and its free, hosts VSTi and VSTe and ReWire enabled, commercial version with more features is imminent, which will probably be less than $100 going on the price of SQ42, its previous encarnation. I tested it with Live5.2 and works fine :D

Kiss that Nortron ;)
norton's a cool product, so thanks for making it, but $200 is just a badly-researched entry price. i wish you good luck with your sequencer but i think you're shooting yourselves in the foot. i spend a ridiculous amount of money on gear and software every year, but only on things whose quality justifies the price (e.g., neve, cwejman, moog). you've got a nice niche product but unless you're trying to go extinct like the hardware version (maybe part of your business model, i dunno), cut the price by 2/3...
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