DSP Audio Release Nortron – Software Version Of The Latronic Notron

DSP Audio has released Nortron, a software version of the the classic hardware sequencer the Latronic Notron. Nortron goes further into new sequencing dimensions while retaining tight timing, quick navigation, and instrument like playability. Through IAC and CoreMIDI, Nortron controls Softsynths and standard MIDI devices. Nortron breathes new life into old instruments and otherwise dull synthesizers by playing them in ways not previously possible.

The Latronic Notron has been a favorite of staffers here for some time, and many experimental musicians have long sought a software version of the provocative sequencer made for a short period of time by English tweeker, Gerrard Campbell. In fact, in several of our articles, we’ve begged Ableton and others to come out with a software version…

At the heart of the Nortron is 4 independent sequencers each giving independent play direction, tempo and pattern length:

UltraSteps, Note Length and Velocity allow quick access to sequence settings. UltraSteps can be applied to Pitch or any MIDI Continous Controller at each step.

Velocity, Play Direction and Sustain Toggles

Heads Up Display shows user Octave, Pattern, MIDI CC1, MIDI CC2, Row Position, Play Position and Octave Base Frequency.

Pattern Data: Patterns hold 1-16 rows of Notes and MIDI CC values which play along with the Velocity, Timing and UltraStep maps. Major and Minor Rows give a timing reference throughout the pattern.

Channel Element Mutes Selectively Mute Notes, CC Data, Time, Velocity or UltraStep triggers to derive new music from your existing pattern.

Pitch Offset Wheel Endlessly rotates fully through 10 octaves offsetting your notes by semitones. Above and to the left of the Pitch Offset Wheel is the MIDI Device Selection and MIDI Channel. Quickly try out new voices or synths without accessing a menu.

Global controls and modifiers encourage musical exploration:

Master Transposition shifts all sequences by 1,2,5,7 or 12 semitones. These common intervals provide a meta control layer for trying new melodic progressions on top of your existing sequence. Very useful during live performance!

Master Tempo 1-255 which can be synchronized to and generate MIDI beat clock.

Global Pulses go really fast or really slow, while keeping a ratio of the master tempo. Color coded for quick changes.

Forced Scale: Quantize all Nortron output to one of 20 tuning systems.

Mutes Console: Notes, Velocity, Timing, UltraSteps, MIDI CC1, MIDI CC2 or invert all parameters. Clear Mutes, Play Direction and Sustain toggle are also located here.

Keyboard Reference reveals Nortron hot-keys and functions.


• 4 Independent Sequencers
• Notelengths 2-251% step length
• Velocity 0-127
• Patterns 128
• Pattern Lengths 1-16
• Channel Delay 0-20ms
• Local Pulse Control 1-16
• Global Tempo 1-255
• Global Pulses 1-16
• Velocity A or B
• Note offset 0-15 pulses
• UltraStep on/off and Polarity +/-
• Local and Global Sustain On/Off
• User defined modulation waveshapes
• Nortron is not CPU intensive leaving your computer free for media processing.
• IAC and CoreMIDI are fully supported
• Nortron works with: Reaktor 5, Kyma, Max/MSP, Sonar, Digital Performer, Cubase, Nuendo and Pro Tools.

System Requirements:
• Mac PowerPC OSX 10.2, 10.3 Panther and Tiger Compatible
• 1024×768 Minimum Resolution
• MIDI interface necessary for external synthesizers
• Software that supports IAC requires no hardware

The Nortron costs $200 and is available now. More information on the Nortron

Author: FutureMusic

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