Thomas Leisner

About Beauty and Bright Ideas
September 20th, 2012 by Thomas Leisner

TouchOSC

TouchOSC is an app for mobile touchscreen devices that offers onscreen controller elements to interact with your computer via OSC and MIDI. You may build your own controller layouts or choose from a list of existing layouts.

TouchOSC is one of my favourite Apps. It’s cheap and efficient, it’s very well programmed and designed, and it offers a functionality many of us have dreamed of for a long time: To have a touch controller for our music software, and even to be able to very easily build personallized controllers ourselves. And to add one on top: It all works remotely and stably.

Above: TouchOSC showing my Neutrum Design Mod for LogicTouch

The software package comes in two parts. First of all the app for your mobile device that shows the controller elements on screen and establishes a wireless connection between your mobile device and your computer without the need to install any other sofware on your machine. This works flawlessly out of the box with some included layouts of control surfaces. Secondly an editor application running on your machine that allows you to edit layouts or to create your own from scratch.

The app for your mobile divice is available for iOS as well as for Android, and the editor application runs on MacOS as well as on Windows or Linux. Both pieces of software run very stably and I couldn’t discover any bugs so far. They are programmed to contain a stable basic functionality without many extras, yet offering a wide range of possibilities including all you usually need without getting confusing.

As the name suggests, TouchOSC uses the modern OSC protocol to communicate with your audio or video software. It can communicate directly with software having the OSC protocol implemented. But as the older MIDI protocol is more widely used it also may send MIDI messages over OSC, which makes your TouchOSC control surfaces appear as a normal MIDI device on your computer.

In case you are interested have a look at the  TouchOSC website for more details, pictures, explanations and a clear and very straight forward documentation. As I like this little piece of software so much, I have made a bunch of design modifications to the standard layouts, as well as some basics layouts for my projects, which you might try to get started.

 

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