Oct 08 2008

OSC – Open Sound Control

Category: Development,Java,OSC,open sourceMartin @ 12:11 pm

For some reason, MIDI isnt dead yet, although it is indeed ‘ubiquitous and lightweight’ that doesn’t mean it should stick around. For some tasks its fine, but its definitely starting to show its age. One of the alternatives for communication between audio / video software and devices is Open Sound Control – OSC.

Im not going to go into a deep discussion of MIDI vs. OSC at this point, there are of course some benefits to MIDI which OSC should deal with in some way (e.g. a standardised namespace for representing MIDI semantics, or a discovery mechanism for that namespace..)..anyway, I just want to let you know that I’ve been working on some OSC related stuff to make using it easier from both Actionscript 3 and Max/MSP.

First up is OSCLib, this is intended as a low level set of OSC libraries which you can use in other applications. Actionscript 3 doesnt have UDP, only HTTP sockets whereas most OSC implementations (e.g. Reaktor, Bidule) are UDP based although one notable exception is SuperCollider which supports both. So to help bridge the gap there are java implementations for both HTTP and UDP clients and servers (well, the UDP server is currently missing but should be done in a day or two..)

For Max/MSP there is an MXJ object which wraps the HTTP server so you can send messages from a Flash / Flex client directly to Max/MSP.

There is some documentation on the project wiki pages for getting your dev environment setup and also a Flash / Max demo you can try out.

As a side note if anyone has a Korg Kontrol49 then i’ve also got a project based on OSCLib for working with the Kontrol49 in native mode : KontrolTools. This allows you to have full control of the lights and text displays via OSC as well as generate OSC message from all the knobs, sliders and buttons.

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3 Responses to “OSC – Open Sound Control”

  1. Steven Taylor says:

    Oh so THAT’S what you’ve been up to since January :)

  2. blausand says:

    HI, we are developing some advanced (battle-)VJing software/hardware called aurora.
    Currently, i wonder how to get some LEDs on and off in my Akai MPD32 MIDI Controller. It can be set to an extended SysEx-Mode for all activities.
    I guess that does not mean that you can conjure a OSC-wrapping for it, right?
    Just because you had the same goals with the Kontrol49…

    By the way, i think exactly the same way about MIDI than you do!
    blausand

  3. Martin says:

    Interesting, if I can find some specs for the MPD32 then I can at least see how hard it would be. Also it gives me a good incentive to check the architecture and make it easy to plug-in implementations for other controllers, thats not something I thought about so im not sure how easy it would be at first.

    I’ll let you know :)

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