What is TouchOSC and How Do I Use it With Lighting?

By David / a couple of weeks ago

I’m a big fan of getting as much hands-on control as possible when I’m programming and running lights.

That’s why, if you’ve been around this site for awhile, you’ve seen that I am always looking for new ways to get more buttons and faders for each console that I use.  Whether that be via MIDI or other low-cost hardware from manufacturers (the Martin M-Touch and M-Play, for example).

But did you know that you can also control many lighting consoles from a phone or tablet?  And that it’s totally customizable?

Enter OSC.

What is OSC?

OSC is like an updated MIDI.  I’m not going to go deep into the depths because I am not a programmer, but know that OSC connects musical instruments and musical software to different devices for wireless, customizable control.

Just like plugging a MIDI keyboard into your computer, using OSC via the TouchOSC app allows you to map lighting controls to your tablet or phone.

Just connect your 2 devices together on the same network, and sync up the settings in your software of choice, and you’re good to go.  If you’re using a cell phone or tablet with cellular capabilities, be sure to put it in airplane mode with the WiFi on to setup OSC.

At the time of this writing, a variety of lighting software and consoles support OSC, including:

You can also use the TouchOSC Bridge application on PC or Mac to connect to OSC and send MIDI to a device that doesn’t speak OSC.

What Can TouchOSC Do For My Lighting Console?

When it comes to connecting the TouchOSC app to your lighting console, most of the manufacturers are going to supply a default layout for the TouchOSC program which you can then open on your device and connect to your console.

The layout defines where the various buttons, rotary knobs, and faders sit, and what their function is in the console.  All layouts are completely customizable with the free utility from the developer of Touch OSC which you can download from the TouchOSC website.

If you’re new, I recommend sticking with the manufacturer-supplied layouts, and customizing as needed.  The OSC commands for your particular console will most likely be documented in the manual for your console – so it’s up to the console maker to decide what console commands are included in the OSC implementation.

How Do I Use OSC With My Console?

In this next section, I want to show you or link to the step-by-step instructions to use OSC with your specific console.  Scroll down and find your console to begin!

Enttec DMXIS:

Links:

How to Begin with DMXIS

DMXIS Layout Download

Enttec D-Pro

Find out how to connect D-Pro with OSC by downloading the D-Pro manual. (Page 52)

High End Hog 4

Martin M-PC and M-Series Consoles

While we don’t have a video yet, here is Martin’s article on how to connect OSC with M-PC and M-Series Consoles.

Here is a link to Martin’s TouchOSC Layout


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