Using TouchOSC with your projects

[Marcus] wrote a guide to using TouchOSC to control your projects. He sent a link to us after reading our feature about using Open Sound Control for Arduino without an Ethernet shield. He’s been using that method for quite some time now, but takes it one step further by using a smartphone as a control device. He designs his own user interface for the iPhone using TouchOSC. This is a package which we’ve seen in other projects but now you can get an idea of how easy it really is.

The project starts by interfacing an Arduino with the device you’d like to control. The circuit above patches into a remote control using a couple of transistors. Now the Arduino can simulate button presses on that remote, sending the signal to turn a light on or off. Next, TouchOSC is used for the smartphone – here it’s an iPhone but the suite works on Android as well. In the video after the break you can watch a quick interface design demo. Buttons are dragged into existence, uploaded to the phone, then configured to control you device over a network. A Processing sketch listens for OSC commands and then sends instructions to the Arduino via USB.

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Arduino and Open Sound Control without an Ethernet shield

Open Sound Control (OSC) is a communications protocol that can be seen as a modern alternative to MIDI. It’s specifically designed to play nicely with network communication systems. The problem with using it along with Arduino-based gadgets is that you then need to use something like an Ethernet shield to provide the network connection. [Liam Lacey] decided to use Processing as a go-between for OSC and the Arduino in lieu of the Ethernet Shield. One of the major benefits of this method is that it gives you some flexibility when it comes to how the Arduino communicates. Since a USB connected Arduino can be addressed by the Processing sketch in the same way as an AVR chip connected via an RS232 serial port, [Liam’s] method will allow you to prototype on an Arduino board, but transition to your own non-USB hardware for the finished project. The one big drawback to this method is the need to have a computer connected to your controller, but we’d bet you’d need one to run MAXmsp anyway.

iPhone drum machine isn’t synthesized

There was a time when a drummer would grab some sticks and lay out a groove using the items around him as instruments. [Lsa Wilson] would rather not work quite that hard and has chosen to do the same thing by tapping on an iPhone screen. As you can see in the clip after the break, many of the items in the room around him have been fitted with solenoids. Each is connected to an Arduino which is then controlled by Open Sound Control and interfaced with the iPhone via TouchOSC. We love the sounds being created and can’t help being reminded of the Multixylophoniomnibus.

RFID meets Open Sound Control

Have you been working on a MIDI controller that uses RFID to identify and control different instruments? No? Neither have we but now we’re going to have to look into it. That’s because [Martin.K] has done a lot of the work for us. His nfOSC package links an RFID reader to the Open Sound Control library.

In the video after the break we see [Martin] placing RFID tags onto a Touchatag reader. With each addition, his software triggers a tag add event that OSC picks up and translates to a midi event; in this case it adds a new instrument to the mix. Can this be used to relieve musicians from staring at computer screens during performances? What if there was a small shelf in front of you? As you happily play your electric Didgeridoo, small items with RFID tags on them can be added or removed from that shelf to change the samples that are triggered when toiling away on that sonic weapon. This should be fun!

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Multi-screen video with Ipod

multivid_ipod_multi_sync

[Marco Tempest] has developed some software called MultiVid that allows synchronized video across multiple iPhone or iPod Touch devices. For this to work, all of the devices must be connected to the same WiFi network. Playback can be controlled from any one of the iPhones/iPod Touches or from the Mac running the controller software. There is of course the option of connecting to larger monitors through a video output cable. The app also supports OSC. We’ve embedded the example video as well as a video detailing the software setup after the break.

The client software is available at the apps store and controller software can be downloaded from [Marco’s] website. Both are free which is our favorite price point.

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CUIduino, Arduino with true USB support

cuiduinotop

The CREATE USB Interface (CUI) was a project that came out of UC Santa Barbara around the same time the Arduino was being developed. It has a USB port, a PIC18F4550, and a prototyping area. It was designed to enable easy interfacing with the real would through many A/D inputs and general I/O ports. It supports both OSC and MIDI-over-USB natively. The biggest difference between the CUI and the Arduino is its USB support. The Arduino uses an FTDI chip to create a serial interface to its onboard AVR. The CUI’s PIC has native support for USB. That means you can have the CUI appear to be any USB HID device you want: keyboard, mouse, game controller, etc.

The Arduino has a friendly development environment and a large following though. CUI create [Dan Overholt] decided to add an ATmega168 to his board to get the best of both worlds, the CUIduino (scroll down). It can be programmed just like any other Arduino compatible device, but the having the CUI parent means your Arduino project can behave like a native USB HID gadget.

[Thanks Peter]

Nintendo DS OSC support

dsmi

OpenSound Control protocol is an emerging standard for communication between musical programs. It’s meant to replace MIDI. The DSMI, DS Music Interface, team has just added support for OSC. You can now use your DS as generic OSC music controller over WiFi. OSC has TCP/IP support built in, so there is no need to run a host sever to talk to DSMI like you did when they only supported MIDI. We’ve seen OSC used in other projects like the monome. It’s also the basis for the multitouch communication protocol TUIO.

[via CDM]