Want to hook that joystick / Wii remote / Guitar Hero controller / something odd to your music software? If you’re on Mac, OSCulator is the do-everything solution. It’s pay-what-you-like software ($19 minimum for PayPal), and it just got a big update:

Announcement: OSCulator 2.6 [Unidentified Sound Object, as seen in our sound design round-up]
Download page, with changelog [osculator.net]

There’s a lot new in release 2.6; highlights include:

  • Preset management
  • Graphical OSC routing editor
  • Wii Guitar Hero support (preliminary)
  • Hook up more: up to 2 virtual HID joysticks, up to 8 Wiimote (does anyone own that many?)
  • Make keyboard shortcuts just by striking the combo

And just to be clear, this app outputs MIDI. That means you can use whatever music software you like — so don’t worry about the OSC business if it’s new to you!

It’s not even really just for OSC, any more — does all kinds of input tasks. Windows and Linux users have plenty to be jealous of in this program. Major kudos to creator Camille Troillard; USO Project points to a terrific SEAMUS newsletter article on the software and its future.

The only sad news: this is the last release that will support Tiger; future versions are Leopard-only. (I’m curious, Camille — why? Lots of us still run Tiger for audio apps. Is this just to streamline testing, or is there really something in Leopard that OSCulator needs?)

You can add this to yesterday’s good news as far as OpenSoundControl — the iPhone/iPod touch app we saw released to the app store in yesterday’s round-up.

  • dead_red_eyes

    Wow, this looks great Peter!

  • Dear CreateDigitalMusic readers,

    Dear Peter,

    I'd like to answer your question about supporting Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger for future version of OSCulator.

    It appears that it becomes more and more difficult for me to maintain good compatibility between the two platforms. Even though in appearance there are not so much differences, Leopard has a lot of bugfixes, which makes life easier for a small developer like me 🙂

    But I totally understand that a lot of pro-users are relying on older but stable version of Mac OS. I know I have a big majority of 10.5 users, and this is why I have taken this decision. However, I am opened to your feedback, and if I am sufficiently encouraged to do so, will continue to support 10.4 as well.

    Kind Regards,


  • Well, you're not alone. Interestingly, this tends to happen far more on Mac than Windows or even Linux — partly because Apple doesn't typically back-port changes.

    Your answer makes sense, and I should hasten to add, 2.6 is a huge release for 10.4 users. Presumably by the time we're ready to upgrade OSCulator, we'll likewise be ready to upgrade 10.4 to 10.5, too!

  • Downpressor

    Not so interested without some 10.4 support beyond this one. Dont need forever but at least something.

  • @Downpressor, the *next* version will require 10.5. The current version still supports 10.4. So … no reason to worry at the moment.

  • spinner

    this with OSCCemote is the bollox 😀

  • Red

    I haven't yet checked out the new version but am looking forward to doing so.

    In the past I tried to use OSCulator to interface with Wiimotes. One of my issues had to do with (lack of) accurate velocity sensitivity for "strikes" / note-ons. The other issue was that I would in some circumstances want the raw data available to the end program (Reaktor, usually), while other times I would want the gesture to register as a "strike" / note-on.

    I wonder if either of these issues have been addressed in this release, or if there's a way to do either or both of which I had not been previously apprised.

  • @Red: Might that be related just to the nature of the Wii sensors themselves?

  • Red

    Peter, it's possible the difficulty in getting accurate velocity sensing strikes is due to the nature of the Wii's accelerometers. Perhaps Cam, who I'm sure is more familiar with them, can comment.

  • dead_red_eyes

    Red, I helped beta test a Wii-remote sampler program and the Wii sensors were a bit off there too. The Wii remote itself is a lot more accurate than the nunchuck attachment.

  • Well, I'm very much looking forward to the new gyro attachment that's coming for this very reason …

  • dead_red_eyes

    Same here Peter!

  • Red, Peter,

    About the Wiimote sensors :

    In my opinion, they are actually quite sensitive. Technically, there are 9 bits of resolution (8 bits for the nunchuck).

    I have to admit that triggering notes with the acceleration parameter of the Wiimote has been (still is?) a problem. There is a reason for that: the triggers for MIDI notes are not very compatible with the shape of the signal coming from the acceleration.

    Also, the acceleration parameter (which is in a sense the overall value of the x, y, z values) is statically staying at 0.2 (which correspond to the constant gravity force applied to the accelerometers), and hardly reach 0,8 when you strike the Wiimote hard (you can go even further if you hit the thing like crazy). This makes the response function of the Wiimote rather special for note triggering.

    The solution would be to provide a kind adjustment, or sensitivity to the independant Wiimote signals. But I think we could do the same for every osc signals, not only the Wiimote. Until now I have not found a good solution to modify the scale of float osc arguments, because I want to keep things simple and tidy. The way I see it would require a change in the user interface.

    I think things are much better in this version (2.6) because I totally rewrote the triggering system, making it much more robust and consistent.

    In Kyma, the interaction with the Wiimote is perfect. This is because we use a little program that filters the signals coming from OSCulator. I guess this is what Max users do as well.

    In conclusion, it is indeed possible to play notes with the Wiimote, but the "MIDI Note" events present in OSCulator are primarily there to serve an external OSC application which sends adjusted values.

    I hope this helps!

    Thanks for your questions.



  • tomax

    Cam, please continue to support 10.4 until Snow Leopard at least! i want to play with some Wiimotes and decide if my Buchla Lightning2 is inferior, or if i should continue using it (great for strikes, but not as flexible for other things, though Don's "control language" is really cool… 🙂

  • Red


    Thanks for the reply. I'll have to experiment with the triggering in the new version.

    Exactly what kind of filtering do you do in Kyma?

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