For anyone whose complaint about OSC aka OpenSoundControl is that it lacks broad hardware support, I have one word for you:


OSC now runs on magical unicorns. (Would a unicorn not want high-resolution, human-readable messages encoded with time-stamps? I think they would. And because OSC is transport-independent, it can absolutely run on magical Unicorn Beams.)

No idea what this post is about? Don’t worry — I’ll have a talking unicorn narrate a proper, sophisticated, complete introduction to OSC for beginners soon. They’re magical, so they can make complex topics lucid to any audience.

Yesterday, I wrote, entirely tongue in cheek and not expecting anything to actually come of it:

I think maybe I’ll start running screaming headlines with things I want in them, if only for good luck. Tomorrow on CDM: “You Know What Annoys Me? The Fact That We Don’t Have Unicorns. Magic Unicorns. Who Speak OSC.”

Today, via Twitter, Max patcher and audiovisual Merlock Andrew Lovett-Barron of Toronto wrote to me:

@peterkirn I made you a unicorn that speaks OSC.

And here it is, for your enjoyment, in Max 5 patch format:


This is, of course, very silly. But it’s an excuse to pitch Andrew’s site, which has lots of patching and coding goodies and visual creations:


And perhaps more importantly, OSC now has a mascot. That means t-shirts, plushies, costumes, the lot. Your job: what should the name of this unicorn be?

All MIDI has is an antiquated DIN cable. Oh, yeah, that and millions of compatible devices. We hope OSC support won’t be as rare as unicorns.

Side note: please don’t troll this post, tempting as that may be. It’ll make the unicorn cry.

  • OSCar the Unicorn? That one might be a bit obvious, but it's the best I can do in 30 seconds. 😉

  • Darren, I came to the same conclusion. Maybe rOSCoe?

  • Good one. I can't think of any others.

    Unicorn tears cure cancer.

  • VgaForest

    Good, Now my monome and my magical unicorn can communicate directly, without having to downsample to mid!. ugghh. i hated having to do that…

  • vinayk

    what about George constanza's atm code?



  • Quintin

    how about

    Jamzzy McVaulderbeatz

  • nice controller 😉

    touch sensitiv glases right?

  • Original Superior Caballus?


  • Simon

    Sorry, but OSC is worth nothing to me until they implement support for Griffons.

  • Lephrenic

    Will it lead us to candy mountain?

  • fv

    Clearly it should be called Oscar. That much is obvious.

  • Perfect at last I could control my unicorn with an iphone.

    Maybe I need to sell the unicorn for buy an iphone.

  • Paul

    PhilOSCophee the time traveling unicorn what with to make my midi nightmares go away and bring me confectionary sweet treats for the tongues tucked away behind my cochlea

    come here Philly I have some properly organized data sets for you to num numch on

  • Paul

    I can just see it now the new visualizations to audio at a concert with be self playing board games who respond to the music that's being played

    mousetrap plus osc means this time mine boot will be working

  • griotspeak

    the patch is missing an abstraction. "opensoundcontrol"

    sorta funny in a way.

  • Guy

    Meme starting in 5.. 4… ……

  • griotspeak

    found it.

  • 2BiT


  • bliss

    What about MOTU's feelings?

  • bliss

    Ray Corn?

    Uni Wonder?

    U. Diddy?



    Corny Hart?


  • Mobb Deep the Unicorn.

  • bliss

    Una Montana?

    Buffy the Fable Slayer?

  • yeah but

    Nice idea but unicorns + timing make me think MOTU

  • bliss
  • bliss

    I give up. Thank goodness.

  • bliss

    Oscci Oscorn?

    Okay, now I really quit.

  • bliss

    Should be:

    Oscci Oscourne.

  • bliss

    Or is it:

    Ossci Oscourne?

    Never mind. (And it's not even Friday yet.)

  • ollie!

    (full name ollie ollie osc-en-free!)

  • detroit

    FlOSCy the unicorn!

  • middleman


  • John

    Best. Headline. Ever.

  • Enzo

    Dave the Unicorn!

  • Birds Use Stars

    Tom Cruise The Unicorn

  • davebritton

    Unicorn name: OSC.ar when you use Supercollider, of course. I want a t-shirt right away, with the sunglasses, please.

    and don't knock MIDI's 5 Pin Din, I order it regularly from my local Chinese takeout place.

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