And there were three – three major production apps now have OSC control. Once considered the domain of “DIY” apps or developers, OpenSoundControl is beginning to look like a viable option for open, standardized controls of music apps. Open-source Mac/Linux DAW Ardour has fully-documented OSC support as we saw in the spring, and this week tracker Renoise added OSC in a public beta. They join environments like Max and Pd, and a wide range of live visual software.

Add to that list DP. MOTU’s Digital Performer is the first mainstream, commercial DAW heavy-hitter to get OSC support, in its 7.2 update. 7.2 is generally a nice update, including theme support for its UI, but I’ll assume that if you’re a DP user, you’ve already found out about it. What you may have missed is the custom OSC control features added to DP’s default control surface support.

DP 7.2 update

Select Setup > Control Surface Setup, and you can add an OSC controller. Right now, that’s most likely to mean some sort of iOS iPhone or iPad app, though this suggests to me the incentive is growing for someone – anyone – to finish OSC support for traditional hardware with faders, knobs, and buttons, too.

Once you’ve got your networking setup configured, you’re granted extensive control of just about everything you can do with DP tracks. That includes, to paraphrase from the MOTU OSC Programming Guide:

  • Global properties: transport, click, punch, and even frame formats.
  • Actions: Cut, copy, undo, scrub, zoom, scroll, jump to markers, selection tools – all the things you normally do with the mouse and keyboard shortcuts.
  • Track properties: Volume, pan, mute, solo, of course, but also group settings, monitoring, and other more advanced options.
  • Sends and inserts.

You can find all the details by navigating to DP’s online control surface help.

Not absolutely everything is covered, but it’s fairly extensive and copiously documented. Aside from controlling DP from a custom iPad control surface, I’m curious if this helps people to have another outlet for making “macros” for control.

We haven’t seen yet what MOTU’s own plans for its OSC support may be, but I’ll let you know. I think even having DP and Ardour with similar support in DAWs is already progress for the traction of the protocol. Saying “I’m first” or “I’m exclusive” isn’t, of course, terribly meaningful when you’re talking standards. Now, OSC support in music software has some company.

Of course, with opportunity comes responsibility. There’s an even greater need for coordination between OSC developers, and a broader effort to help the protocol mature.

I’m not necessarily saying a magical unicorn that appeared at the end of last year has anything to do with the rash of improved OSC support in music apps. It could be a coincidence.
  • It will be interesting to see how this translates to the rest of the MOTU product line. Could be quite pivotal.

  • I hate to start a shitstorm but…

    I don't know guys, what's the big deal?

  • Good point — Ethno, for instance, with OSC input?

  • griotspeak

    I think that a new protocol gaining a tangible level of acceptance is a pretty big deal.

    i am not all that excited about the functionality outlined, but this brings us one step closer to OSC control of instruments and on screen interface. i lust after the day when i can control the step sequencer of ultrabeat with my monome. I am interested in my control surface interfacing with the interface the the point where button presses work like clicks.

  • fx23

    despite being a much heavier protocol, Osc allows so much more than midi in an easier way for user.
    Hope more will follow, especially ableton..

  • Adrian Anders

    Well, DP is like 3rd or 4th place for DAWs on the Mac Platform… at this point they had to do something bold like adding OSC or risk becoming irrelevant.

  • cobalt

    Very exciting to see OSC more widely adopted.

  • vger

    I'm SO very happy to see this standard finally gaining traction in "mainstream" products! I sure hope this helps nudge some more DAW makers to integrate OSC.

  • griotspeak

    i lied, I am excited about the 2 way communication and the face that it allows wonderful HUD capability.

  • cubestar

    Peter, Numerology 3 in is public beta now and also includes native OSC!

  • ive used DP since 3.1 but ive been getting antsy to try something else. its telling that the biggest ‘woot’ from me on this was that it adds right-click capability. FINALLY.

    and the OSC is sweet too.

  • kev

    I've been a DP user for ages and I think MOTU deserves credit for adopting OSC. Apparently they have plans for an iPod/iPhone app as well.




  • Hmm

    1. Ardour is considered a "major production app"?

    2. What did they use for interfacing control surfaces before OSC?