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Before there even was an iPad or iPhone, there was Lemur. The touch-based controller device was theoretically the first-ever consumer multi-touch hardware. Early adopters connected the pricey smart display via Ethernet to a computer, and wowed friends with flying faders and bouncing balls and new ways of doing everything from manipulating spatial audio to playing instruments.

Then, the iPad arrived, and Lemur had a new life as an iOS-only app. For many of us, it’s alone reason enough to own an Apple tablet.

But Apple tablets are pricey. Android tablets are cheap. And Android tablets are increasingly available in more sizes. So, maybe you want to run Lemur on Android. Maybe it’s your only tablet. Or maybe you’re just worried that now your live performance set depends on an iPad mini, and if it dies, you’re out hundreds more – so Android is an appealing backup.

Well, now, Lemur has come to Android. It wasn’t easy; it required lots of additional testing because of the variety of devices out there and weird peculiarities of making Android development work properly. (Disclosure: I was one of Lemur’s testers, and was gratified when it suddenly started working on my Nexus 7, which is a fairly excellent low-cost device.)

But now it’s here. And it’s fantastic. Nick from Liine came to our monthly mobile music app meetup in Berlin and showed us just how easy it is to code your own custom objects using the canvas – more on that soon. But combine that with a stable app for hosting your own creations, and Lemur is simply indispensable. It’s US$24.99 on the Google Play store.

Oh, and one more thing: wires.

Yes, sure, part of the appeal of tablets is wireless control. That allows you to walk around a performance venue, for instance, whilst controlling sounds and mixing. But in live situations, it sure is nice to avoid wifi connection problems and depend on a conventional wire. On both Android and iOS, this requires a special driver – at least if you want to connect directly via USB. But there’s already a free and open source Mac driver for Android, and it works really nicely with Lemur:

http://joshuawise.com/horndis

I am absolutely going to start carrying both my Nexus 7 and my iPad mini – I now never have to worry that one tablet will die or the iPad WiFi will decide to stop working int he middle of a show. I might even put them in different bags. You know – redundancy. And for Android lovers, this is great news. (They’ve been getting a handful of excellent apps lately, which, while nowhere near the iOS ecosystem, still mean you can get a lot of use out of an Android tablet. But that’s a story for another day.)

More on Lemur:

Lemur

And grab it from the Google Play store:

Lemur @ Google Play

  • Jim Warrier

    I got Lemur working over Bluetooth with ios8 and Yosemite.

    No more dropped networks!!

    • cfurrow

      Awesome! How did you do this?

      • Jim Warrier

        Using Midi LE a free app

        Then just set up as normal but without wifi switched on.

        Also when you go to Audio Midi Setup you will notice a new Bluetooth node in the window,

        • cfurrow

          Thanks a bunch!

    • ColdTea

      how?

      • Jim Warrier

        see below.

  • Jim Warrier

    I got Lemur working over Bluetooth with ios8 and Yosemite.

    No more dropped networks!!

    • cfurrow

      Awesome! How did you do this?

      • Jim Warrier

        Using Midi LE a free app

        Then just set up as normal but without wifi switched on.

        Also when you go to Audio Midi Setup you will notice a new Bluetooth node in the window,

        • cfurrow

          Thanks a bunch!

    • JesusChristLustForGlory

      how?

      • Jim Warrier

        see below.

  • Marc Nostromo

    Just to make sure I understand.. this means the lemur android version supports usb midi interfaces and would support ‘computerless’ setups ? That would be soooooo great.

    • Axel Balley

      There is no support as of yet for USB-MIDI interfaces on Android. The link in the article is for cabled networking between Android and computer, for OSC and MIDI communication.

      • Marc Nostromo

        Thanks for the clarification. Bummer, even if it’s already something.

      • dustinw

        USB host mode with class compliant USB-Midi devices is supported on some Android devices. It’s just the support isn’t on all the devices and what kind of adapters you need isn’t well documented. I know all the recent “Nexus” tabs and phones all usb-host with midi. This app maker describes a bit on their site: http://www.humatic.de/htools/touchdaw/man_midi_usbhost.htm

      • Popo Bawa

        How about support for wired ethernet over USB adaptor? RJ45 would be a deal-sealer for me.

        • Axel Balley

          That should work. As long as it’s recognized by the OS, Lemur will use whatever network hardware is available.

  • Marc Nostromo

    Just to make sure I understand.. this means the lemur android version supports usb midi interfaces and would support ‘computerless’ setups ? That would be soooooo great.

    • Axel Balley

      There is no support as of yet for USB-MIDI interfaces on Android. The link in the article is for cabled networking between Android and computer, for OSC and MIDI communication.

      • Marc Nostromo

        Thanks for the clarification. Bummer, even if it’s already something.

      • dustinw

        USB host mode with class compliant USB-Midi devices is supported on some Android devices. It’s just the support isn’t on all the devices and what kind of adapters you need isn’t well documented. I know all the recent “Nexus” tabs and phones all usb-host with midi. This app maker describes a bit on their site: http://www.humatic.de/htools/touchdaw/man_midi_usbhost.htm

      • Popo Bawa

        How about support for wired ethernet over USB adaptor? RJ45 would be a deal-sealer for me.

        • Axel Balley

          That should work. As long as it’s recognized by the OS, Lemur will use whatever network hardware is available.

  • Freeks

    Any idea does it work on the really low cost android tablets that cost around $50? With iPad i have jump between pages and it would be great to have three tablets side by side. iPads are too expensive for that but with cheap one it could be done with $150 or so.

    • Aaron

      I would say no. Those 50$ tablets tend to be hacked together chinese products using seriously antiquated intel chips. For $150 you can actually get yourself something decent on the low end (particularly during the season while sales are rampant on EOL models) like a Acer Iconia, Asus MeMo, and older Nexus or Galaxy Tab, etc.

      • Freeks

        That’s what i thought…
        For $150 i can get old iPad. I still use iPad1 with Lemur and TouchOSC and it works just fine.

    • Foosnark

      I kind of wonder about convincing my first-gen Kindle Fire to run it. Might have to root and install a normal Android build.

  • Freeks

    Any idea does it work on the really low cost android tablets that cost around $50? With iPad i have jump between pages and it would be great to have three tablets side by side. iPads are too expensive for that but with cheap one it could be done with $150 or so.

    • Aaron

      I would say no. Those 50$ tablets tend to be hacked together chinese products using seriously antiquated intel chips. For $150 you can actually get yourself something decent on the low end (particularly during the season while sales are rampant on EOL models) like a Acer Iconia, Asus MeMo, and older Nexus or Galaxy Tab, etc.

      • Freeks

        That’s what i thought…
        For $150 i can get old iPad. I still use iPad1 with Lemur and TouchOSC and it works just fine.

    • Foosnark

      I kind of wonder about convincing my first-gen Kindle Fire to run it. Might have to root and install a normal Android build.

  • bassik

    Hello All,

    I use airdroid for ad-hoc conenction with Nexus7 and Mac OSX Mavericks.

    I was using this for touch osc and worked flawlessy…now I bought Lemur and it is even better!!!

    Also work with usb-tethering.

    Another option I guess

    See this on Touch-osc forum: http://hexler.net/forum/viewthread/1014/

    • rimol

      Confirmed 🙂

      Just made it work on Kobo Arch 7 which doesn’t even have access to mobile networking. Was able to set up a Wifi Hotspot using Airdroid. Note that it automaticly generates a password for the Hotspot (which you can find under Hotspots in Airdroid).

      Thx for the tip bassik!

      • dlitke

        Could you describe how you did this? I’m trying to connect a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 (wifi only) to my Mac via USB. I’ve tried Airdroid, but the tethering option doesn’t seem to work. Did you have to trick it somehow?

  • bassik

    Hello All,

    I use airdroid for ad-hoc conenction with Nexus7 and Mac OSX Mavericks.

    I was using this for touch osc and worked flawlessy…now I bought Lemur and it is even better!!!

    Also work with usb-tethering.

    Another option I guess

    See this on Touch-osc forum: http://hexler.net/forum/viewthread/1014/

    • rimol

      Confirmed 🙂

      Just made it work on Kobo Arch 7 which doesn’t even have access to mobile networking. Was able to set up a Wifi Hotspot using Airdroid. Note that it automaticly generates a password for the Hotspot (which you can find under Hotspots in Airdroid).

      Thx for the tip bassik!

      • dlitke

        Could you describe how you did this? I’m trying to connect a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 (wifi only) to my Mac via USB. I’ve tried Airdroid, but the tethering option doesn’t seem to work. Did you have to trick it somehow?

  • laylow

    Another advantage of Android is not only the lower cost of devices, but also at the higher end (around ipad prices) stuff gets kinda drool-worthy. Example: I wonder how well Lemur (and the newly released Djay for Android) works on super big, semi-portable tablets like these: https://www.nabitablet.com/nabi-big-tab-hd/specs

    20″ tablet for $450? Compared to what the Lemur originally cost that’s a steal. Only downsides I see is the lack of SD card slot, proprietary cable for USB, and horrible battery life. (Not that you’d be using this on-the-go)

    • Original Jazz Mutant also had velocity/pressure sensitivity ala MPC pads etc… well worth the sacrifice in most cases though

      • wetterberg

        Yes, adjustable sensitivity, not “velocity sensitivity” where it can differentiate between a hard touch and a soft touch.

        • Oh wow, original JM was less impressive than I thought then.

      • .

        No it did not.

  • laylow

    Another advantage of Android is not only the lower cost of devices, but also at the higher end (around ipad prices) stuff gets kinda drool-worthy. Example: I wonder how well Lemur (and the newly released Djay for Android) works on super big, semi-portable tablets like these: https://www.nabitablet.com/nabi-big-tab-hd/specs

    20″ tablet for $450? Compared to what the Lemur originally cost that’s a steal. Only downsides I see is the lack of SD card slot, proprietary cable for USB, and horrible battery life. (Not that you’d be using this on-the-go)

    • Original Jazz Mutant also had velocity/pressure sensitivity ala MPC pads etc… well worth the sacrifice in most cases though

      • wetterberg

        Yes, adjustable sensitivity, not “velocity sensitivity” where it can differentiate between a hard touch and a soft touch.

        • Oh wow, original JM was less impressive than I thought then.

      • .

        No it did not.

  • Korhan Erel

    Could someone tell me how I can connect Lemur on iPad with my Macbook Pro over USB? I could not locate the driver Peter mentions in the article. Thanks!

  • Korhan Erel

    Could someone tell me how I can connect Lemur on iPad with my Macbook Pro over USB? I could not locate the driver Peter mentions in the article. Thanks!

  • Randy G.

    Potentially Awesome GUI designer for PD on Android? Has anyone else made this connection? Would PdDroidParty support midi I/O from/to Lemur?

  • Randy G.

    Potentially Awesome GUI designer for PD on Android? Has anyone else made this connection? Would PdDroidParty support midi I/O from/to Lemur?

  • This is such glorious news, all of this. The USB tethering access opening up OSC over USB, the custom resolutions, the Android support, the Windows support, all of it. I’ve been waiting for all of these things for ages. Lemur >>>> everything now.

    • WetBoy

      What new Windows support ?!?!?!

      • Tekknovator

        I think Nick does not know about RTP midi for Windows.

        • I was vague in what I meant by that. I was surprised to see a Windows daemon and editor when I went back on Liine’s Downloads page – I don’t remember seeing one, but I guess I wasn’t paying attention before. Regardless, the Windows version is a higher version number than the OS X version – you can’t specify custom dimensions (necessary for Android) on the OS X editor yet!

  • This is such glorious news, all of this. The USB tethering access opening up OSC over USB, the custom resolutions, the Android support, the Windows support, all of it. I’ve been waiting for all of these things for ages. Lemur >>>> everything now.

    • WetBoy

      What new Windows support ?!?!?!

      • Tekknovator

        I think Nick does not know about RTP midi for Windows.

        • I was vague in what I meant by that. I was surprised to see a Windows daemon and editor when I went back on Liine’s Downloads page – I don’t remember seeing one, but I guess I wasn’t paying attention before. Regardless, the Windows version is a higher version number than the OS X version – you can’t specify custom dimensions (necessary for Android) on the OS X editor yet!

          As a side note, NO, as primarily an OS X user, I did NOT know about RTPmidi. That’s awesome. Thanks.

  • WetBoy

    My 23inch multi touch screen cost less than most tablets, where is Lemur for desktop OSs???

    • Tekknovator

      did you ever try Usine? can do the job quite nice on touch screens. Tried that on several devices (including humungus dell touch monster where I forgot its name…) Once you dig into Usine you might even think about ditching whatever you where aiming to control with Lemur 😉

      • Freeks

        Thanks for the Usine tip!
        We have spare 23″ touchscreen that nobody use. (Why would they?)
        Just have to speck that there is drivers etc. for OSX

        • Freeks

          No drivers for OSX 🙁

      • WetBoy

        Yeah, I have Usine, just the learning curve and lack of tutorials has me stumbling

      • schlauchmilch

        “Humongous Dell Touch Monster” should be a band name. Just saying.

  • WetBoy

    My 23inch multi touch screen cost less than most tablets, where is Lemur for desktop OSs???

    • Tekknovator

      did you ever try Usine? can do the job quite nice on touch screens. Tried that on several devices (including humungus dell touch monster where I forgot its name…) Once you dig into Usine you might even think about ditching whatever you where aiming to control with Lemur 😉

      • Freeks

        Thanks for the Usine tip!
        We have spare 23″ touchscreen that nobody use. (Why would they?)
        Just have to speck that there is drivers etc. for OSX

        • Freeks

          No drivers for OSX 🙁

      • WetBoy

        Yeah, I have Usine, just the learning curve and lack of tutorials has me stumbling

      • schlauchmilch

        “Humongous Dell Touch Monster” should be a band name. Just saying.

  • poopoo

    Fuck Yeah!

  • poopoo

    Fuck Yeah!

  • Aaron

    …or maybe you just don’t want to own an Apple product and don’t need any of these other reasons..

    • foljs

      Then you would not be thinking clearly.

      • WetBoy

        Ha ha 🙂
        I feel an integrated solution would be nice that didnt rely upon a small and expensive device only required for the touch input, in my case, I dont need its other features as my machines are more powerful and run the software Ive already invested in.

        A multi touch monitor is larger and, surprisingly, can be used as a monitor 😉

        Obviously an Apple product is no longer required for Lemur and a cheap Android device is sounding more attractive.

        Which firm was it that coined the phrase “Think Different” ?
        ;p

        Ps Is that you Si ?

  • Aaron

    …or maybe you just don’t want to own an Apple product and don’t need any of these other reasons..

    • foljs

      Then you would not be thinking clearly.

      • WetBoy

        Ha ha 🙂
        I feel an integrated solution would be nice that didnt rely upon a small and expensive device only required for the touch input, in my case, I dont need its other features as my machines are more powerful and run the software Ive already invested in.

        A multi touch monitor is larger and, surprisingly, can be used as a monitor 😉

        Obviously an Apple product is no longer required for Lemur and a cheap Android device is sounding more attractive.

        Which firm was it that coined the phrase “Think Different” ?
        ;p

        Ps Is that you Si ?

  • steef

    Would love to see an article on great android music/sound apps! Great article and great news 🙂 Thanks

  • steef

    Would love to see an article on great android music/sound apps! Great article and great news 🙂 Thanks

  • Jamsire Ernoir

    Cool indeed. I still have LOVE my JM Lemur – it was quite awesome in it’s heyday. Still use it with Cubase 6 and Live 8. Gonna hook it up to my Korg Kronos via ethernet. Wish me luck.

  • Jamsire Ernoir

    Cool indeed. I still have LOVE my JM Lemur – it was quite awesome in it’s heyday. Still use it with Cubase 6 and Live 8. Gonna hook it up to my Korg Kronos via ethernet. Wish me luck.

  • Paul

    I bought this piece of shit and have the editor, daemon open, app open, usb plugged in and driver downloaded, and after about an hour of reading fucking pdfs, fuck all is working. What an utterly SHIT UI for even getting going. Instant regret on this purchase.

    • Nick

      Hey Paul, feel free to get in touch at support@liine.net – we’re here to help.

  • Paul

    I bought this piece of shit and have the editor, daemon open, app open, usb plugged in and driver downloaded, and after about an hour of reading fucking pdfs, fuck all is working. What an utterly SHIT UI for even getting going. Instant regret on this purchase.

    • Nick

      Hey Paul, feel free to get in touch at support@liine.net – we’re here to help.

  • gigi

    usb tethering nexus 7 2012 (wi-fi only) anyone? Any luck on setting up an ad hoc network on windows 7? I’m kind of disappointed btw

    • Nick

      USB tethering is for any Android device that supports HoRNDIS (or similar driver).

      • gigi

        I see, and there’s a driver called RNDIS for windows, I’ll try with that. Funny that nobody mentioned it before, not even on Liine website… saying midi over cable on android with usb tethering and not explaining how, well, that’s not really helpful!

  • gigi

    usb tethering nexus 7 2012 (wi-fi only) anyone? Any luck on setting up an ad hoc network on windows 7? I’m kind of disappointed btw

    • Nick

      USB tethering is for any Android device that supports HoRNDIS (or similar driver).

      • gigi

        I see, and there’s a driver called RNDIS for windows, I’ll try with that. Funny that nobody mentioned it before, not even on Liine website… saying midi over cable on android with usb tethering and not explaining how, well, that’s not really helpful!

  • newmiracle

    Has anyone set this up with bluestacks yet? Would it be possible to have a bluestacks hosted Lemur app communicate to a program on the same PC? Wouldn’t be surprised if there were issues, though.

    If they port this to Android, why not Windows devices with touchscreens?

  • newmiracle

    Has anyone set this up with bluestacks yet? Would it be possible to have a bluestacks hosted Lemur app communicate to a program on the same PC? Wouldn’t be surprised if there were issues, though.

    If they port this to Android, why not Windows devices with touchscreens?

  • Don’t forget, the Traxus Control: Traktor template is free software, available here:
    http://traxusinteractive.com/downloads/index.php

    Read Peters Coverage here:
    http://createdigitalmusic.com/2014/05/complete-ipad-control-traktor-yet-one-lemur-template-nearly-everything/

  • Don’t forget, the Traxus Control: Traktor template is free software, available here:
    http://traxusinteractive.com/downloads/index.php

    Read Peters Coverage here:
    http://createdigitalmusic.com/2014/05/complete-ipad-control-traktor-yet-one-lemur-template-nearly-everything/

  • Bill

    As there’s no demo, does anyone know if it works with a samsung tablet (the note 2014 edition)? Cheers.

  • Bill

    As there’s no demo, does anyone know if it works with a samsung tablet (the note 2014 edition)? Cheers.

  • last call

    is lemur for iOS able to run via direct cable now?

  • last call

    is lemur for iOS able to run via direct cable now?

  • Owls And Stills

    Hey what’s the biggest touch screen tablet you guys have got this running on!? It would be SO COOL to run this on a raspberry pi running android connected to a huge touch screen. if that’s even possible…..

  • Owls And Stills

    Hey what’s the biggest touch screen tablet you guys have got this running on!? It would be SO COOL to run this on a raspberry pi running android connected to a huge touch screen. if that’s even possible…..

  • Just checked this HoRNDIS driver myself and pleased to say it runs a wired connection with TouchOSC out of the box too. That’s going to make a shedload of folks well happy on support 🙂 Thanks for the pointer Peter.

  • Just checked this HoRNDIS driver myself and pleased to say it runs a wired connection with TouchOSC out of the box too. That’s going to make a shedload of folks well happy on support 🙂 Thanks for the pointer Peter.

  • selfish kitty

    I want this hipster piece of shit Ipad to communicate osc directly over usb to windows god damnit!!!!
    Back and forth with the proprietary cables, unsupported drivers, workarounds, network drop out shit wifi chips, hacks, jailbreaks, more proprietary cables and charging standards!!!!!!!I’m going mad!!!!!!!Enough APPLE, ENOUGH!!!!

  • selfish kitty

    I want this hipster piece of shit Ipad to communicate osc directly over usb to windows god damnit!!!!
    Back and forth with the proprietary cables, unsupported drivers, workarounds, network drop out shit wifi chips, hacks, jailbreaks, more proprietary cables and charging standards!!!!!!!I’m going mad!!!!!!!Enough APPLE, ENOUGH!!!!