The preeminent multi-platform touch control app just keeps improving since its next-gen reboot earlier this year. And that means the ability to get your hands on music and visuals wherever you are, on any OS. So let’s catch up with Hexler.

TouchOSC has been the go-to app for making custom touch control layouts since it arrived in the early iPhone era, all the way back in 2008. The relaunch modernized and expanded that software and added powerful scripting features.

The “OSC” bit means it does work with OpenSoundControl (especially handy with live visual apps and custom patches and code), but there’s also TouchOSC Bridge for use with MIDI, so it’s a powerful MIDI controller, as well.

Full info + macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS links:

Need to use Traktor without a controller? TouchOSC. Need a way of playing your VJ set? TouchOSC. Built a wild live coding setup and want to play it with some faders? TouchOSC again.

TouchOSC 1.0.9 dropped earlier this week with a range of fixes and tweaks. The big addition – “a new Message Mapping view for an overview of ALL the messages used in your control surface.” It’s a little console view for all your messages. That’s long been a way to keep track of what you’re doing in desktop software; it’s a total godsend to have it on Android and iOS, too.

Now with Message Mapping view.

If you lost track since the June launch, there have been loads of additions – new example layouts (for stuff like scripting and sensor data collection), bug fixes, and more features, including:

  • Document XML export
  • Control surface filters – invert, grayscale, high contrast
  • Support for both OSC/TCP 1.0 and 1.1
  • Document tree view in the editor panel
  • init script callback

Hexler has also been posting/reposting some wonderful video action. To start with, this isn’t only for the computer crowd – here it is integrated with Eurorack:

There’s an utterly spectacular Reaper template, which really opens up fast production in that wonderful DAW. (The template is not controlling that animation as I briefly thought but… hey, it’s TouchOSC, you could do that, too. Meanwhile, it does add some visual interest, because DAWs are a bit boring to look at no matter how pretty the UI theme.)

And holy crap – bi-direction templating here opens up features like automatic naming, per-track VU meters, and lots of different custom controls:

Tim Corpus has made a massive, deep 8-part guide to working with TouchOSC if you prefer video learning (there’s also clear online documentation from Hexler):

It’s definitely time to put this one to use. Seems we all have more studio time as live stuff continues to be canceled for public health reasons, so this is a good match – works well in studio/home mode, and then travels with you when hopefully someday we’re back on the road again.

Also, how did I not know about KodeLife? This requires investigation.