[LAU] Open Sound Control: Is it still a thing?

Jörn Nettingsmeier nettings at stackingdwarves.net
Wed Apr 28 14:00:35 CEST 2021

On 4/28/21 12:30 AM, Len Ovens wrote:
> On Tue, 27 Apr 2021, Jörn Nettingsmeier wrote:
>> https://digico.biz/digico-opens-up-the-sd-range-with-generic-osc-control/
> This caught my eye... hoping that "generic OSC" might be some standard 
> for what controls should be called. But no. The biggest strength of OSC 
> is that it can do anything... but that is also it's biggest weakness. 
> There are many control applications that could benefit from standardized 
> messages but every DAW and controller requires setting up a control map 
> to fit the two together.

Yeah, I used to be critical of that, too. But OTOH, as soon as you start 
doing something remotely complex with MIDI, you really hack the living 
sh*t out of the generic MIDI vocabulary (consider such atrocities as 14 
bit controllers).

In that sense, OSC is just like XML, not HTML or anything - it has no 
"meaning", just syntax, but I consider that its strength. But it also 
means that it's not going to replace MIDI any time soon, for precisely 
that reason.

> I think this was because UDP starts to loose messages very quickly after 
> 100 or messages at a time. This would normally not seem like a problem 
> but when you consider that any one strip (I prefer strip to channel) may 
> have over 100 parameters that may be transfered at once in the case of 
> banking or a scene change. Some thing I have fought with on OSC control 
> for Ardour. I have had to add a very small delay with each message to 
> make things work.
> The Wing with TCP would not need this... but of course some OSC libs do 
> not support TCP because OSC 1.0 is UDP and OSC 1.0 never got past OSC 
> 1.0 due to lack of funding. There was work started on OSC 1.1 but it was 
> never formalized and the documentation has vanished from the OSC site. 
> This means no bundles, no TCP, no # or ? just / and so many OSC 
> controllers are OSC 1.0 only.

Ah, that might explain why I never got OSC over TCP going with standard 
tools - I thought I was just being stupid...

> The Wing on the other hand is doing what I have started to do with 
> Ardour (while leaving the old methods alone). 
> /strip/number/send/number/control type value (ei. 
> /strip/5/send/3/pan_azimuth f 0.75 ) Except they use /ch/5/fdr f .782
> The Wing is also using the same query mechanisim I have started to 
> implement in Ardour:
> send /strip/3/fader to ardour and it will replay with
> /strip/3/fader f .782
> (it may also send /strip/3/gain f 0 if the feedback is set that way)
> send /strip for a list of strips
> send /strip/2 for a list of controls with value for that strip
> etc.
> The problem with /ch is that a strip if stereo has two channels and if 
> MIDI has 16 channels and if a VCA has none and yet they are all handled 
> the same way with similar controls. So much for using /ch as a standard.
> Anyway, a standard for mixer strip controls would be very nice... and of 
> course mine is the best :)

Look at it this way: there is an amazing choice of standards :o)

Jörn Nettingsmeier
Tuinbouwstraat 180, 1097 ZB Amsterdam, Nederland
Tel. +49 177 7937487

Meister für Veranstaltungstechnik (Bühne/Studio), Tonmeister VDT

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