OSC vs. MIDI
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    gmint
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    OSC vs. MIDI

    by gmint » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:42 pm

    This discussion started here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8115&start=30

    Perhaps we can continue it in a bit more topical thread. Regarding OSC, I think that the intent is generally good, but it seems to me that it just isn't ready as a MIDI replacement (and it may never be). Perhaps a better use for OSC is the passing of data (not necessarily control data) between applications. Thoughts?
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    Re: OSC vs. MIDI

    by The Midi Thief » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:53 pm

    I don't know. It depends on how you use it. There is two ways of controlling stuff. 1) by sending keywords directed to a specific application or 2) sending standard messages that any program can listen to. In theory you can make one program listen to messages meant for another application but that would be to complicate things beyond reason. Method 1 is rather simple and that's the way VDMX and several other softwares work.

    As for Modu8's OSC module it could be remade to accept anything but maping still wouldn't be as easy as MIDI. But this shouldn't be a module, it should be native in Modul8. As long as OSC is implemented as a module, you can't control other modules which makes it 50% less interesting than midi right there. Yes, you could add a few lines of code in the OSC module and in every module you'd like to control but no one would really make that effort.

    I love that OSC is a more high res signal and that you can pass anything over it. Well not anything there is some limit to how much data a package can contain and I don't remember the specifications. With MIDI you most likely stuck with values between 0 and 127. I say most likely since there are other ways of using MIDI but these are rarely used in VJ software and also a bit trickier to handle.
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    Re: OSC vs. MIDI

    by gmint » Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:02 pm

    I probably (i.e. almost certainly) don't know nearly as much as you do about OSC, but it seems to me that one of the biggest advantages to the format (it's extensibility) is also its greatest downfall. Perhaps things are maturing more, but I know the problem that I was having with Modul8 was the fact that certain things needed a value that Touch OSC couldn't (at one point) send...
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    Re: OSC vs. MIDI

    by anomad » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:45 am

    The Midi Thief wrote:But this shouldn't be a module, it should be native in Modul8. As long as OSC is implemented as a module, you can't control other modules which makes it 50% less interesting than midi right there.


    . you read my mind on this one ! :D

    . i haven't done a lot of OSC programming (yet) - i do think it will be the 'future' of control, given its flexibility and precision. i've only recently started playing around w/Touch OSC and can see some great potential w/new types of controls and finally being able to give my controls labels and context (rather than remember button 1 is fx on/off, button 2 is strobe on/off, etc....)

    . but, it should be native to Modul8... i could see it being implemented similar the MIDI and KeyPress options - select it from the menu to 'listen' - send some OSC and save the mapping....


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    Re: OSC vs. MIDI

    by gmint » Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:54 pm

    anomad wrote:
    The Midi Thief wrote:i do think it will be the 'future' of control, given its flexibility and precision.


    While there is definitely a need for protocol to replace MIDI, I really don't think it's going to be OSC. If you want to get an idea of where things are going controller-wise, just look at the DJ market. I'm primarily a DJ (I use Traktor) and the controller market has really been exploding lately. However, while many controllers are starting to use something other than MIDI for their primary control protocol, it's usually some form of proprietary HID control. Marketing speak indicates that this is largely due to latency issues; whether or not that's true, I don't know, but I suspect that there may be some basis in fact for that. And, as far as I know, the Lemur was about the only hardware device that ever supported OSC. That leads me to believe that OSC has a long way to go...

    Keep in mind that I'm not against OSC or anything like that, it just seems to me that maybe it's one of these protocols that will have a limited impact on the market and that perhaps GarageCube would be better spent dedicating their limited time to some other area of the program. Am I wrong?
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    Re: OSC vs. MIDI

    by anomad » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:01 pm

    gmint wrote:And, as far as I know, the Lemur was about the only hardware device that ever supported OSC. That leads me to believe that OSC has a long way to go...

    Keep in mind that I'm not against OSC or anything like that, it just seems to me that maybe it's one of these protocols that will have a limited impact on the market and that perhaps GarageCube would be better spent dedicating their limited time to some other area of the program. Am I wrong?


    . well, there are quite a few hardware and software items listed in the wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Sound_Control for OSC :D

    . i think the strength of OSC is that it's open and flexible. for things like button, knobs, sliders, etc - MIDI works pretty well, but is limited in resolution. now, if we expand our thoughts on 'control' - to include Wii remotes, x/y tracking cameras (like TUIO + Microsoft Kinect) maybe some hardware sensors (via an Arduino + junXion ) - there's a need for something that can better contextualize the data - perhaps describe what it is and its limits. so, when i think bigger picture and what might happen next, a customizable protocol like OSC seems to make sense.

    . for example, if i wanted to write a modul8 module that took x/y data of people walking on a stage and convert that to the Painter module to draw the paths of where people walked - MIDI really won't cut it w/o some serious hacking/patchwork to convert controllers to a data range of 0-640.

    . a more integrated OSC implementation in Modul8 could open up all sorts of possibilities! :)


    . but, that's just my $0.02 on the topic


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    Re: OSC vs. MIDI

    by gmint » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:30 pm

    Well, like I said, I'm not necessarily against OSC, and in a perfect world, it would be great to have an excellent MIDI, OSC, DMX, and perhaps even other protocol support built into Modul8. However, obviously resources are limited and I think the real question that needs to be addressed here is whether or not OSC is something that should have a high priority for the guys at GarageCube. I suspect that decision is already made, but who knows...

    Regarding "quite a few" hardware OSC items, I guess that's a relative term ;) Honestly, like I said, as good or bad of an idea as OSC may be, at this point, I just don't think you can consider it anything more than a very small niche. My suggestion would be that rather than put more work into OSC, more work be put into DMX. DMX is every bit as limited as MIDI (if not more so), but there again, it's ubiquitous when it comes to lighting. DMX also has about the same level of support in Modul8 as OSC does. Personally, it seems to me if we're talking about a protocol to integrate with other programs/systems/etc. (and that kind of seems to be general direction of this topic), many more people would be in a position to leverage DMX interoperability.
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    Re: OSC vs. MIDI

    by lotech » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:28 am

    I see OSC being the future and needs to be 100% supported but I'd personally like to see MIDI implemented properly into Modul8 first. Mainly because it's mostly working right now and if the features that are missing can be done in a Module - it can surely added to the main program. For now a mouse is still my primary control method - which sucks.

    As for the comment on HID based DJ controllers - from what I understand it's to do with the extra input resolution and minimizing delay. Also the more cynical would be to assist in platform lock in (for the ones that don't offer support for more than program).
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    Re: OSC vs. MIDI

    by gmint » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:12 am

    lotech wrote:I see OSC being the future and needs to be 100% supported but I'd personally like to see MIDI implemented properly into Modul8 first.


    I haven't run into a ton of limitations myself, but I would certainly agree with that goal.

    lotech wrote:As for the comment on HID based DJ controllers - from what I understand it's to do with the extra input resolution and minimizing delay. Also the more cynical would be to assist in platform lock in (for the ones that don't offer support for more than program).


    By and large, I would agree with both points. That said, let's assume that manufacturers aren't using proprietary (or partially proprietary) HID interfaces JUST to lock people into their platforms, why hasn't OSC gained adoption in this area if it's superior (or, at least if it's ultimately going to be the future)? Not to mention that generally speaking, pretty much every HID device also has a MIDI mode. It seems to me that if I were a manufacturer and there were a good, high-resolution, low latency protocol available, it would be tough to justify writing a proprietary control scheme even if that locked consumers into your system. Like I said, I haven't seen much progress as far as OSC is concerned in most of the software that I use (admittedly, that's a poor sample), and in fact, I've seen software that once supported OSC pull that support...
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    Re: OSC vs. MIDI

    by lotech » Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:28 am

    The main 'limitation' of Midi is that if you do want 2 way communication you have to do a dual midi map setup - one for modules (via the main midi map) and one for 2 way midi (Udarts module). This of course breaks all to often and regularly leaves me 10mins from starting a gig and having to remap my whole TouchOSC/osculator setup again.
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    Re: OSC vs. MIDI

    by gmint » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:10 am

    lotech wrote:The main 'limitation' of Midi is that if you do want 2 way communication you have to do a dual midi map setup - one for modules (via the main midi map) and one for 2 way midi (Udarts module). This of course breaks all to often and regularly leaves me 10mins from starting a gig and having to remap my whole TouchOSC/osculator setup again.


    Built-in (or at least very stable) MIDI feedback is practically a necessity in Modul8. With all of the contextual controlls, it's next to impossible not to lose your place when working on layers.
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    Re: OSC vs. MIDI

    by The Midi Thief » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:45 pm

    Needless to say, MIDI feedback for modules.
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    Re: OSC vs. MIDI

    by bareimage » Thu May 10, 2012 3:30 pm

    gmint wrote:
    lotech wrote:I see OSC being the future and needs to be 100% supported but I'd personally like to see MIDI implemented properly into Modul8 first.


    I haven't run into a ton of limitations myself, but I would certainly agree with that goal.

    lotech wrote:As for the comment on HID based DJ controllers - from what I understand it's to do with the extra input resolution and minimizing delay. Also the more cynical would be to assist in platform lock in (for the ones that don't offer support for more than program).


    By and large, I would agree with both points. That said, let's assume that manufacturers aren't using proprietary (or partially proprietary) HID interfaces JUST to lock people into their platforms, why hasn't OSC gained adoption in this area if it's superior (or, at least if it's ultimately going to be the future)? Not to mention that generally speaking, pretty much every HID device also has a MIDI mode. It seems to me that if I were a manufacturer and there were a good, high-resolution, low latency protocol available, it would be tough to justify writing a proprietary control scheme even if that locked consumers into your system. Like I said, I haven't seen much progress as far as OSC is concerned in most of the software that I use (admittedly, that's a poor sample), and in fact, I've seen software that once supported OSC pull that support...


    This is bad! OSC is one of the most important things for me, for telematic performances where I send data between applications on different computers around the world. I guess I could write something of my own. But I love the idea of the open standart for transmission of any variable data...

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