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A Windows-equivalent for Hexler's TouchOSC

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Re: A Windows-equivalent for Hexler's TouchOSC

Postby ramthelinefeed » Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:53 pm

Yeah I have used Max before (the IRCAM flavour in the 1990s, not Cycling 74's commercial version).

Honestly though, all I wanna do is have a Windows app where I can plonk some simple widgets on the screen (sliders, buttons, etc) and map them to various MIDI messages, to actual as a programmer for various old bits of gear.
The thing is that some of my more vintage pieces of gear need this to include SysEx (so when you move the slider, it just changes the data bytes in the SysEx string) ... my Elektron SID Station is the main offender :)
But most of these cheap and simple Windows programs only work with 'continuous controller' messages.

But if I gotta fork out for Max I probably will, I guess.
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Re: A Windows-equivalent for Hexler's TouchOSC

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:52 pm

ramthelinefeed wrote:Honestly though, all I wanna do is have a Windows app where I can plonk some simple widgets on the screen (sliders, buttons, etc) and map them to various MIDI messages, to actual as a programmer for various old bits of gear.
The thing is that some of my more vintage pieces of gear need this to include SysEx (so when you move the slider, it just changes the data bytes in the SysEx string) ... my Elektron SID Station is the main offender :)
But most of these cheap and simple Windows programs only work with 'continuous controller' messages.

But if I gotta fork out for Max I probably will, I guess.

I'd say this is exactly the sort of thing that Max excels at. Not only do you get to design your own interface the way you want it, but you can also get very creative with the MIDI side of things if you're prepared to dive into a little bit of Javascript.

A number of years ago I created an editor suite for the Yamaha XS8 (sadly, never finished due to Max limitations) which relied heavily on Sysex and part of that involved reading and writing bytes directly to/from the MIDI interface in Max using a Javascript widget. It was a lot of fun and very educational as well.

Cycling74 offer a 30-day free evaluation of Max, so that might well be worth a bit of exploration!
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Re: A Windows-equivalent for Hexler's TouchOSC

Postby ramthelinefeed » Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:58 pm

Oh yes, I know Max could definitely do this. It just can do about a thousand other things too, which I'm wary of getting distracted by :) :crazy:
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Re: A Windows-equivalent for Hexler's TouchOSC

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:04 pm

Eddy Deegan wrote:
Maybe you tried the Editor for the Android or IOS device version? I don't think that would work standalone either. The Editor (host) + Device (phoneor tablet) package is a paid app, but trivial compared to the 4-figure sum that the Lemur hardware sold at. Unless something radical has changed since I last looked, you can do all manner of creative and useful things if you have a MIDI interface for your device. I had the IOS version for a while before departing the Apple camp for unrelated reasons.

When I was an active user of it using the Lemur hardware I was always a little frustrated at the seeming lack of willingness on the part of Jazzmutant to address issues of usability and feature set but from the look of the latest versions it's come a long way.

It's a powerful and flexible platform and good stuff, basically.

Yep Eddy, the Windows editor. I was aiming for exercise-in-futility - not demonstration-of-insanity!

The Lemur app has definitely improved over the original hardware in terms of functionality, but the editor software is still a bloody useability nightmare where, if you're not intimately aware of its foibles . . . much lost work awaits.

There's also the many undocumented behaviours of the runtime to contend with.
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Re: A Windows-equivalent for Hexler's TouchOSC

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:05 pm

There's always ctrlr;

https://ctrlr.org/

^ To handle the SYSEX, mappable to any touch interface.
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Re: A Windows-equivalent for Hexler's TouchOSC

Postby Agharta » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:35 pm

Do a search for yMIDI on the Windows store.
They have 3 apps which overlap to a large degree seemingly but all come with trials and are under £5.
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Re: A Windows-equivalent for Hexler's TouchOSC

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:28 pm

More massive overkill - Usine Hollyhock 4.

https://brainmodular.com/

Pros: Looks like it'll do what's requested and then some!

Cons: Expensive!
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Re: A Windows-equivalent for Hexler's TouchOSC

Postby ramthelinefeed » Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:13 pm

n o i s e f l e ur wrote:There's always ctrlr;

https://ctrlr.org/

^ To handle the SYSEX, mappable to any touch interface.

Oh, that looks EXACTLY like the sort of thing I had in mind.
I don't think it existed last time I was looking.

Thanks very much for the tip! :)
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Re: A Windows-equivalent for Hexler's TouchOSC

Postby Agharta » Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:50 pm

ramthelinefeed wrote:
n o i s e f l e ur wrote:There's always ctrlr;

https://ctrlr.org/

^ To handle the SYSEX, mappable to any touch interface.

Oh, that looks EXACTLY like the sort of thing I had in mind.
I don't think it existed last time I was looking.

Thanks very much for the tip! :)

I looked at it briefly but wasn't sure if it's designed for touch and especially multi-touch.
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Re: A Windows-equivalent for Hexler's TouchOSC

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:36 pm

ramthelinefeed wrote:
n o i s e f l e ur wrote:There's always ctrlr;

https://ctrlr.org/

^ To handle the SYSEX, mappable to any touch interface.

Oh, that looks EXACTLY like the sort of thing I had in mind.
I don't think it existed last time I was looking.

Thanks very much for the tip! :)

No problem, glad to help.

As mentioned by Agharta, it may not be multitouch-capable, but for what you've said it's for it should suffice. Oddly, I didn't even consider it as a touch interface in itself but it ought to at least respond to single-touch and for simple sysex editing of parameters that's basically all you're going to need I'd imagine. It's not like hardware MIDI is designed to accomodate vast volumes of realtime sysex anyway.

I should really fire it up on the old touchscreen laptop here and test it for touch just for laughs! Will mean re-enabling the touchscreen but that's no biggie.

Another benefit to this over something like Lemur is it uses an actual scripting language (LUA), so any time spent learning that might have wider application - versus whatever application-specific abomination Lemur interprets.
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Re: A Windows-equivalent for Hexler's TouchOSC

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:03 pm

I've used a Ctrlr editor for some years now with my steampunk Shruthi synth, and it's wonderful.

ShruthiCtrlr.jpg


However, my experience also is that when working with existing editor templates, the version of Ctrlr you use can be crucial - in fact, so many people had problems trying to get the Shruthi editor to work with more recent builds that I've ended up hosting the particular elderly version it needs on my web site so that other Shruthi owners can download it :headbang:


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Re: A Windows-equivalent for Hexler's TouchOSC

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:03 pm

Yeah, that's a very good point Martin. I was lucky in that the panel I was most interested in seems to work fine with the current version.

Generally speaking I think it pertains more to the GUI scripting side of the app, so any existing panel that doesn't work can always be cannibalised for sysex formatting at any rate, and applied to a new panel of your own devising.
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Re: A Windows-equivalent for Hexler's TouchOSC

Postby ramthelinefeed » Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:25 pm

n o i s e f l e ur wrote:
As mentioned by Agharta, it may not be multitouch-capable, but for what you've said it's for it should suffice.

Yeah I doubt multi-touch capability real matters - the sort of thing I'd use this for is off-line programming/sound-design (i.e. making patches) - MIDI is a serial protocol so you can only splurge one parameter change down the MIDI cable at a time in any case, particularly when they're SysEx ones.
You're still effectively programming sounds by selecting and tweaking one parameter at a time, just with the single-parameter-access menus they have on the front panel - it's just way quicker to select the parameters and tweak them with they're all set out on a touch screen in front of you.
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Re: A Windows-equivalent for Hexler's TouchOSC

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:35 am

Hey, just following up on this to ask how you got on?

From my own testing it doesn't appear to respond to multi-touch, and in fairness I wasn't expecting it to - but it does work adequately well in single-touch mode, as an FYI to anyone reading this and interested in a solution.
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Re: A Windows-equivalent for Hexler's TouchOSC

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Sat Nov 23, 2019 9:50 pm

Okay, I need to post a correction!

Further testing reveals it DOES actually respond to multi-touch - great news for those that want a more realtime performance capability.
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Re: A Windows-equivalent for Hexler's TouchOSC

Postby The Elf » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:05 pm

Don't know about anything specifically Windows-based, but I've build my own MIDI controller panels in MIDI Designer on the iPad when needed. Until last week I ran it on an old iPad 2, but I've just grabbed a cheap 32GB iPad 6 that works just as well, albeit via a horrendous 30-pin to lightning adapter - such is Apple's way of doing things... :frown:
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Re: A Windows-equivalent for Hexler's TouchOSC

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:20 pm

MIDI Designer looks to have evolved a bit since I looked at it last, but maaaan is it ever still ugly! Which probably doesn't matter too much once it does the job.

As much as I criticise Lemur, I'd pick it over MD any day though, as once you get deeper into the "scripting" you can do some very advanced stuff. In fact, to call it merely scripting does a great disservice to the power of the app and the work of many of the projects / templates people have programmed.

It's just a pity the devs haven't been able to modernise the thing, as it truly would be absolutely peerless in that case . . . and in many regards it actually is, regardless.

Elf, in your experience - how does MD handle complex SYSEX operations? This has always been one of Lemurs weaknesses, due to the limitations on how one stores data in templates etc?
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Re: A Windows-equivalent for Hexler's TouchOSC

Postby The Elf » Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:23 am

I hate almost everything about MIDI Designer, from the confusing tabbed page layout, to the absolutely impossible-to-understand design saving, loading and sharing system. I feel as if I need to completely re-learn it every time I fire it up. I truly wish they could simplify it, and give it some prettier controls. I think that a large part of the trouble I had getting going with MD is that the web page seems to assume you already know everything about it before you even start. I've tried to show others how to use it, but within minutes they are utterly stuck.

TBH I really wish that another software designer would come to the rescue and create a more friendly piece of software with the same capabilities.

But the end results work really well, and nobody else is going to create me an editing panel for some of the obscure bits 'n' pieces I use.

It's been a while since I needed to create a sys-ex control, but I don't recall it being anything more onerous than any other control.
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Re: A Windows-equivalent for Hexler's TouchOSC

Postby James Perrett » Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:03 pm

The Elf wrote:TBH I really wish that another software designer would come to the rescue and create a more friendly piece of software with the same capabilities.

But the end results work really well, and nobody else is going to create me an editing panel for some of the obscure bits 'n' pieces I use.

It's been a while since I needed to create a sys-ex control, but I don't recall it being anything more onerous than any other control.

You make it sound almost as difficult to use MIDI Designer as it would be to create an editor from scratch using something like Visual C++.
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Re: A Windows-equivalent for Hexler's TouchOSC

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:38 pm

The Elf wrote:I hate almost everything about MIDI Designer, from the confusing tabbed page layout, to the absolutely impossible-to-understand design saving, loading and sharing system. I feel as if I need to completely re-learn it every time I fire it up. I truly wish they could simplify it, and give it some prettier controls. I think that a large part of the trouble I had getting going with MD is that the web page seems to assume you already know everything about it before you even start. I've tried to show others how to use it, but within minutes they are utterly stuck.

TBH I really wish that another software designer would come to the rescue and create a more friendly piece of software with the same capabilities.


Heh, you've summed up my feelings toward Lemur pretty well there!

Regarding MD, I looked at the documentation briefly just to get a feel for how easy (or not) it would be to create the sorts of complex stuff one can in Lemur . . . but it didn't look to be the case. In fact the documentation made it seem a bit complicated to do fairly simple stuff. That said, it's probably *still* less onerous than programming Lemur.


James Perrett wrote:
You make it sound almost as difficult to use MIDI Designer as it would be to create an editor from scratch using something like Visual C++.

Well, Lemur "scripting" gets close to "real" programming once you move beyond the basics of throwing a few controls onto a page and attaching / targetting some MIDI / OSC. I definitely think the time spent on mastering the damn thing for those who aren't already programmers would be more profitably spent on learning C++ . . . and I've seen many actual programmers express a lot of frustration with Lemur - as being as hard to learn as a real language but without the capability of one, and badly let down by archaic limitations in the runtime. Oh, and the booby-traps present in the editor app.

The Elf wrote:
But the end results work really well, and nobody else is going to create me an editing panel for some of the obscure bits 'n' pieces I use.

It's been a while since I needed to create a sys-ex control, but I don't recall it being anything more onerous than any other control.

Oh, it's not hard to create a sysex control in Lemur. The issues people were having was in creating full-fat sysex editors, capable of sending and receiving patch (bank) dumps etc.

So that gives you some idea of the ambition and scope of what can be attempted. It's just control over timing and having to construct data-structures out of 2D arrays etc tended to hobble these attempts.
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