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Introduction to OSCulator

OSCulator Logo Remote controls, Touch-enabled surfaces or even weight sensors, all of these are controllers that can be used to create. During the last few years, a lot of progress has been achieved with respect to the availability of those technologies, thanks to the development of computer processing power1). Because they are often cheap or easily found in stores2), a whole new class of possibilities has emerged, rendering the interaction with the computer and its surrounding devices much more tangible.

There is however a problem with this growing number of solutions: complexity. While the novice user is left with what is available3), the experienced one will have access to more powerful tools, but will require to reinvent the wheel every time he needs to use a new type of controller.

OSCulator is a software that connects the controllers with production devices, designed to be flexible and user friendly.

  • It solves simple problems without extensive configuration4), but can be used to control a distributed network of computers as well, such as in a large artistic installations.
  • It doesn't have a steep learning curve because the same principles are applied consistently throughout the software.
  • It is stable and robust.
  • It benefits from an ever growing user base.

The Open Sound Control protocol

Open Sound Control (OSC) is a protocol for communication among computers, sound synthesizers, and other multimedia devices that is lightweight and leverages current networking technologies. As an attempt to simplify the vast problem of inter-connectivity, the choice of using the OSC protocol has been made ; even more, only a subset of it is really used.

Almost all parameters used in OSCulator are numbers ranging from 0.0 to 1.05)

TouchOSC or the Lemur also adopt the same convention, just as all the devices natively handled by OSCulator.

In a totally subjective manner, other factors would be: standardization of network protocols, the Universal Serial Bus (USB), Bluetooth, HID, FireWire. These are all technologies that are only 10 to 15 years old.
With a little dexterity, you can even build your own optical multi-touch table
it takes time and effort to find the right software (whether it is free, open source, or commercial), even more when the nature of the problem is not exactly known.
Connecting a Wiimote to the Kyma sound design workstation is totally plug-and-play
String and exotic values can also be used, but we will keep that topic for later.
manual/introduction_to_osculator.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/06 17:56 by camille