iPhone Controlling Reason

Monday, September 1st, 2008 | 11:25 am and filed in Reason, Music.

I’ve been playing around with OSCemote, an iPhone application that sends Open Sound Control messages over a wi-fi network. The OSC protocol is specifically designed for the transfer of real-time control information for synthesis devices over existing information networks. The protocol is far more comprehensive than MIDI and serves devices like the coveted Lemur. So being the geek that I am, this app seemed more attractive than the other MIDI control systems available.

OSCemote is available in two flavors: a free version which has a 15 button interface, and a paid version that has three different interfaces including a multi-touch XY pad and accelerometer response. Being somewhat skeptical, I downloaded the free version to test it out, and was happy to discover that it worked really well with some old max/msp patches. I then downloaded the paid version to try the other control interfaces. The slider/switch interface left something to be desired, but the multi-touch surface is very cool.

The obvious next step for me was to convert the OSC Data to MIDI so that I could interface the control into Reason. I managed to get a translation patch working on my old workstation and had a bit of fun using my iPhone to control Thor. I don’t have max/msp on my new Mac Pro workstation, and so by recommendation i tried OSCulator - which is more popularly used as the Wiimote bridge. It was pretty easy to get this configuration working, as the latest version of OSCulator has a configuration template for OSCemote. In Reason, you manually add a generic ‘ Midi Control Surface’ remote map, and launch and establish a connection between OSCemote and OSCulator. Once the connection is established, touch the iPhone to send data, and Reason will see “OSCulator Out” as a MIDI source.

I’ve posted a few items related to my experiments. You can find these on my YouTube page, and for those who want to give this a try, I will get a few configuration patches available for download shortly.

One Response to “iPhone Controlling Reason”

  1. davidkain Says:

    Looks fun!

    How cool would it be to be able to also manipulate incoming audio through something like Live? I’d love to have folks in the audience ring in and watch as I play with their call. Or, better yet, have some fun with a courtesy call . . .