The storied iThing. Photo: CC Nathan Makan, via Flickr.

Multi-touch controller goodness is now as close as your nearest iPod Touch or iPhone; all that remains is to hook it up to some creative music, visuals, or others. (I would prefer the iPod Touch for this reason; then you don’t have to worry about using it as a phone — draining the battery in the process — or needing AT&T service.)

Olle Holmberg has a new solution for using the Touch/iPhone as a controller, by translating input to OpenSoundControl (OSC) and, if you prefer, MIDI messages. He writes:

I was searching everywhere for a way to get my new iPod Touch to work like a wireless touch controller to Pd (and hence to everything else), but couldn’t find one — so I made one. It’s really just an OSC mapping for routing the default Mrmr “Performance.mmr” interface, but if you’re interested it would save you heaps of time, even though it’s not really anything difficult to make.

Mrmr is an “open protocol for mobile devices” for dynamically creating interfaces; we’ve covered it on Create Digital Motion, where vade has interviewed the creator, and we’ve seen it in action coupled with upcoming visual app 3L. Those solutions used proprietary software like Max/MSP/Jitter, though, whereas this works with the free and open source Pd. (We love Max, but having an alternative is good, especially if you just want to hook up your iPod Touch to Ableton Live or Reaktor, etc.) As far as I know, this should also mean compatibility with Windows and Linux, but maybe someone can verify that.

The Pd patch is below — homely but functional, and you can extend it if it doesn’t do what you need.

For more information and download of the first release:

PdiPod – Mrmr to Pd on iPhone & iPod Touch [on pissypaws.tumblr, Olle's blog]
Pd Forum Announcement and Discussion
Files/download

  • gola

    Well, I guess it is a good time killer while we wait for the first version of real PD on the iPhone. Imagine patching a quick sketch while on the airplane on the way to your next gig. . .

    I am sure that with the iPhone 2.0 coming up this will be a reality quite soon.

  • Joshua Bogart

    I don't quite understand the difference between this and the akaRemote app already developed. Also, is there a "source" available to add to Installer? Sorry for the ignorance, but I'm just wondering.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    aka.remote works only with Max/MSP, not Pd, thus requiring a somewhat pricey license if you don't have another use for Max. And some people prefer to use Pd for various projects. Source would be nice, though? (maybe it's not ready to share at the source level yet!)

  • grimley

    Looks cool but you need to jailbreak your iPhone for this. Think I'll wait until someone has developed an Apple approved app that I can download from iTunes ;)

  • http://pissypaws.tumblr.com Olle

    There is a Mrmr interface builder source available for download from the Mrmr site, that you need to build yourself, but if you pull it off, you'll be able to create custom Mrmr interfaces however you like them. I think you can also replace the graphics for the buttons and sliders inside of the main Mrmr application if you wish to "mod" it.

  • http://www.cesaremarilungo.com Cesare

    @Peter

    akaRemote (and any other application sending messages via the open sound control protocol) can talk to Pd, Csound, SuperCollider, Chuck, Ardour or any other app in which the OSC protocol is available.

    I have tried both akaRemote and mrmr with Pure Data and Csound. What's interesting in akaRemote is that you can also send messages to it. So, with the 8×8 grid of buttons you basically have the same functionality of a Monome 64 (you can set the status of the buttons from Pd). Of course this will probably be implemented also in mrmr, sooner or later.

    Keep up with the good work.

  • http://www.cesaremarilungo.com Cesare

    For those interested, here's a brief tutorial for using mrmr and akaRemote.app with Pure Data:

    http://www.cesaremarilungo.com/node/26

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  • Alex

    The link to download PdiPod seems to be broken. Anyone have a mirror?

  • http://davebv.es davebv

    this soft is great, do you know if I can get "visual feedback" in the ipod screen when changing the parameter in the computer?

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