Forums > MaxMSP

Something like TouchOSC for the Mac?

July 20, 2010 | 9:12 pm

I love TouchOSC, and the simplicity with which you can create custom GUIs for handling stuff in MaxMSP.

I can’t, however, find anything similar for OSX.

Has anyone seen a good template/gui builder for OSC for any of the major OSes?


July 20, 2010 | 9:38 pm

there’s a program for osx and windows that handles OSC quite well and has customizable GUI objects. you may have heard of it. it’s called max/msp :P


July 21, 2010 | 2:22 am

Heh, well, that’s how I ended up here, but I’ve not been able to find much in the way of documentation for using OSC in Max. I’ve got the demo installed, and I’m setting up a Patcher like I would in TouchOSC, but it’s not working as I’d expect it to.

Do you know of some good sites/docs/anything on using OSC in Max? Google has failed me so far.


July 21, 2010 | 8:11 am

I don’t really understand what you are asking. TouchOSC is a iPhone/Pod/Pad app and can speak to Max on OSX fine. The documentation explains exactly how and there is a demo max patch. Are you having trouble with getting it to work? Are you saying you use it on a Windows machine and it works?


July 21, 2010 | 8:52 am

If you’re looking to use TouchOSC to work with Max, firstly make sure your iPod/iPhone/iPad is on the same network as your Mac. In the TouchOSC settings, there should be a box where you can enter your computer name e.g. ‘mymacbook.local’ and the send/receive ports e.g. 8000.

Following this, make use of udpreceive or udpsend objects (specifying ports etc.) in Max to receive and send data between your Mac and device. It should be that simple! Check the help files on udpreceive and udpsend and also the route object.


July 21, 2010 | 3:53 pm

I’m trying to find something *like* TouchOSC, not *use* it. I’m fine with using TouchOSC, it’s an awesome, simple product for building a GUI to control my audio apps.

I’m trying to find something similar to build a GUI on my Mac.

So, at the moment I’m basically trying to replace TouchOSC with Max, but it’s not going very well, so I was hoping for some advice, or perhaps some documentation on how to use Max to build a GUI to control other audio apps via OSC.


July 21, 2010 | 4:03 pm

Well there are lots of examples people have posted.
The first place to start is downloading CNMATS OSC
externals. http://cnmat.berkeley.edu/downloads

There are examples of how to send OSC messages. The
real trick is sometimes your target OSC device wants
the message to be formatted a certain way.

If you have a device that you know works with TouchOSC,
you can always send messages from TouchOSC to Max and
see how it formats it, then do it the same way. It should
work for you as well.

As soon as they come out with some decent Win7 tablet I
am going to move to an exclusive Max OSC environment.


July 30, 2010 | 1:54 am

So in the end the answer is, realistically, "no."

The thing about TouchOSC is its simplicity, all you need to know is the namespace for the osc control you want to manipulate, which you assign to a pre-built toggle/button/fader/knob.

It’s definitely possible to do this in Max, but it’s nowhere near as simple.


July 30, 2010 | 9:47 am

"It’s definitely possible to do this in Max, but it’s nowhere near as simple.""

Nowhere near as simple only if you want the setup to be like it is in TouchOSC. But of course, simplicity has its price…

Setting up a UI element in MaxMSP that sends OSC-style strings is a pretty straightforward task. See the attached example for the basics.

Making it easily configurable in the manner of TouchOSC may take a bit more planning. ie you could create bpatchers to represent you UI widgets with string definition and possibly port setting capabilites built into the bpatcher.

If this still doesn’t satisfy your criteria, you may want to take a look at quartz composer as well. Still not as flexible as TouchOSC but pretty straghtforward to uild a fixed UI "composition"…

– Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. –

July 30, 2010 | 2:09 pm

Thanks, I appreciate the help. It’s weird, I write scripts all day at work, I’m used to python, ant, shell, I’ve even done some java work, but for some reason my brain doesn’t want to do it for music stuff. It’s like the one side of the brain just shuts the other down.

Was that supposed to be a zip attachment?


July 30, 2010 | 8:49 pm

That is a compressed max patch example. Just copy it from your browser and select "new from clipboard" in the file menu in max and you will get the patch.


August 9, 2010 | 6:33 pm

"I write scripts all day at work, I’m used to python, ant, shell, I’ve even done some java work, but for some reason my brain doesn’t want to do it for music stuff"

scientific studies have shown that right-brain people learn/understand better visually, while left-brain learn/understand better through text. there are many of us who have the same problem, it is not a music problem, it is specific to max/pd/reaktor/visual-environments(so many extra things you need to do to get visual environs to do what they’re claiming to do, max is not a language at all, not yet… it can indeed be MUCH easier to program in code rather than visually in max, especially if you learned a programming language at or before adolescence).


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