Flexible Remote Control: OSC or MIDI Controller?


I looked at many external hardware controllers (Steinberg CC121, Presonus Faderport 8…) but all turned out to be not was I was looking for for my workflow. I’m very bad at remembering shortcuts and so I hoped I could put some functions on control surfaces so I get to push a button rather than remembering if it was CTRL-ALT or CTRL-SHIFT.

But the CC121 only really works with Steinberg products. I however am working with Logic, Reaper, Nuendo and so the controller didn’t really do much in the other programs. I tried the Faderport 8 but it’s really optimized for Studio One and while I was testing the unit, didn’t really work that great using HUI or MCU. Lots of crashes, mapping of functions was bad / not what I was expecting and so on. So I turned to TouchOSC.

TouchOSC is great in Reaper as it understands OSC natively and I can directly map shortcuts to buttons. Not so in Nuendo, there I have to do a MIDI mapping. So I need another tool running in the background like OSCulator or the like. I don’t like having 10 system utilities running, each of them being a possible point of failure. The more pieces a machine has the more pieces could fail and looking for an error becomes cumbersone. In addition, creating layouts for TouchOSC requires JAVA and there’s nothing I hate more than installing JAVA.

Now I’m looking for a utility on my iOS devices that have an editor for Mac and I can create layouts with mouse and keyboard. Essentially a more modern TouchOSC. No JAVA required. No MIDI bridge required (software should be able to send MIDI & OSC commands).

Are there good alternatives to TouchOSC? Lemur? It’s a bit expensive to try as there’s no demo thanks to the AppStore (grr).

Or would you recommend a great MIDI control surface and map it by hand? Which MIDI controllers come with a software that lets you map MIDI channel / CC to knobs? Again, my aim is to trigger shortcuts (clip volume +1dB or +3dB, set cycle marker) and such things).

Any hints on how you do this are appreciated.