Open Sound Control

Communicating with Other Programmes

Open sound control, or OSC, is a protocol for sending data between devices and applications. We can use it to send messages from Bela to other applications, and to use external controllers with Bela.

Table of contents

  1. OSC: Passing data packages back and forth
  2. The code

OSC: Passing data packages back and forth

Open Sound Control, or OSC, is another communication protocol for sending information between computers, synthesisers and other multimedia devices.

Bringing the benefits of modern networking technology to the world of electronic musical instruments, OSC’s advantages include interoperability, accuracy, flexibility, and enhanced organisation and documentation. See the Open Sound Control website for further information on the language.

You can send OSC messages to Bela from various programmes that support the format, such as the TouchOSC phone app. This makes it possible to create complex control interfaces that can be operated from a tablet or phone and that communicate with your code running on Bela. As well as receiving OSC messages, you can also generate them and send them from Bela to other applications.

The code

Find the osc-receive and osc-send sketches in the Pure Data section of the Examples tab of the Bela IDE.

Both of these examples have an accompanying file called local.pd which can be run in Pure Data on your computer. These patches will either send or receive OSC data so you can try out the code running on the board and are imagined as stand-ins for the programme that you would use in a real-world application.

1. Sending OSC messages from Bela

2. Receiving OSC messages on Bela