Yearly Archives: 2012

The Science of Surfaces

Hey kids, there’s a new poll on the left. Please vote and select multiple options if you use multiple touch surface apps. 

UPDATE: the built in Blogger poll is broken and I’ve switched to a widget from Apologies to anyone whose votes were lost… it kept resetting to different numbers of votes. (if this is actually someone messing with me through a Blogger security hole, well played sir, by which I mean, get a life 😉


My experience of touch surfaces as controllers is that they shouldn’t be clones of what they’re controlling. I admit that there’s a certain cool factor in having a Lemur or TouchOSC template that allows full access to every parameter on a Reaktor instrument’s GUI. And in some cases, that can add to the playability and usability of the instrument.

On the other hand, though, what’s the point of replicating an instrument GUI? Generally speaking there will be too many controls, and they will be too functionally and ergonomically diverse to provide a fluid performance experience.

This is why I keep coming back to Konkreet Performer. It doesn’t attempt to provide the ability to mimic a GUI. What it does, and does well, is translate touch into control in ways that are both simple and complex, in the right ways – simple in that setting up a layout is easy and direct – and complex in that parameters can describe not just touches and movements, but the relationships between different touches and movements. Unexpectedly cool things ensue.

This is not to say that I don’t recognize the relative strengths of the other touch surface apps – maybe this is just a personal preference and I simply prefer a simple touch interface that functions as an adjunct to a standard computer setup, rather than a replacement for it.

In the long run I’m pretty sure tablets and laptops will glom together in some form – if the Microsoft Surface doesn’t succeed then something eventually will and every Reaktor ensemble or synth plugin will be its own touch surface – a situation which will bring its own set of problems and solutions.

Anyhow, please vote in the poll on the left because I’m getting ready to launch a new instrument and I’ll take into account the popularity of the apps when designing controller mappings and templates.

OSC support in Reaktor plugin mode, at last!

 Reaktor update news! In the upcoming 5.8, which is now in beta, we will finally have OSC in plugin mode. That means connecting an iPad to our favorite ensembles directly with no MIDI translation layer. Fire up Konkreet Performer and map OSC parameters directly with Reaktor running in Logic, Reaper, Cubase, Ableton Live, whatever. 

I’m excited. Are you excited? If not I’ll be excited for you.

New and improved features:

  • Updated OSC Settings window
  • Improved handling of OSC and MIDI, enables fast and easy mapping of MIDI & OSC controllers to Reaktor ensembles in Play Mode
  • New OSC Array modules, for sending and receiving OSC messages in array format
  • OSC in plug-in mode
  • OSC learn feature now also implemented in Play mode
  • OSC activity indicator
  • Limits on the total number of OSC connections have been removed
  • Maximum numbers of ports for the OSC Send and Receive modules has been increased to 40
  • Improved sample management, including the ability to manage samples when in Play Mode
  • Various workflow improvements in the sample map editor
  • Selection of sampler module per drop down menu
  • Show sampler module in structure functionality
  • Mouse control fine tuning
  • Bookmark behavior for Screensets
  • Fixed sample rate per Ensemble
  • Various other fixes and improvements


Here is the new version of Mirage featuring OSC control mappings for the awesome Konkreet Performer iPad control surface.

Note: Mirage works just fine on its own without KP too, just map some MIDI controllers or use a mouse. A TouchOSC template will follow

Update: Download link now goes to version which is the same as 1.9.6 except the Mirage instrument header is set to visible, making it easier to get into instrument properties and change the number of voices. It arguably looks “neater” with the header bar hidden but isn’t as noob-friendly.

This version is free for owners of previous versions. Download here – your existing password will open the archive.
The new version includes extensive feature enhancements and numerous bug fixes, and carefully thought out, tested and integrated Konkreet Performer mappings. Mirage snapshot recall will also recall node positions and transmit them to Performer on your iPad.
mirage 196 diagram
This time out the sample material is mostly one-shots to work in conjunction with the added pitch correction. Adding longer phrases and snippets of songs works well too but with the one-shots you can do something more deliberate and compose a part for a pre-existing track. I find with long phrases there are only a couple of note combinations that work well and what you come up with will have a mind of its own and suggest its own composition.There are a couple of trashed piano field recordings in here that rattle beautifully – nothing like hitting the harp directly on a piano that’s sat out in the weather for a few seasons.

To use Konkreet Performer with Mirage, set up a 4 node layout with visible node labels, activate trigger hold, and set inertia to 30. When touching and moving the central node, the other nodes will slowly track and follow, creating a sort of manual LFO that slowly snaps back to the snapshot’s original settings.
The Mirage package includes a separate translator ensemble that can be run in Reaktor standalone, parallel to a host using Mirage as a plugin, to translate Konkreet Performer’s native OSC signals to MIDI. Use MIDI Yoke on Windows or the IAC driver on Mac to reroute MIDI from the translator to your host.
Mirage is $15 and a license can be purchased here:Mirage Add to Cart

Or, save $$ and buy the sampler pack which includes Loupe and ParamDrum.

Any questions? Ask away!

Konkreet Performer OSC to MIDI translator

This is an expanded version of the specialized Konkreet Performer OSC to MIDI translator and visualizer I built for the latest version of the Mirage granular sampler. If you’re not familiar with Konkreet Performer and you have an iPad, you need to check it out because it is awesome.

One drawback of using KP with Reaktor is that KP only sends OSC, and Reaktor won’t receive OSC when running as a plugin. Hence, this ensemble, which can be run in Reaktor standalone and will re-route KP’s control signals as MIDI to Reaktor or other synths running in a host.

Instructions are included on a text widget in the readme instrument. This is a 1.0 release so please report any bugs in the comments!