TouchOSC and keystrokes.

Throughout my time using TouchOSC, I’ve always tried to create something a little different from the usual  mirroring of user interfaces for software.  My ‘Percussion’ template being the most recent example of this, allows a different approach to playing with Resolume Arena and Avenue.  It’s also through this continual distillation that I have decided to put online a small, simple template to test not only the network connection but also how TouchOSC’s MIDI Bridge is behaving.

keyboardThe main thing to keep in mind with using keystrokes and MIDI Bridge is that the active window will be the one to receive the keystroke information.  It’s with this in mind that I created the following keyboard template to test connectivity.

Once again I apologise for the step by step basics in of this mini tutorial, egg sucking is not intentional (although I hear in some Scandinavian countries it’s more enjoyable than watch cheese roll down hills (but I digress)).

Firstly you have to make sure you have the most recent version of the TouchOSC MIDI Bridge.  An obvious statement I know but you’d be surprised at how many people do forget to check version numbers.  You can get the Bridge from the product page on Hexler’s website (

Scroll down the page until you see the “Downloads” section.


Once you have grabbed the zip file, unzip it and put it somewhere safe [OS X users can drag it into their Applications folder] // [Windows users can run the installer file and follow prompts].

From this point I’m going to assume that you have an understanding of TouchOSC and it’s network requirements.  If you don’t, then there are other minor tutorials on this site that can help you setup an ad-hoc network or even if your an Android user there are options on not only the ad-hoc network setup but also running TouchOSC with a hardwired connection.  Search my friend.  Search.

Now the assumption of having a stable connection is out of the way, we then have to sync the template.  The simple option is to load the template into the TouchOSC template editor and use the inbuilt sync option.  If your having difficulty with this already (do search for networking options please!) then you can also sync manually if you have an Apple device, otherwise use Googles Android File Transfer utility to save the template locally on your device and navigate from there in app.

img_1903img_1901(You have checked the settings in TouchOSC haven’t you and actually turned on “MIDI Bridge” haven’t you?).

With the template loaded into TouchOSC and the MIDI Bridge running, and the connection between the device and the computer up and running it’t time to load our OS X // Windows application and check its all working.  For OS X users I recommend using “Notes”.

Windows users can use their imaginatively named “Notepad.exe” (it may have changed, I still run Windows 98SE2 on one of my laptops).

With your chosen text editor as the active window and the template a running on TouchOSC, you should now be able to type on TouchOSC and watch the text appear on the screen in front of you.

Obviously this post is now just a framework … It works however and I’ll eventually get round to polishing it etc.  In the meantime … The download to the template is below!

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