Monday, July 13, 2009

Mackie C4 to OSC and back

I started the new open source project contrOSC for Linux, which enables the DAW controllers Mackie C4 and Universal Control to communicate with other applications via OSC protocol. This bridge software works bidirectional so the state can be shown on the hardware displays.

The Mackie C4, featureing 32 knobs with LED rings and 4 displays, is at the moment with 400.- euros rather cheap. Unfortunally not much software supports it so I decided to create contrOSC which will make it easy to integrate it for instance in Pure Date or Csound patches via OSC commands which are going to be well documented.
Not so well is the developer documentation for that device, nothing is available appart from Apple Logic docs about the Universal Control but it was easy to midisniff the communication. Expect a release soon...


  1. Hy, I am thinking of buying the Mackie C4, because the price has dropped on it, but still I wasn't realy convinced because of the lack of software integrating it. So it's great what you are doing. I have a question though, I know that the controller has the possibility of pressing the knobs and turning them, can you program it in such a way so each knob can handle two jobs simultaneously, to trigger somthing by pushing it and in the same time control somthing else by turning the knob? This would turn it into a very powerfull machine.

  2. Indeed softwaresupport is lacking for it. The C4 is sending fixed but seperate messages for each button/knob etc so turning and pressing a knob is not really relatet, its independent indeed. But you need a software which can learn midi messages, they cant be changed on the device. Programms like PD, Max/MSP, CSound or my contrOSC on Linux can deal very well with the C4.