Remote Control Cubase with Touch OSC
Do you have an iPad / iPhone or Android device and do you want to use it as a wireless remote controller for Cubase / Nuendo? If the answer is “Yes!”… Here’s how.
First of all I should mention a few things: This is not really anything new to the tech-heads out there and is certainly not the only way to control your DAW with an external device. Also there are other Apps that will do this job, some are in fact easier to set up than the one I am using here (Touch OSC). Some actually may offer more comprehensive features.
What I like about Touch OSC is that you can design your own panels and make them as simple or as complex as you want.
For this guide, I am using Windows 7 and iPad / iPhone. I am going to make a single panel with a few useful features, nothing too complicated. Certain areas will work slightly differently with other operating systems and remote devices, (MAC and Android for example).
Finally, Android support for Touch OSC is a little lacking at the moment (it is possible but quite tricky to use your own custom panels), but it is getting there according to the developers.
So let’s get started…
Requirements and overall set-up
For this to work you will need some things ready to run:
- Cubase or Nuendo running on your DAW, I’m using Cubase here.
- A device that will run the Touch OSC application.
- Your own WiFi Network.
- A WiFi to MIDI bridge. On Windows 7 64 bit, I’m using Hexler’s own Touch OSC Midi Bridge. Which is simple to set up and easy to stop and start when required: TouchOSC Bridge
- If you want to make your own Touch OSC panels you will need the Touch OSC Editor: TouchOSC Editor
The first step is to start the Midi Bridge, start Cubase, start Touch OSC on your remote device and follow the instructions to get Touch OSC sending and receiving MIDI from Cubase. This is explained in detail here:
Install and configure the Generic Remote
We then need to install the Generic Remote within Cubase and set the correct MIDI Ports.
There are a few key things to bear in mind here before we go any further.
Nothing will happen at all if the MIDI ports aren’t set.
Nothing will happen at all unless the Generic Remote is set up to receive the correct commands from Touch OSC.
In order to get Cubase sending information back to Touch OSC we also need to make sure that any controls you add in the Generic Remote are set to Transmit AND Receive data.
Add commands and MIDI messages
So now you can start programming commands.
This is a little complicated, as the commands you are after may be hidden away in the menu system. For example, in my simple panel, I wanted to be able to select any Mixer channel and act on that (Solo, Mute, Volume etc.) The GR command for this is:
It is then quite simple to perform an action on the selected channel.
So if you want to use an existing panel the procedure goes like this:
In the lower GR panel, find the command you want.
In the upper GR panel, assign a MIDI message to this command. You can use the Learn function by selecting the MIDI command in the upper panel and pressing the corresponding control on Touch OSC. Remember to have T/R selected to get data moving in both directions.
Grow your own or try mine…
If you want to make your own panels, start the Touch OSC editor and off you go. Assigning each control you make to a certain MIDI message or messages. There is some easy to follow information on using the editor here: TouchOSC | Editing basics
Perhaps the best way to understand this is to use an example of mine. In order to get this working you will need the Touch OSC editor up and running.
Download this zip file which contains the Touch OSC Panels (one for iPhone and one for iPad). You can use either or both. The zip file also contains the Generic Remote template that matches up all the commands with MIDI messages I chose to use.
You may also want to consider using my StartSkipKillRun App which enables you to start other programs and kill tasks with one click. I have mine set to kill Media Player and start the Midi Bridge while starting Cubase for example. You can download the app in my application download section here: Applications
Extract the files from the zip file and upload the PAPiPad1 or/and PAPiPhone2 Touch OSC panels to your iPad or/and iPhone.
Now go to Cubase Generic Remote and Import the GR file PAPiPad.xml.
If you have an existing GR setup you are using, don’t forget to export it first do you can get it back later if required.
Bring up the panel on your iPad and close Generic remote after hitting Apply.
If everything is done correctly, you should now be able to start controlling your Cubase project with Touch OSC.
Your iPad should look like this.
This is the basic iPhone panel.
You will notice that some controls accept feedback from Cubase. Sadly some don’t. This is a whole different subject though and I’m not going to go into it here.
Now you have that working, you can take a look at my Touch OSC panel in the OSC editor and see how it works. You can also look at the corresponding Generic Remote setup and commands.
I often find that the best way to learn something is by looking at examples. So I hope this example has given you something useful to experiment with.
It is perfectly possible to use Touch OSC to control Wavelab. I have the same Touch OSC panel set up to send Transport / Volume / Master Section and Studio EQ to Wavelab 7, although some of the panel controls are redundant – It would be simple to make a Wavelab-specific panel. Within Wavelab there are two places to assign MIDI remote messages. Options > Customise Commands and mainly Options > Remote Control Devices
If you have any questions, suggestions, feel there is something I have missed or could explain in more detail, please leave me a comment below.
Thanks for reading.