Advise: Controlling OF App with additional Hardware

Hi all,

hope this is the right category (just moved it from beginners, sorry!).
I hope you can give advise/overview on hardware controllers. I’d like to use “real-life” faders/buttons on some OF projects. I figured out two options.

  1. Connect an arduino via serial and wire it with faders and buttons myself.
  2. Use a USB (DAW) controller (like Icon Qcon e.g.) and communicate via MIDI.

Is this correct so far?
Option 1 is obvious and no problem to include in OF.
My question to option 2:

  • Did somebody do this already?
  • Can someone recommend a controller?
  • Can someone shed some light on the protocols/standards (Mackie/MC/MCU/HUI)? Those are all MIDI? Does something else exist? Are those standards published for public (Mackie HUI seems to be)?
  • Is getting the values from the controller going to be anything more than receiving MIDI?
  • Is driving the motor faders on the controller going to be anything more than sending MIDI?
  • Are there other possibilities than using MIDI?

Or do you have another approach of controlling an OF App with hardware controllers/faders/Joysticks/whatever? Or do you know about another Protocol?

Thanks for sharing!

I just did option 1 last week (look here: but I ran into major problems, with the ofArduino class not working with analogRead for some reason (digitalWrite seemed to work fine - I had the correct firmata version on the Arduino as well, and tried the nightly build too, but none of those seems to work) - and I eventually managed to get it to work with ofxSerial and ofxIO with Arduino code running on the Arduino and printing stuff to serial. [ofSerial worked too but it would only get one byte at a time so I didn’t want to do the parsing and reconstruction lines myself and the ofxSerial and ofxIO example worked perfectly].

As for option two, I’ve done that as well. I’ve used the Korg NanoKontrol for a few school projects to control oF. I did run into issues with Midi controllers that has assignable functions to it’s faders/buttons/etc, though - I couldn’t get the Queneo to work or the Traktor F1 to work - maybe some kind of MIDI routing is required for those, so your mileage might vary depending on the MIDI device you use. (You could also look into using a Teensy and setting it to send MIDI instead of Serial so you might get the best of both worlds - customisations and protocols).

Apart from those, maybe OSC could be used if you’re communicating from a DAW, OSC is quite cool and works rather flawlessly. I’m not aware of any hardware sending OSC though.

I don’t think I’ve answered your questions in depth but these are my findings and experiences, maybe they help.

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