Tablet and dawosc for forte surface control

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speedinator
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Location: Hannover, Germany

Tablet and dawosc for forte surface control

Postby speedinator » Mon May 12, 2014 12:46 pm

Inspired by a tablet control-surface for RME TotalMixFX by Burtan i checked out a midi-controller-app called dawosc. I quickly set up a control-surface definition to use this app for forte. Guess what: it's working like a charme!
All you need is an android tablet/smartphone, the app for your android t/s (1,49€) and a virtual midi-port (i use loopbe30 which is avialable for 15 bucks, but also has a free trial).

The way i see it, using a tablet and dawosc as a control-surface for forte has some really nice advantages:
- I have been using my sl mk II in combination with automap for controlling forte. This does work, but i never felt really comfortable with this setup. I always wanted a better visual feedback of what is going on in forte (especially when changing through a lot of different scenes). I also wanted a better way to interact and control forte (i. e. Volume of Busses/Instruments; Module Mute; Module Fx Bypass (Toggle); etc.). Well, dawosc and a tablet does just that. Every forte-control-surface parameter is easily accessable and forte does also give back a nice visual feedback when changing parameters or changing scenes.

- At first i was a bit sceptical towards using a wireless lan connection for transmitting midi data. But i found the connection between dawosc on my laptop to be absolutley solid. You don't even need a router as dawosc is capable of transmitting data in wlan-hotspot-mode. Ergo no additional wire is needed to connect your midi-controller (tablet) to your pc.

- Fully flexible design of your controller. All you have to do is adjust your dawosc-layout to your tablet resolution and your forte rack.

- Your forte control-surface is no more limited to eight channels/no need for bank changes (i.e. nano control, behringer bcf 2000, icon stage...).

- Dawosc can of course be used as a standard midi-controller for all your plugins. You can also easily switch between different layouts inside dawosc. (have a look at the screenshot-> right corner-> you can find buttons for switching to my VB3, Minimoog and Kontakt layouts. Unfortunately forte does not support vst automation, like i.e. ableton live, where all parameters are instantly updated when changing vst-presets. But i will start another thread baging Mike to implement midi-automation for vst-plugins :wink:.

- A lot of controller types are possible: everything from classic fader to x-y-pads is available...

please consider the screenshot below as a quick try as it is done on my tiny nexus 4 in a 1200*760 resolution. It is just a 4.7" inch display, which offers a verly limited space for buttons and nobs. I will update the screenshot when my nexus 10 will arrive on thursday. Anyways, everything is working properly. I colud write a little tutorial for setting things up, but i don't know if it is really necessary or who is interested...


evilantal
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Re: Tablet and dawosc for forte surface control

Postby evilantal » Tue May 13, 2014 1:43 am

I've been working on something similar with someone using TouchOSC.
The only problem we faced was getting the scene names out of forte to TouchOSC as forte doesn't send out scene names. We're in the testing stages of a solution for this using Virtual MIDI cables (Bome, MIDI Yoke), EHCo and a custom python script.

When it's ready, I'll post some more info about it.

How do you set up the images on the right? Are they linked to the scenes or is it different DAWOsc templates with different backgrounds?
Lenovo Z500, quad core i7 3632QM, 16GB 1600MHz DDR3, RME BabyFace, Samsung EVO SSD x2, forte 4, Kawai ES100, Kurzweil PC2, VB3, Alchemy, Kontakt 5, Omnisphere 2, Diva, ZebraHZ, Bazille, Pianoteq 5 Standard, Falcon, various effects

MikeG
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Re: Tablet and dawosc for forte surface control

Postby MikeG » Tue May 13, 2014 6:55 am

Very cool stuff. I agree. I look forward to seeing how it turns out.


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PLEASE NOTE that the forum is not monitored as frequently as the support site above. This forum is intended primarily as a way for users to ask other users questions about the use of Forte.

speedinator
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:21 am
Location: Hannover, Germany

Re: Tablet and dawosc for forte surface control

Postby speedinator » Tue May 13, 2014 8:46 am

hi guys,

yes, the pictures on the right side lead to different DAWOsc Layouts (for Kontakt, VB3, Minimoog). DAWOsc lets you choose your own pictures for Buttons, Faders, Backgrounds, etc.

concerning your ambition of beeing able to sync scene-names to your TouchOSC interface -> that would definitlely be a big improvement in controlling forte! Afaik DAWOsc can also receive text-messages by osc-protocoll an direct them to an onscreen Label. I tried several VST2OSC plugins to manually connect my DAWOsc layout an my forte setlist, but this didn't work out.

For this purpose i did a manual workaround, which does work, but is not really handy: I set up a matrix of buttons in DAWOsc which are manually named after each my scenes forte (Exporting scene-names does help ;-). The butttons are sending the specific program-change-messages for the specific scene. By enabling the matrix-option "only one button on at a time" my DAWOsc layout is "updating" (the active scene is blinking green) itself to the current activated scene. But if i want to use a different source than DAWOsc-matrix for selecting my scenes (buttons of my keyboard, mouse, etc.) i must set up an ECHO programchange message for each scene to keep DAWOsc in sync (and that needs another workaround by itself again)... at some point in this programming i feel a little wooden-haded :roll:. One last idea for visualising and selecting scenes: i thought about a small usb touch screen (i remember something like nanovision 7 or 10)...

Burtan
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Re: Tablet and dawosc for forte surface control

Postby Burtan » Tue May 13, 2014 11:48 am

Hi Speedinator,
do you mean my default RME TotalMixFX layout for (of which I am the developer)?

I really would like to setup a nice layout for Forte as well, but I think there will always be some problems until there is native OSC support implemented into Forte.
I would love to have a custom-layout based global control interface in Forte which should act as a wrapper between external controllers and plugins (like Kore with its custom controller hardware). Being able to sync this interface with a layout on a tablet is the best I could think of :-D.

speedinator
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:21 am
Location: Hannover, Germany

Re: Tablet and dawosc for forte surface control

Postby speedinator » Tue May 13, 2014 1:47 pm


RackedBrain
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Re: Tablet and dawosc for forte surface control

Postby RackedBrain » Tue May 20, 2014 3:27 pm

I've used VNC from my Samsung phone and tablet to work Forte remotly. You get *most* of the Forte screen and *most* of the functions. I set the phone/tablet as a hotspot and connect to the Forte PC. VNC is free/OpenSource. There is a server component that runs on the Forte PC and a client that runs on the Android device. All you need to know is the IP address the server is listening to. You can find that out from the Android device that operates as a hotspot.

All that said, I did spring for a small USB monitor for the PC to carry around. It turned out to be more reliable. I should have gone with a small HDMI monitor for even more reliability.


RB

speedinator
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:21 am
Location: Hannover, Germany

Re: Tablet and dawosc for forte surface control

Postby speedinator » Fri May 23, 2014 2:51 pm

VNC is a good idea. I am using using teamviewer for the same purpose as it feels a little more mature. It duplicates your screen to your tablet in short latency and close to zero cpu usage.

As promised above, here is a small update as my Nexus 10 arrived this week and i made up a quick control-interface for forte. I haven't had any problems so far and Forte is updating the interface by every scene change instantly.



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