MATRIXSYNTH: Introducing The Missing Link Wireless OSC/MIDI Translator



Monday, January 10, 2011

Introducing The Missing Link Wireless OSC/MIDI Translator


"The Missing Link OSC/MIDI Translator is a standalone hardware device which contains its own WiFi radio, and translates specially-coded OSC messages sent from your mobile device or computer into standard MIDI messages to control synthesizers, drum machines, mixers, digital audio workstations, or anything which responds to MIDI commands. It does this with low latency, high flexibility and configurability, and without the need for a computer anywhere in the control chain. Multiple wireless OSC devices may connect simultaneously to The Missing Link, making collaboration easy.

The Missing Link presents a breakthrough in MIDI technology by leveraging the power and easy configurability of mobile OSC apps already available for a variety of platforms, to control MIDI devices without the complication of WiFi or software translators, while at the same time freeing your device from cabling. It is truly the first and only device of its kind.

Pre-order sales are now being taken for the first production run of 100 units. Units are already being built, and will be shipping soon. The price is $150, available directly from http://www.wifimidi.com.


Specifications:

802.11b WiFi
- adhoc or infrastructure modes
- open, WEP, WPA or WPA2 security

OSC via wireless UDP
- OSC to MIDI
- MIDI to OSC
- accepts multiple simultaneous connections

MIDI
- MIDI IN/OUT (standard DIN-5)
- class-compliant USB MIDI IN/OUT
- configurable internal routing with soft MERGE/THRU
- all MIDI commands fully supported, including SYSEX

POWER
- 9V-12V DC, tip +/-, >=250mA
- or via USB

PHYSICAL
- 3.3" x 2.2" x 1.6"

-

Jabrudian Industries LLC is a small company based out of Portland, Oregon USA. It was formed in 2010 by several members of the local Dorkbot organization who share a passion for music, electronics, and high-tech DIY. More products are in the works.

Jabrudian Industries LLC
Portland, Oregon USA
missinglinkmidi (at) gmail.com
http://www.wifimidi.com"

See the missing link label below for previous posts including video and templates for the Rhodes Chroma, Waldorf Pulse Pluse and soon, the Yamaha FS1R (sysex only). Having used The Missing Link prototype for a short while, I have to say having wireless control over your synths is pretty amazing. Being able to create custom interfaces for synths that were once cryptic brings a whole new life to them.

Update: be sure to reed the comments in this post for more.

13 comments:

  1. Huh, damn. I thought it was going to be a piece of software. $150 for a small black and white box puts it in the "i think i'll pass" territory for me.

    Not that i have an (h)ipod anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The software is TouchOSC. You can read about it here. It's also worth noting The Missing Link supports sysex for all TouchOSC controls. No other software that I am currently aware of supports this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I sent the following to Computer Controlled via email. I thought I'd add it (slightly updated) here for others on why I think The Missing Link is a big deal. It also replaces my short comment above.

    "The software you were seeing in my prior posts is TouchOSC http://hexler.net/. It's available for free now, and it is pretty awesome. It's like a scaled down version of the Jazz Mutant Lemur, but it's free! I'm hoping they will do even more with it over time.

    The Missing Link is a big deal because it opens up TouchOSC to your MIDI devices over wireless, without the need of a PC in between. Before, you had to use a program called OSCulator that ran on a PC. Also OSCulator does not support MIDI sysex as far as I'm aware of, so you were limited to MIDI CC messages only. That's fine for something like the Waldorf Pulse, but not for other synths that make a good chunk of their parameters available via sysex only like the Yamaha FS1R.

    I'm hoping other apps will support The Missing Link like they support the Line 6 MIDI Mobilizer and/or class compliant MIDI devices over USB with the camera connection kit. The developers are open to this. Note the Line 6 MIDI Mobilizer runs around $70, and the camera connection kit around $30 plus the cost of a supported MIDI cable (the M-Audio UNO goes for around $39 new). So you are looking at $70 for a WIRED solution. The iPad is all about being mobile and free, to me at least. Being latched to a wire with the iPad just doesn't take you to 11. The Missing Link does.

    I can't describe how awesome it is to control my synths with the iPad wirelessly, or how awesome it is to finally be able to easily program my FS1R or Pulse+ for that matter. No more leaning over a rack and no more wires. No more weeding through menus and small font. You can also jump parameters which you can't do with a hardware slider. Think about it. With hardware you have to slide through the full value range between x and y, while with iPad sliders you can instantly jump from x to y or any other values. You can also create endless controllers. You no longer limited by physical hardware.

    What makes The Missing Link bigger than software in my opinion is that it is the first to open the door to wireless MIDI control with the iPad."

    I'm hoping other developers will get in contact with The Missing Link team.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Also note The Missing Link is a class compliant USB MIDI device, so you can use it with a USB cable and the camera connection kit for apps that support MIDI directly. No wireless in this case, but it offsets the cost of having to pick up a separate USB MIDI device.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I hadn't thought about it that way, I haven't tried it with a camera kit connected to the iPad but that's interesting. Might draw too much power to work, like most things.

    The USB connector was intended to be used to connect the Missing Link to a computer if you want an OSC solution that's somewhat easier to set up, and it also doubles as a way to get MIDI out of the computer and merged with your OSC MIDI (and MIDI IN) streams).

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm curious how the OSC<>Midi mapping works with this? How configurable is it? Is this done via a UI that you can then upload to the firmware? Or is the mapping hardcoded for certain OSC/Midi messages only?

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's fully configurable. You currently edit it in the TouchOSC editor, sync to your iPad and you are good to go. You pass messages in a supported format. see the MIDI Reference section on their website for examples.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Nice! Since this thing supports OSC to Sysex translation, it makes me want to dust off my Obi Matrix 6 and build a TouchOSC layout for it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You might want to test the Matrix-6 first. Some versions do not respond well to sysex. Not sure what OSes support it. All Matrix-1000s however should work well. Now might be a good time to look for analogs sold cheap due to lack of knobs.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Matrix, thanks for your advice about the M6 and sysex. I will try mapping just a few parameters to test first.

    RE: finding knobless analogs for cheap, I had been thinking the same thing. :) Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Not hatin, it's a great device. Just a bit of sticker shock. Just another cost to add onto an already overpriced bit of Apple kit. Too much moolah for me =o]

    Not everyone is made of money.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am working on a small line of Midi controllers to be released in early 2012. I am desperately looking for someone to write the translation software for programming pinouts on the chip. OSC to MIDI. ALA Junxion, etc.

    ReplyDelete

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