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TouchOSC Bridge clone in python

Project Description

> a TouchOSC Bridge clone, aimed at linux, written in python.


I wanted to have a TouchOSC Bridge running on a raspberrypi. After researching the options and running into several deadends, I figured out, I need to write my own. Specifically this program aims to achieve the following:

  • it works on linux
  • it works on ARM
  • it doesn’t need the .touchosc layout-files
  • it can provide virtual midi ports, like the original TouchOSC Bridge from
  • it is open source
  • it advertises the service via zeroconf
  • it needs minimal configuration


touchosc2midi is built on top of these pip-installable packages:

  • pyliblo
  • mido (needs python-rtmidi and/or(FIXME!) portmidi)
  • zeroconf

and without these, it wouldn’t be such an embarrassingly trivial program.


### Prerequisites You will need a recent version of pip and cython

pip install -U pip pip install cython

### From pypi

pip install touchosc2midi

### From source

git clone cd touchosc2midi pip install .

pyliblo and python-rtmidi need some OS libraries installed (i.e. liblo-dev and librtmidi-dev Debian). Check out to see how to install from a plain Debian with python 2.7.

Getting started

After installation you should have a the touchosc2midi script in your path. Start it with


and open the “Midi Bridge” configuration dialog on your TouchOSC device. You should see an entry for your host. Click on your host and click “Done”. Now you should have midi in- and out-ports named “TouchOSC Bridge” that you can use with your client software.

Midi Configuration

This section shows you, how to do more specific midi configurations.

### Backends

Since touchosc2midi uses mido, it can be configured with several backends (see: for details).

By default it tries to mimic the behavior of the original TouchOSC Bridge (see:; that is: opening virtual in- and out-ports named “TouchOSC Bridge”. Therefore, it tries to use an rtmidi backend by default, since only this backend allows the creation of virtual midi ports.

Unfortunately, it get’s more confusing, because rtmidi allows several API’s (e.g. ‘LINUX_ALSA’, ‘UNIX_JACK’). The default for touchosc2midi is to use the rtmidi backend with the first available/implemented API.

If you want to change the backend, the command:

touchosc2midi list backends

lists the available full backend strings that you can use for the MIDO_BACKEND=… environment variable. To make use of another backend, call touchosc2midi like this:

MIDO_BACKEND=<backend string> touchosc2midi

### Midi Ports

By default touchosc2midi uses virtual ports for midi-in and midi-out. You can, however, connect midi-ports directly. The command:

touchosc2midi list ports

lists all available ports with their ID and their port string. You can connect midi-in and midi-out ports either by ID or by their name string, e.g.:

touchosc2midi –midi-in=1 –midi-out=”iConnectMIDI4+ MIDI 11”

Please note, that it is currently not possible to mix virtual and direct midi ports (but I’d be happy to accept your PR for this!).

OSC Configuration

touchosc2midi tries to detect your main network interface for the network part automatically and you can expect this to work in most cases. You can, however, make it listen on a specific IP address:

touchosc2midi –ip=


The git repository contains a Dockerfile. To use it:

cd docker

docker build -t touchosc2midi:latest .

Above builds a container with all OS dependencies and touchosc2midi installed. When run`ning, you will need to share the `/dev/snd/seq device and expose the OSC receiving port, e.g. like this:

docker run -p –device=/dev/snd/seq:/dev/snd/seq touchosc2midi:latest

Note, that when using docker, the zeroconf service announcement does not work, so you’ll have to configure your ip address manually on the touchOSC device.


This program is published under the MIT License. See LICENSE for details.

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