Using OSC in ChucK

by Rebecca Fiebrink

To send OSC

Host Decide on a host to send the messages to. E.g., ”splash.local” if sending to computer named ”Splash,” or ”localhost” to send to the same machine that is sending.

Port Decide on a port to which the messages will be sent. This is an integer, like 1234.

Message ”address” For each type of message you’re sending, decide on a way to identify this type of message, formatted like a web URL e.g., ”conductor/downbeat/beat1” or ”Rebecca/message1”

Message contents Decide on whether the message will contain data, which can be 0 or more ints, floats, strings, or any combination of them.

To set up a OSC sender in ChucK you'll need code like the following:

//Create an OscSend object:
OscSend xmit;
//Set the host and port of this object:
xmit.setHost("localhost", 1234);

For every message you want to send, start the message by supplying the address and format of contents, where ”f” stands for float, ”i” stands for int, and ”s” stands for string:

//To send a message with no contents:
//To send a message with one integer:
xmit.startMsg("conductor/downbeat, i");
//To send a message with a float, an int, and another float:
xmit.startMsg("conductor/downbeat, f, i, f");

For every piece of information in the contents of each message, add this information to the message:

//to add an int:
//to add a float:
//to add a string:

Once all parts of the message have been added, the message will automatically be sent.

To receive OSC

Decide what port to listen on. This must be the same as the port number of the sender(s) you want to listener to receive messages from. Message address and format of contents: This must also be the same as what the sender is using; i.e., the same as in the sender’s startMsg function.

The following code shows how to setting up an OSC receiver with ChucK.

//Create an OscRecv object:
OscRecv orec;
//Tell the OscRecv object the port:
1234 => orec.port;
//Tell the OscRecv object to start listening for OSC messages on that port:

For each type of message, create an event that will be used to wait on that type of message, using the same argument as the sender’s startMsg function:

orec.event("conductor/downbeat, i") @=> OscEvent myDownbeat;

To wait on an OSC message that matches the message type used for a particular event e, do

e => now;

This is just like waiting for regular Events in ChucK.

To process the message first it's necessary to grab the message out of the queue. In our example this can be achieved using e.nextMsg(). After we called this, we can use other methods on e to get the information we're interested in out of the message. We must call these functions in order, according to the formatting string we set up above.

e.getInt() => int i;
e.getFloat() => float f;
e.getString() => string s;

If you expect you may receive more than one message for an event at once, you should process every message waiting in the cue:

while (e.nextMsg() != 0) {
  //process message here (no need to call nextMsg again