GR-55 - Marc Benigni's GR-55 TouchOSC Navigator for iPad

Started by MCK, February 17, 2011, 03:05:24 AM

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OK, I know I said I was "done" a week ago, but ... update!

Many sliders have been replaced with banks of buttons, which I have found to be much more usable.  (They light up when you touch them - neato! - but they don't persist to represent current state.)  I've taken the opportunity to replace a lot of "lawsuit-aware" labels with real descriptions, for instance LIPS becomes Dano 56-U3 and so on.  This is a little more "fun" for me as a guitar geek, and moreover, it's called out a lot of functionality that I didn't even know was there.  Embarrassingly, I didn't realize that MA-28 etc were acoustic guitars; I thought they were mics or pickups I'd never heard of!  So it's been good to embed some of the documentation right into the UI.

There are pro's and cons, though.  I'm using a lot more screen space, which itself is both a pro and a con.  And I'm using a lot more memory with this increased control count.  This makes pages load a little slower, and could even result in more TouchOSC crashes.  Oddly, I noticed that labels have OSC command strings, but they don't actually respond to touch.  So every button is a label imposed over a push button, doubling the control count.  :(

Things that I considered more global have been moved to page 1, e.g. structure and detuning.

EQ has gotten some more labels so I won't confuse treble and presence anymore.  :O

PCM1/2 have gotten new independent slider controls for each instrument category.  (Also fixed the famous drum kit bug.)  These are still a bit clumsy but at least now you know exactly what category you're searching in as soon as you touch the screen.  Other changes have left a lot of open space on these pages, so they're due for a total overhaul, maybe this weekend.

Assign switches now appear under the CC controls on the FX page, making those controls significantly more powerful if you're creative with your Assign programming.  :)

COSM, MOD, and MFX1-3 have gotten MASSIVE facelifts.  The sliders selecting type have gone away in favor of captions that turn elements on.  The primary benefit beyond the cosmetic is that everything is modular.  If you want a page with buttons for a couple of favorite instruments, and a few favorite effects, it's as simple as copying and pasting one together.

(In anticipation of COSM, MOD, and MFX interfaces possibly winding up on the same page, I've tried to be consistent in presentation:  Any "boxtops" that are lit up (i.e. colored) can be clicked to select the corresponding instrument or effect; otherwise they're just labels.  MOD boxes have transluscent backgrounds to distinguish them from MFX or post-FX.)

This change - and a few labeling tricks on rotaries - made things so much more compact that I was able to put COSM synths and COSM guitars all on the same page.  I'm thinking about putting the MFX UI's on a similar diet, and trying to get those down to 2 pages rather than 3.

So there it is.  I now have room to optimize the few outstanding time/rate controls. (Tap tempo on S1 has been serving well as a workaround.)  Expect that in the next rev. along with some improvements to the PCM1/2 interface.


And pics.


Awesome effort here!

I think this needs to be promoted!


Thanks, Elantric.  I'm super-excited about this.  (Can you tell?)  It's simply the best guitar rig I've ever owned! 

Have been browsing through old posts in this thread and I realized: it's only been about 3 weeks since I got started with the Missing Link and TouchOSC.  Many hours in, but what a fantastic return on investment.


Quote from: Elantric on September 08, 2011, 11:12:10 AM
Awesome effort here!

I think this needs to be promoted!

+1. It is an amazing effort!!!


Thanks guys, and thanks Elantric for putting those photos on Photobucket.  Should I start a photobucket account of my own for new photos, and if so is there a fee?

As promised, here's the new rev. with the overhauled PCM interface.  Not as colorful as before, but much easier to use.  And again I would stress the modularity: I'll probably copy the drum kit and bass sliders to the first page in my personal template, but if for instance you did a lot of techno/DJ stuff, you might want to put the Beat & Groove control there instead.  That's the coolest thing about TouchOSC - it's so easy for everyone to have a UI (or several) that suits their own needs.

Couple of other minor tweaks - getting rid of time control bugs one by one; a few still remain.  Added a 12 Str switch to the Tuning controls on Pg 1, since some custom tunings sound better if they're realized w/ the 12 string module (i.e. with fine tuning controls.)


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Loaded the latest version. It is great!!! I noticed few glitches here & there but I think given the limitations of TouchOSC and peculiarities of the GR55 this is as good as it gets!!! Great job! Thanks for all the hard work.


Great, so glad to hear someone else is putting this to use! 

As I said, I've really found it to be transformative - I was little underwhelmed by the GR55 at first, but having all the possibilities laid bare like this really changes the game.  I've always noted that modeling solutions are difficult in that they can make so many good tones, but also provide countless bad ones.  What it comes down to is, your effects and sound engine(s) are only as good as the selections you manage to dial up, so the UI can effectively make the unit sound better or worse.  At this point I'm listening through my options more thoroughly, and zeroing in on the tones I want more easily, so this isn't merely a facelift; the GR55 actually sounds better as result.

As for the glitches, please don't hesitate to document bugs here.  I won't take any offense.  I don't have the time to test as methodically as I'd like, so your feedback would be really valuable.  Of course some things will come down to known limitations, or differences of opinion, but if there are any legitimate bugs I'll do my best to fix them.


At Elantric's prompting I went ahead and "promoted" this work to a number of other forums and blogs.  Maybe we'll see some new members as a result.  I hope no one finds a bug so bad they decide to go ahead and sue me over it.  :o Should I be worried about including boilerplate legal mumbo-jumbo at the bottom of these posts?

Elantric, I posted to everyone you recommended except TweakHeadz (couldn't find an obvious in-road there) and also posted to the Missing Link forums.  (Hans, you might want to mention to someone that that forum doesn't play nicely with Internet Explorer 8.  Firefox is fine though.)

Can we do anything about the final photo of the PCM interface?  I don't foresee any significant visual changes to the layout from here, at least not the generally available one.  I'll probably make several variations to suit my own needs, by dragging components around and ommitting things I don't often use (e.g. a "Lite" template), and would encourage everyone else to experiment in the same way on their own.

Thanks again for your encouragement!


I think what you have now is a great place to start for other tinkerers who may want their own flavor. You have done all the hard work and if someone feels they need less they can simply edit and remove. TouchOSC is very easy to manipulate especially if you are removing!!! :-) I for one have eyes that are not getting any better so I may want to edit for larger fonts etc. I am sure there will be others with other needs. So in other words its very hard to please all. What you have will work for most if not all users with the Missing Link hardware and the GR55. Thanks once again.


QuoteI may want to edit for larger fonts etc

Yes, this was always going to be a tradeoff - do I go with big chunky controls that I can easily swipe at from a distance, even during performance, or do I go with small controls so I can be exhaustive in the implementation and keep things (relatively) organized on fewer screens.  For this template I went with the latter approach, just to get all of the coding in.  I can definitely see where someone (including myself) would want a subset of these controls in a format that's easier to see at a glance, or actually use in the few milliseconds you manage to get your hands off the fretboard.  The current template is great in the studio, but perhaps not so great on stage.

Other changes may help with stability:  for instance, a "Live" template probably needn't include the GK and Tuning pages, and the latter has a LOT of labels on it.  Delete at will; you can always keep the more inclusive template available on your iPad, and load it into TouchOSC if/when needed.

You may already have stumbled on this, but if you start increasing font and fader sizes, the "Distibute Vertically" and "Distribute Horizontally" commands are huge time savers.  (If you start deleting entire pages, you'll need this to redistribute labels across the tabs - I really wish these were just automatically labeled with their names.)



This is great.  Thanks, Elantric! 

Now that there are more eyes on this I feel like I should have said more about the limitations in my original email to Peter.  But I suppose anyone who visits here for the download can read the thread for fair warning.


Sorry for a boring first post, but Im having trouble getting it to work. I downloaded the file but when I try to load it into the TouchOsc editir I get "Failed to open Layout, File might be corrupted or unreadable".
Does anyone know why this is?




Edits ok on my end. Which version of the editor do you have?


Quote from: MarkFrancombe on September 13, 2011, 03:33:08 PM
Sorry for a boring first post, but Im having trouble getting it to work. I downloaded the file but when I try to load it into the TouchOsc editir I get "Failed to open Layout, File might be corrupted or unreadable".

No problem, Mark.  Let's make sure we're on the same page here.  What's the exact file size of the .touchOSC template you downloaded, and what version (number and OS) of the TouchOSC editor are you running?  My copy of GR55v2.touchosc is 46,279 bytes (49,152 bytes occupied on disk) and I'm running TouchOSC Editor version 1.5.3 for Windows.  (I've had good results on both XP and Windows 7.)


Hi mbenigni,

The file size of GR55v2.touchosc is 49kb
and the version of TouchOSC is 1.4.1 for mac

Hope this helps, Im off to see if theres a newer version for mac,

...5 Mins later...


Thanks for the hint...



Cool!  Next step is finding an OSC interface that works.  I'm using the Missing Link and it's the only one I'm personally aware of.  I don't actually know a whole lot about the intricacies of OSC vs MIDI vs Core-compliant vs. CoreMIDI...  Hopefully someone else here can shed some light.


To control  the GR-55 using your Ipad running TouchOSC and your custom TouchOSC Template, a user will also need an OSC to MIDI Host App.

The Jabrudian Industries Missing Link is one option.


Use a shareware OSC to MIDI Host App.

A PC Based one is described here:

google:  "OSC to MIDI"


Here's a minor update which fixes a problem with the on/off switch on the COSM page.  (Roland used 1 for off and 0 for on in this one case - weird - and TouchOSC has a problem with variables coded as x(1..0).  So here I've used x(0..1) and checked the "Invert" checkbox.)


An update with some workflow changes per my own preferences.  The Amp page is now more of a general home base for performance, with patch navigation, a CC send for patch level normalization (all of my patches have an assign routing CC1 to patch level), a couple of XY pads, controls for OD/DST (which I find I need to adjust too often to be hunting for the MOD page), and better organization of amp models.

Patch navigation includes labeled pushbuttons for banks 1-5.  In my personal copy I've got the names of the songs in our setlist instead of "01-1" etc, so I don't have to memorize the locations.  Singer calls a song, I push the button and go.  Also helpful for wrapping your head around the scope of a project while you're learning parts and programming patches.

The FX (REV, CHO, DLY) page is moved closer to the front; kind of backwards signal-flow-wise, but closer to my actual workflow in practice.  It now features an onscreen keyboard for detuning PCM1 - useful for doing moving pedal-tone type stuff when you've got a note or chord in HOLD.  Fun. :)

Minor cosmetic/organizational improvements to COSM and PCM pages as well.


Ignore that bit about the detune keyboard on the FX page; it doesn't work at the moment.  :(



Thanks, MCK.  I found another approach that makes the keyboard interface work... but it's a bit weird.  It only sets the pitch bend range, so after you select the offset on the screen, you have to tweak the pitch bend itself with GK Volume or the Exp pedal or whatever.  It's a bit less intuitive, but it's also a bit helpful in that you can select the tone whenever it's convenient, and then actually change it when it makes sense musically, i.e. with your foot even if your hands are busy on the guitar.

Don't know if any of that makes sense, but in practice it's pretty cool.  I just started a YouTube channel and I'm going to be uploading some vids of me playing with this stuff and rambling on about what's possible.  Playing over moving tones is one of my favorite new tricks, so it'll probably be one of the first things I demonstrate.

Oh, and I'll be uploading the new template tonight, probably.