Controller Input

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Tidal 1.0.0 now has support for external input, using the OSC protocol. Here's a quick guide to getting it going, including using a simple 'bridge' for getting MIDI input working.

Open Sound Control

If you just want to get MIDI input into tidal, you can skip to the next section.

With version 1.0.0 installed and configured, then by default Tidal will automatically listen for external control messages over the OSC (Open Sound Control) network protocol, on localhost (, port 6010.

This is configurable - if you prefer it to listen to for example all network interfaces, and port 6060 you can change your configuration to this:

tidal <- startTidal superdirtTarget (defaultConfig {cCtrlAddr = "", cCtrlPort = 6060})

If you prefer to switch off listening to controls all together, use this instead:

tidal <- startTidal superdirtTarget (defaultConfig {cCtrlListen = False})

The OSC message that Tidal expects has the path /ctrl, and two values - the key and the value. The key can either be a string or an integer (tidal will convert an integer to a string for you). The value can be a string, integer or float. For example the OSC message /ctrl sf hello 0.4, for a message to set the hello control to 0.4.In this example sf is the OSC typetag. It specifies that the first value is a (s)tring and the second value is a(f)loat see OSC specs

You could then use this control in a pattern like so:

d1 $ sound "bd" # speed (cF 1 "hello")

cF is what you use for floating point controls. The second parameter1 is the default value, for when tidal hasn't received that control yet. There is also cS for strings and cI for integers. For time values (for using e.g. as the first parameter of fast/slow), use cT. For ratios add cR


To use MIDI, you don't have to worry about too much of the above, but for now you do have to run something to convert MIDI into OSC. Here's how to do that using SuperCollider. First, with Tidal (e.g. inside atom) and SuperDirt already running, run the below code block in supercollider:

// Evaluate the block below to start the mapping MIDI -> OSC.
var on, off, cc;
var osc;

osc ="", 6010);


on = MIDIFunc.noteOn({ |val, num, chan, src|
	osc.sendMsg("/ctrl", num.asString, val/127);

off = MIDIFunc.noteOff({ |val, num, chan, src|
	osc.sendMsg("/ctrl", num.asString, 0);

cc ={ |val, num, chan, src|
	osc.sendMsg("/ctrl", num.asString, val/127);

if (~stopMidiToOsc != nil, {

~stopMidiToOsc = {;;;

// Evaluate the line below to stop it.

You should then be able to run a pattern such as the following, that uses CC value 12:

d1 $ sound "bd" # speed (cF 1 "12")

If you want to use MIDI in a pattern forming statement, you may find it helpful to segment the input first, as the raw pattern coming from your MIDI device will be at very high resolution. This example takes only one value per cycle & remaps the value with the range function:

d1 $ sound "amencutup" + n (run (segment 1 $ range 1 16 $ cN 0 "32" ))

Alternative: pure-data

The above SuperCollider instructions are most convenient if you're using SuperDirt, but as an alternative you can use puredata to convert midi to OSC. You can get puredata from (the 'vanilla' version is recommended).

Then download this file:

Then if you start tidal, open that file in puredata, and configure your MIDI device in puredata, things should start working.