Introduction to receiving MIDI, OSC and DMX.

When performing live visuals and lights, it can be crucial for the artist to 'step away' from the computer and use a more intuitive form of controller.  

MIDI, OSC and ArtNet (DMX) are the three most common standards in the audio, video and lighting communities for sending control information between instruments, computers, and consoles.

Within VDMX, everywhere that can receive a data-source (eg. a slider, button, media bin) can both receive and send control information over these protocols. The setup for which instruments (MIDI), ports / IP addresses (OSC), and ArtNet Universes (DMX) are in use, check the respective section in the preferences.


MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a specification that allows electronic instruments to communicate with synthesizers and computer software.

There are hundreds of different styles of controllers available, plus VDMX can work with multiple devices at a time for mixing and matching instruments to suit the performance.

OSC (Open Sound Control) is a  protocol for sending control information over a network. In usage it is a lot like MIDI but it has a few advantages such as the ability to create a descriptive namespace for the information being transmitted and much higher precision data.

Several hardware controllers as well as software applications for Mac / iOS/ Android are now using OSC as their protocol of choice.

ArtNet is a network version of the DMX512 protocol for working with lighting equipment and consoles. Since VDMX can both send and receive ArtNet it can be used as either a media server for video playback or as a console for controlling lights and their parameters.

Next in this series see setting up VDMX as a DMX media server.