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TouchDesigner supports a wide variety of devices, protocols and tools, and is great for interoperability. Below is a summary of some commonly used protocols:
Open Sound Control or OSC is an open protocol that is integrated into many creative applications. OSC provides channels of control that are streamed between programs via network socket ports. As long as the programs are on the same machine and using the same port they will be able to communicate. OSC can also operate between two machines on a network.
MIDI control is a great way to communicate with other programs or input devices. Input devices MIDI controls can be accessed with the MIDI In CHOP or MIDI In DAT. In order to map these devices in a way that TouchDesigner can use them you need to open the MIDI Device Mapper in the “Dialogs” menu.
DMX is a standard protocol for lighting fixture control. TouchDesigner supports the Enttec family ODE, Art-Net, sACN, and KiNET lighting control protocols that are based on DMX. The DMX Out CHOP can send DMX data out via network connections or USB interfaces.
TouchDesigner also supports base TCP and UDP internet protocols. The TCP/IP DAT can be configured as a client or server and can send / receive text or byte arrays. TCP/IP requires a packet exchange to occur that can guarantee packet order and delivery. TCP/IP is useful for one time commands or applications that require acknowledgement of data received.
Built on top of these protocols are the Web Client DAT, the Web Server DAT, the WebSocket DAT, the SocketIO DAT, the WebRTC DAT, the MQTT Client DAT, the Web Render TOP and the Web Browser COMP in the palette.