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Abbreviation for OpenSound Control. OSC is a protocol for communication among computers, sound synthesizers, and other multimedia devices that is said to be optimized for modern networking technology. Open SoundControl is a machine and operating system neutral protocol and readily implementable on constrained, embedded systems. It was developed by the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT Research) at UC Berkley starting in 1996.

CNMAT Research believes that OSC offers optimized integration of computers, controllers and sound synthesizers which will lead to lower costs, increased reliability, greater user convenience, and more reactive musical control. Why? The prevailing technologies to interconnect these elements are bus (motherboard or PCI), operating system interface (software synthesis), or serial LAN (Firewire, USB, Ethernet, fast Ethernet, etc.), whereas CNMAT Research believes they have designed a new protocol optimized for modern transport technologies.

OSC is currently supported by Csound, Native Instruments’ Reaktor and a few others. Only time will tell whether this new protocol will be accepted and embraced by other manufacturers.

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