ToscA is a plugin that makes it possible to send and receive the automation parameters of a digital audio workstation towards or from other applications applications using the OSC protocol. Its application typically concerns the production of object-oriented spatialized mixes independently of the host software constraints.
ToscA can be inserted into a DAW (digital audio workstation) for each track you want to spatialize. ToscA does not affect the audio signals, which are simply short-circuited. However, the plugin provides a certain number of parameters that can be automated. In order to ensure compatibility with a wide range of digital audio workstations, the plugin exposes a maximum of 32 parameters per track. During playback, active automation tracks are read by ToscA and the corresponding OSC messages are sent over UDP. When the automation tracks are armed for recording, ToscA accepts incoming OSC packets from remote applications and data can be written in the sequencer tracks.
Each ToscA instance has an ID that can be adjusted by the user (see illustration). This ID is the root pattern of the OSC messages sent and received by ToscA. Their syntax is as follows: “/ID/ParamaterName ParamaterValue” (e.g. “/3/ azimuth 135.0”). For the sake of simplicity, the parameters in ToscA are all double precision floating-number points. Other types of data that can be included in an OSC message (such as integer numbers or text strings) are not currently supported.
ToscA is not connected to a particular spatialization or synthesis engine. In other words, the automation parameters are generic. By default, these 32 parameters are called param1, param2, and so on. The labels of the parameters can be modified. This is carried out via an XML mapping file that can be loaded into ToscA (see illustration).
The XML mapping file makes it possible to specify the automation scale for each parameter: inside the DAW environment, ToscA scales up the tracks in a [0 – 1] floating point range towards the [min – max] domain selected by the user. This scaling affects data output and the inverse scaling is applied to input data.
ToscA was developed with the Juce framework. Juce offers a plugin wrapper that makes it possible, using a common base code, to generate plugins in different formats (VST, AudioUnits, etc). Therefore, ToscA is available for MacOSX and Windows, in VST, VST3, AU, and AAX formats and in either 32 or 64 bit configurations. ToscA is distributed by the IRCAM Forum.
A view of ToscA in ProTools and an example of a file for automation parameter settings. 1. Plugin inserted in track 1 - 2. List of parameters exposed - 3. Plugin window - 4. Automation tracks