Braille And Trackers

So I was wandering through this technology for the visually impaired expo thimg that was on in my college, when I came across a guy advertising his braille music notation software, for converting standard notation scores to braille and vice versa. I was talking to another guy that said Sonar is the only daw that offers a braille package. His company, cobra, offered among other things a braille DAW controller with 4 sliders and a small braille screen for level info,lcheck it out. All well and good I thought, but what about sequencing.

A tracker that offered braille screen functionality would be great wouldn’t it? :w00t:

It’s worth studying as I know that this kind of research and work is funded by some foundations. Also most of this kind of software sells @ billion dollars a copy and the some other foundations pay the large part of the price. I am not saying that one should take advantage of those foundations, but I am saying, that it may be both interesting and profitable project to look at.

I imagine ways of making tracker interface really intuitive for blind people, so we could really have something here.

I have been thinking about something similar a while. Since you hear more detail when not using your eyes, it would be intresting to have some sort of sequencer without any visual feedback. I was thinking you could build some sort of hardware sequencer for that.

But it seems like it might be quite hard to control something like Renoise or Sonar using braille. Wouldnt auditory feedback work better, like a certain nr of clicks tell you which track you chosen or something like that.

That’s one of the reasons why a lot of people say they like the older samplers/MPCs, especially when it comes to chopping samples/beats. Really do start to hear it and get the feel of how the beat starts rather than relying on a pictorial of a waveform to tell you when you’re chopping on the beat. Same with slight delays/variations/groove as you don’t instantly see it (guess you don’t with Renoise so much either as it can be hard to read the little delay values, especially as the track is moving…)

To Suva: You’re right about the price aspect. The guy told me the unit pictured was upwards of €10000, but it would be government funded.

I’m not a programmer myself, I just thought the text based row by row tracker interface would suit a braille screen well, though obviously only 1 row at a time and not as the song was playing.
Anyway it just looked like there was nothing that helpful in the sequencing department. The notation software guy had these kind of braill lego blocks for arranging notes in a couple of bars for ones own reference, I thought it looked pretty poor.

Obviously keeping track of things with a text rather than speech interface is what you want if making music.

Adding braille would need some extra code…
Libbraille could probably a good SDK candidate (including the free tools to use international braille code etc.)

That’s an intriguing idea. But how do you use one of those things?
Do you use a normal keyboard to input commands, and the braille display to “read” them?

I would say a midi keyboard, better for jamming which I think is important. The braille display allows you to read one or two lines of text. Mini displays (~10 chars) at the bottom of sliders show level data.
There is braille music notation aswell as standard alphabet which could get rid of ambiguity between note and effect columns.

Ah, I see. Using a midi keyboard mos def has it’s benefits, but you would still need a sense of context (“where am I?”), and access to all the shortcuts in Renoise. A combination of braille display feedback, voice-activated commands and TTS come into mind.

Forget about voice commands or voice feedback! Using this kind of stuff for audio programs (or actually most other programs as well) is stupid idea.

I have no idea where you got that idea from … ^_^


But, voice feedback (text-to-speak) is fundamental to operating a computer when you’re blind. I think it would be hard to dismiss. Or, would you rather rely on some third-party software to deal with that?

And you gotta love it when product demonstrations go awry :lol: