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  • Hi Joe!

    I’m Zenny and I’m also a vocalist and songwriter; I just listened to a couple of tracks from your album Perfect Fool, and I love your work!

    I particularly enjoyed ‘I’m All At Sea’ for its instrumentation, but I loved the Irish influences and ornamentation in ‘On Raglan Road’ as well!

    I don’t know a whole lot about music production, b…[Read more]

  • Hello everyone on the forum,
    I am Juho Tuomainen, a 25-year-old Barchelor of Business Administration (with an ICT emphasis) and currently a hobbyist musician but have had trouble starting my professional career because of several reasons. I would want to clarify you that I have not been able to find a mentor who would guide me in things such as…[Read more]

  • Jay wrote a new post 3 weeks, 5 days ago

    ADC23: RNIB and Sound Without Sight to host workshop Introduction Following the success of the ‘Inclusive Design in Harmony’ event held earlier this year, RNIB and Sound WitRead More »

  • Jay wrote a new post 3 months, 1 week ago

    Notes from 'Inclusive Design in Harmony'. Part 2: Recommendations Introduction Many items of accessible software, hardware, instruments, ensembles and opportunities were mentioned during the ‘Inclusive Design in Harmony’ event. We have collated these below, including links to external sites to learn more. You can read more from the event in the other articles in this series. Software Ableton Live – digital audio workstation, for which accessibility testing is now beginning. Ableton Note – a new iOS music-making app that has voice over accessibility built in. Andre Louis presents an introduction to Ableton Note from the perspective of a blind iOS user. Some Arturia software has been designed with screen reader accessibility in mind (Analog Lab V, Augmented Strings, Augmented Voices, etc.). Jason Dasent presents an introduction to Arturia Analog Lab V from the perspective of a blind user. Audacity – free, open source digital audio workstation. See also the Accessibility section of Audacity’s manual. Avid Pro Tools – widely used digital audio workstation for Mac and PC. See also the PTAccess tutorials for screen reader users. Avid ‘Community Plugin’ Webinar, focusing on screen-reader accessibility in Pro Tools. Avid Sibelius – music notation software. See also the SibAccess tutorials for screen reader users. Capella – music notation software, with options for AI-assisted conversion from printed scores and audio recordings. Decent Sampler – mostly accessible sampler plugin written in JUCE, by Dave Hilowitz. Dubler 2 – voice to MIDI convertor software. Can calibrate to any microphone or use the specially-designed Dubler microphone. Note: the software is not currently accessible using a screen reader. Finale – music notation software. Jamulus – real-time jamming and collaboration software. See also Chi Kim’s accessible build for Mac users. JUCE – audio development framework used for writing software. Tom Poole from the JUCE development team noted that this is as accessible as it can be for visually impaired programmers, though this is ultimately limited by the design of the IDE that the developer is using to write code. Logic Pro – widely used digital audio workstation for Mac and iPad. See also the Logic-Band resources for screen reader users. Logic’s built-in sampler was cited as being accessible for screen reader users. Tutorial video from Logic.Band, explaining the first steps for getting Logic Pro set up with VoiceOver. MuseScore – music notation software with much improved accessibility features, including live braille. Video demonstrating the live braille accessibility features of MuseScore 4.1. MusicLM – Google’s text-to-music AI tool. MusicXML – interchange format for digital music scores, which also allows for simpler transcription to accessible formats. Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol software – browse all NKS-ready virtual instruments, effects, loops, and samples in one accessible piece of software. Video guide demonstrating the accessibility features of Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol. NUGEN Audio Jotter – screen reader friendly utility plug-in for making notes and comments within digital audio workstation projects, designed with collaboration in mind. REAPER – low cost and highly flexible digital audio workstation. See also the REAPER Accessibility site and Reaper Teacher resources. Introductions to the REAPER tutorials posted to the Audio Access YouTube channel. Sao Mai Music Braille Converter Tool – convert MusicXML scores to digital braille files. Available as part of the standalone software and a separate online tool. Sonobus – real-time audio streaming and collaboration software. VOCR – useful software for scanning the screen for text in inaccessible apps (Mac only). Hardware and instruments Ableton Push – standalone digital audio workstation and instrument. Arcana Strum – accessible guitar emulator that offers opportunity for progression. Artiphon Orba 2 – handheld synthesiser and sampler. Easy to create a tune. Note: may be too small for some musicians to control. Arturia hardware – for example, the KeyLab mkII range of MIDI controller keyboards. Audient iD and EVO interface ranges, which have screen reader friendly control software. Video demonstrating the Audient control software for EVO and iD interfaces using a screen reader. Created by Toni Barth and featuring Scott Chesworth. Bluetooth MIDI adaptors – wirelessly connect your MIDI keyboard or controller to your mobile device. Popular models by Yamaha, Roland, and CME. Clarion – a software instrument that has been developed over past decade working alongside tech companies and young people, which can be configured around the needs of an individual. Clarion Lite – a browser based, simplified version of the Clarion, built in collaboration with Google. Digit Music Cmpsr (pronounced Composer) – a MIDI input device based on a joystick. Very accessible interface, designed with the mantra “one finger one click” in mind. DynaMount robotic microphone stand. Focusrite – Vocaster and Scarlett 3rd-generation audio interface ranges have screen reader friendly control software. iPad. Kellycaster. Korg minilogue range (contributed by Maja Sobiech). Korg Electribe 2 and Electribe Sampler 2 (contributed by Maja Sobiech). Linnstrument – an expressive MIDI controller for musical performance. Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol MIDI controller keyboards, which automatically map controls when used with NKS-ready virtual instruments and effects. Native Instruments Maschine – a standalone digital audio workstation and instrument. Novation Launchpad allows tactile control of Ableton Live. Moog Subsequent 25 has quite an easy layout to learn, and the software editor is accessible. Note: software presets are only accessible by using VOCR (contributed by Maja Sobiech). Roland TR-8 and TR-8S (contributed by Maja Sobiech). Softube Console 1 – hardware control for the Console 1 Mixing System plugin, allowing quick operation of all mixing-related tasks.   Jason Dasent talks about his experience of helping to develop the Softube Console 1 as a blind user. Soundbeam 6. Very good in educational setting. Sensors and light technology. teenage engineering Pocket Operator range (contributed by Maja Sobiech). Yamaha PSR-S Series keyboards (contributed by Maja Sobiech) and other Yamaha products. Organisations AbilityNet – organisers of the TechShare Pro conference. Able Artist Foundation – opportunities and discounted music technology equipment for disabled musicians on a low income. Arts Council England. Attitude is Everything – supporting access to the music and live event industries. Barbican Centre. Berklee College of Music. See also Chi Kim. Bridging the Gap project, led by the Performance Without Barriers research partnership . Creative United – organisers of the Take It Away scheme and the Inclusive Music Consortium, among other projects. Crown Lane Studio and their “Sculpt” online mixing course. Drake Music. FastForward (FFWD) music industry conference. Guildhall School of Music and Drama. The OHMI Trust. Paul Hamlyn Foundation. RNIB Music team. Sage Gateshead. Sound Without Sight. W3C. Ensembles Able Orchestra. BBC Concert Orchestra. BBC National Orchestra of Wales. BBC Symphony Orchestra. Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (and the BSO Resound disabled-led ensemble). The Hallé. National Open Youth Orchestra (NOYO). Paraorchestra. Riot Ensemble. Royal Northern Sinfonia. Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM). Sinfonia Viva. Other resources Accessible Audio Plugin and Software Catalog. “I’m Perplexed, What Next?” – meetups and tutorials from the REAPER community. RNIB Tried and Tested certification. Sound Without Sight’s knowledge hub. What have we missed? New accessible music technology and instruments are being developed all the time. If you have other recommendations, please comment belRead More »Notes from ‘Inclusive Design in Harmony’. Part 2: Recommendations

  • Jay wrote a new post 3 months, 2 weeks ago

    Notes from ‘Inclusive Design in Harmony’. Part 1: overview Introduction: what was ‘Inclusive Design in Harmony’? Sound Without Sight teamed up with Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Google, and Creative United to curate a unique hybrid roundtable. This event pulled together the best minds from across the music industry, together with the voices of disabled musicians, to create a realistic blueprint for the future of inclusive design and developments, aimed at enabling greater access. The aim was to bring together groups who all work in this space, but may not have a full understanding of all the work going on across the sector, and may not have a direct dialogue with the diverse communities who use their products and services. The event facilitated a whistle-stop tour of the current state of accessibility and inclusion, and the current work being done, in key areas of music: Creation: composition, recording and production Performance: instruments, notation, collaborating in bands and ensembles Release: engagement with the industry, artist development, self-promoting The event aimed to spark a collaborative action plan, focusing on how technology can be developed to break down barriers to participation and how inclusive design can be embedded as standard. We are very grateful that Google saw the value in hosting and supporting such an event, and we are very much hoping that it will prove to have been the launchpad for exciting ideas and projects that will meaningfully open the world of music to many more people in the future. The event took place in-person at Google’s Accessibility Discovery Centre in London, and online via Google Meet and YouTube. Why was the event needed? Of course, there are already talented musicians with additional access requirements spanning many genres, but it is often difficult for the public to discover their work and therefore for the musicians to make the jump from casual hobbyist to professional. RNIB recently conducted research in collaboration with Opinium to get an idea of the UK general public’s perception of disabled musicians: Seven in ten (69%) Brits find it important that artists from a diverse range of backgrounds are represented in the music industry. A similar number (63%) consider that disabled people face more challenges than everyone else when building a career in the music industry. Only 3% could think of a blind or partially sighted professional musician who had started their career in the last 10 years. There is a clear need to improve inclusion within the industry so that all talent can shine through equitably. What were the main topics explored during the event? 1. Inclusive design of music technology products Attendees first discussed the inclusive design of music technology products, covering topics such as: What are the biggest barriers to access within music production right now? How are companies currently focusing their inclusive design efforts? Could it be possible for companies who are generally in competition to collaborate on the topic of accessibility? The role of the user community in collaborative development What might an accessibility standard look like? How can the community help influence and define a more standardised approach? The need for a physical R&D “centre for excellence” where the community can try out equipment and instruments. What can mainstream designers can learn from bespoke instrument design and adaptations? Are there any accessibility solutions in the wider technology sphere that haven’t yet been adopted by the music technology industry? 2. Identifying and communicating about the inclusive design of hardware, software, and instruments Conversation moved to the topic of identifying and communicating about the inclusive design of hardware, software, and instruments: How can musicians with additional access requirements better understand whether products are suitable? How can we ensure there is more information about inclusive design available at retail? Would an accreditation scheme be of value? How might this work? Could a simpler scheme be trialled by software-only vendors? 3. Examples of good practice Attendees gave their recommendations of the most inclusively designed music technology products available right now. 4. Accessing performance and ensembles Representatives from the National Open Youth Orchestra, Able Orchestra, and Paraorhestra spoke about inclusive practices in their ensembles. Attendees also discussed the dangers of labelling opportunities as “fully accessible” and the tendency for accessible opportunities to involve experimental repertoire and instruments. 5. Musical collaboration Using digital tools to enable real-time collaboration with other musicians, whether that is jamming, practicing or producing remotely. 6. Accessible formats for music notation Attendees discussed the formats that people require, how can technology help to improve availability of these formats, and whether MusicXML is a future-proof format. 7. Artist development and industry access Attendees discussed the need for inclusion to be considered and built in across the board, so that musicians with additional access requirements can progress through the industry. We explored how barriers can be removed from pathways into the recorded and live music industries, and shared other work happening around the industry to support inclusion. We also discussed the potential difficulties of social media marketing and self-promotion for artists with additional access requirements, along with the importance of supportive online communities. 8. How can we sustain this kind of conversation beyond events like this? Summary: what were the main takeaway points? Music technology and instrument design It was inspiring to hear about the great work that music technology companies are doing to improve inclusivity in their product design. However, the efforts of companies are generally in different areas and the accessibility of music products industry-wide is very patchy. Companies generally use their own approaches to inclusive design, which means that users are rarely faced with a familiar user experience when they purchase a new product. Musicians often need to learn how to use a particular product’s accessibility features and find workarounds so that they can use a piece of technology in their setup. Although two similar products may be described as accessible, the way that users are expected to interact with them may be very different. A strong case was made for better collaboration between music technology designers, who may otherwise be considered competitors, as all music-related products need to be able to work together, with a familiar user experience for people who have additional access requirements. There is also a clear need to define inclusive design principles or guidelines to improve accessibility standards across products. This would also ensure that the topic of accessibility is easier to engage with for smaller developers who do not have the resources to undertake extensive user research. To achieve this, business-to-customer collaboration will be essential, not just collaboration between companies. This is because different communities may have conflicting access requirements; it’s possible that what makes a product accessible for one community may make a product less accessible for another. The sheer diversity of need means that it’s difficult for any single manufacturer to fully explore all design considerations alone. Better communication is needed between manufacturers themselves and their user community so that all parties are aware of the work being done, how it links together, how knowledge can be combined further, and how current work relates to the shared goal of including the widest base of musicians possible. The importance of forums for ongoing consultation and transparency was clear. This sustained collaboration is key for ensuring that the community can influence inclusive design practices. ‘Inclusive Design in Harmony’ was a perfect example of how effective this collaborative approach can be, but an industry-wide structure needs to be created to allow this to happen effectively. The importance of peer support within communities was also noted, which would only improve with such a structure in place. Furthermore, there was a strong desire from musicians for there to be physical environments (R&D centres of excellence for inclusion) where equipment and technology could be explored and tested by the community. This would allow: direct feedback from users to influence design. users to try the accessibility of products before buying. collaborative knowledge to be held somewhere that allows everyone to learn together and keep raising the bar. an effective hub of expertise that can move the industry on, and everyone in it, whether they are on the performance side, the retail side, recorded music, or other. Product information and support It is currently very difficult for users to understand whether their needs have been considered in the design of a product before buying, as accessibility information rarely makes it onto product pages. Likewise, retail staff and product support teams are rarely able to answer accessibility-related enquiries. Therefore, it is important that clearer information about the accessibility of product features is available at music retail and on product pages and documentation. To supply this information effectively, it is important that an industry-wide taxonomy of terms, and a standard way of conveying this information, is agreed. The discussion highlighted the complexity of the issues when dealing with a very wide range of access needs. However, for each product, it should be possible to define which features are or aren’t accessible, and to who. Above all else, it is the responsibility of manufacturers to be clear about what their products do, and who may not be able to access all features, rather than waiting for the community to work this out. It was also noted that many of these issues would naturally be alleviated by having more people with additional access requirements working in design roles and positions of influence at music technology companies. Artist development and industry access The importance of starting points for people who are exploring music for the first time was discussed, as it is currently difficult to get beginners with additional access requirements into music in the first place. If beginners and young musicians do not feel able take the first steps due to barriers, then this can knock confidence, immediately set them back behind their peers, and make them less likely to engage with music throughout their lives.  It was also raised that high-tech solutions may not be appropriate for children with complex needs, low-tech solutions are useful too. There needs to be an inexpensive accessible instrument that will allow children to develop and play to a high standard. Knowledge about and availability of accessible scores were also cited as a barrier to participation. More work needs to be done to promote the need for accessible formats. Publishers and exam boards should follow accessible engraving guidelines and make their scores available in MusicXML format, which can be more easily transcribed to accessible formats later. Beyond barriers experienced early on, inclusion needs to be consistently built-in at every step of an aspiring musicians’ journeys, to ensure that they can progress and develop their creative practice. It is difficult to talk in isolation about inclusion within music technology, instruments, performance opportunities, artist development, or industry pathways, because all these need to be accessible together for meaningful inclusivity. Improvement is needed across the music industry, especially around recognising the intersectionality of issues and needs being addressed. Else, there is a danger of ‘cliff edges’, where musicians’ development is invested in at a particular stage, but this support suddenly falls away. This can currently be the case for aspiring musicians who benefit from youth-targeted support up to the age of 18 or 25 but struggle to continue into a career beyond this. This would also ensure that musicians with additional access requirements can be more mobile through different roles in the industry, which is a necessity for the modern freelancer. There is work to be done with industry gatekeepers and talent streams, such as record labels, festival curators, and BBC Introducing, to ensure that their services are accessible to and inclusive of musicians with additional requirements. There was also a call for support with social media and self-marketing, which are essential skills for developing artists, but can be difficult for disabled musicians to access. What’s next? Contact email addresses will be shared between all consenting panellists today, allowing conversations to continue. All the recommendations made during the event (technology, instruments, ensembles, opportunities, etc.) will be posted this week. In the coming weeks, we will publish detailed notes and actions, along with the recording from the event for anyone who wishes to catch up on all the conversation. Later this year and beyond, we hope to curate further panels, to diver deeper into specific topics. Appendix: who attended the roundtable? The hybrid event brought together a wealth of experience, including artists, representatives from music technology companies, charity organisations, and the music industry. Please see the list below. The stream of the event was also open to the public, and we have collated community questions in a separate article. Key partners Jay Pocknell (Music Support Officer, RNIB; Sound Without Sight) Christopher Patnoe (Accessibility and Disability Inclusion Lead EMEA, Google) Mary-Alice Stack (Chief Executive, Creative United) Robin Spinks (Head of Inclusive Design, RNIB) Musicians Jasper Bentinck Marshall Fairbrother Sarah Fisher Peter Bosher (Accessibility Consultant, SoundLinks) Trahern Culver Scott Chesworth (REAPER Accessibility) Jason Dasent (Accessibility Consultant) Andre Louis (Accessibility Consultant) Kevin Satizabal Music technology designers Si Tew (Digit Music) Tim Yates (Bespoke Instrument Maker) Paul Mansell (Focusrite / Novation) Tim Adnitt (Native Instruments) Dave Tyler (Avid – Pro Tools) Sam Butler (Avid – Sibelius) Peter Jonas (MuseScore) Dr. Adi Dickens (Ableton) Tom Poole (JUCE; Audio Developer Conference) Non-profit organisations Barry Farrimond-Chuong (Open Up Music; National Open Youth Orchestra) Andy Dawson (Inspire Youth Arts) Richard Orme (CEO, DAISY Consortium) Kate Rounding (TiME – Technology in Music Education UK) James Bowden (Braille Technical Officer, RNIB) Daisy Higman (Music Support Officer, RNIB) Dr. Sarah Morley Wilkins (Project Manager, DAISY Music Braille Project) Jacob Adams (Attitude is Everything) Music industry Luke Moore (Arts Council) Gavin Miller (Kazbar Systems) Matthew Ash (Music Industries Association) Chris Carey (FFWD; Abbey Road Red) Siggy Patchitt (Bristol Beacon) John Merriman (Crown Lane Studio) Pete Brazier (Vertical Rooms Studio) James Risdon (Musician; ABRSM; Paraorchestra) Dr. Diljeet Bhachu (Musicians’ Union) Research Dr. Claire Castle (Bravo Victor) James Cunningham (Queen’s URead More »Notes from ‘Inclusive Design in Harmony’. Part 1: overview

  • Jay wrote a new post 3 months, 2 weeks ago

    Work with us: paid Industry Engagement Internships Introduction We are very excited to share that we are now recruiting for two young people, who will help us drive the SoundRead More »

  • Brush up your braille music with the Gardner's Trust Braille Music Literacy Awards 2023-24 Introduction Readers of braille music code, we’ve got an exciting announcement for you: the new season of the Gardner’s Trust Braille Music Literacy Awards is here! Also known as the GTLA, these awards are a fun, relaxed way to test your braille music skills and get some expert feedback that will help you take your studies to the next level (you may even win a prize!) The competition has been sponsored by the Gardner’s Trust for the Blind and administered by the RNIB since 1992, to encourage more visually impaired musicians to use braille music.  What’s involved? The awards are open to musicians of all ages and there are 5 different levels to choose from, from Level 1 (beginners) to Level 5 (advanced). Each level has a range of challenges to help you hone your skills, including: Reading: reading aloud a passage of braille music (Levels 1-3) Performing “at sight”: reading a passage and tapping out the rhythm and singing or playing the melody. Understanding: answering questions about a passage. Writing: writing down a short passage read aloud by the examiner. Memorisation: memorising a short passage and then playing it back (Levels 3-5) Spot the difference: comparing a written passage to an audio recording (Levels 4-5) You’ll get a bit of preparation time before each challenge, so that you can familiarise yourself with the music. You can choose which level you take – you can even repeat a level from a previous year if you like – and which instrument you’d like to play (including voice – the competition is open to singers too). There’s no entrance fee, and no need to travel long distances – the test can be arranged at a location and time that suits you. What’s the best way to prepare? The RNIB website has an information pack with more details about each level, including the sorts of questions you might be asked, the signs that might appear in the scores and practice tests. There’s even a handy new “Dictionary of Braille Music Signs” to refer to. Once you’ve worked out which level is right for you, try practicing with the specimen tests. Some tips that might help you are: Time yourself: Some of the tasks are timed, so it’s a good idea to practice with the time-limits. Record: try recording yourself during the tests that involve performing or memorising, so that you can compare your performance to the music. Think about all the symbols: remember to watch out for things like dynamics, expression, and articulation signs. Think beyond the melody and the rhythm.  Get help: Ask your music teacher or a musical friend to help you practice. What happens after the test? Everyone who takes the test gets a certificate and a detailed feedback report. The report is designed to help you identify your strengths and areas for improvement. This is especially useful if you’re preparing A-Levels, GCSEs or graded music exams. The GTLA isn’t an exam, so there are no “marks”, but there is a small cash prize for the best entrant at each level. When do the tests happen? Tests take place between October 2023 to November 2023. Feedback and certificates will be sent to all entrants in January 2024 This sounds great! How do I apply? There’s an application form included with the information pack on the RNIB website. The pack includes braille ready format versions of all the documents, ready for you to emboss at home. Here’s the link: Gardner’s Trust Braille Music Literacy Awards | RNIB If you’d like an embossed copy of the pack to be sent to you, contact the RNIB Helpline: 0303 123 9999 Or email the Music Advisory Service: You can ask to be sent the whole pack or request the application form and information and tests for your level, free of charge. Don’t forget to ask for the Dictionary of Braille music signs for GTLA: Revised Edition 2022 – it’s very handy! Once you’ve completed the form, send it back to RNIB. A member of the music team will get in touch to orgaRead More »Brush up your braille music with the Gardner’s Trust Braille Music Literacy Awards 2023-24

  • Hi I’m Joe and a singer song-writer based in Belfast Northern Ireland. I released my debut EP in 2021 independently and have learnt a lot along the way. Before that I co-owned a commercial recording studio where we used Jaws with Sonar for multi-tracking. I’ve produced a lot of radio packages and podcasts too along the way.
    Pardon the sha…[Read more]

  • Jay wrote a new post 5 months, 1 week ago

    Audio Developer Conference: SWS and Call for Proposals Sound Without Sight and ADC23 We are delighted to share that Sound Without Sight has been designated as a Community Sponsor of the Audio Developer Conference 2023. ADC is an annual event celebrating all audio development technologies, from music applications and game audio to audio processing and embedded systems. ADC’s mission is to help attendees acquire and develop new skills, and build a network that will support their career development. It is also aimed at showcasing academic research and facilitating collaborations between research and industry. Accessibility at ADC ADC is committed to accessibility, and at Sound Without Sight we are very excited to learn how ADC23 will continue to drive change and raise the profile of inclusive design within the audio industry. ADC22 featured a dedicated Accessibility Zone, which showcased all the recent developments to mainstream audio products that have been designed with a wider user-base in mind. We hope to see a continuation of this initiative at this year’s conference. Diversity Scholarships Additionally, ADC offers Diversity Scholarships for prospective attendees. The scholarships aim to: increase diversity within the audio development community, create career opportunities, and provide access for those who would otherwise be unable to attend. ADC will consider any candidate from an under-represented background with regards to the usual ADC conference attendees. This includes blind or partially sighted people. Recipients of an ADC scholarship will receive a complimentary Audio Developer Conference in-person ticket for the 2-day London event. Submit an idea for a talk We are also very keen to share that the Audio Developer Conference 2023 talk submission portal is now open. The organisers invite anyone from the audio developer community – from students to industry experts – to contribute to the Audio Developer Conference by submitting a talk proposal. Do you have an idea for how the audio industry or its products could become more inclusive? However, you’ll need to be quick, as the deadline for submissions is this Thursday, 29th June. Have an idea but don’t want to present it yoursRead More »Audio Developer Conference: SWS and Call for Proposals

  • Sound Without Sight on WolfTalk Podcast: How To Create Accessible Audio Software Introduction In this podcast episode, I was lucky to interview Jay Pocknell; a production and mixing engineer from the UK. Not only is he a skilled sound engineer and a lovely person to talk to but also a proactive member of the audio community. He founded the Sound Without Sight organisation and currently works at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) advocating for music software, music hardware, and music instruments accessible to everyone: including musicians and sound engineers with disabilities. Basing on his lived experience with sight loss, Jay gives invaluable advice on how any audio programmer can make their software accessible. This is a gold mine of first-hand information! In the podcast episode, we discuss his path to becoming a sound engineer, which obstacles he needed to overcome, and how we as the audio community can remove some of these obstacles permanently. Episode Contents In this podcast episode, you will learn: how Jay became a sound engineer, how he came up with the idea to start the Sound Without Sight organization, what is the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and how they invite industry collaborations for an accessible music experience for everyone, why you should even consider making your software accessible (hint: 💵), how audio developers can make their software accessible, how to test the accessibility of your software, what are typical difficulties of musicians and sound engineers with blindness or partial blindness, how Audio Developers Conference 2022 tackled the issue of accessibility and how ADC23 can improve upon it. This podcast was recorded on April 5, 2023. Listen on 🎧 Spotify 🎥 YouTube 🎧 Apple Podcasts (iTunes) 🎧 Amazon Music 🎧 Google Podcasts 🎧 Stitcher 🎧 TuneIn Radio References Below you’ll find all people, places, and references mentioned in the podcast episode. Jay Pocknell Bio AllMusic Discogs Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) Music site, and how to contact Sound Without Sight Featured content Knowledge hub Sign up or contact Look out for the notes from the ‘Inclusive Design in Harmony’ event at Google, soon to be published on Sound Without Sight. Suggest an article topic University of Surrey Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) course Guildhall School of Music & Drama Accessibility Discovery Centre at Google offices in London Christopher Patnoe Harry Morley from Focusrite Dancing Dots software MuseScore Jason Dasent ABRSM Droidcon conference NVDA screen reader JUCE C++ framework Softube Native Instruments Examples of accessible software Pro Tools from Avid Chi Kim, collaborator from Berklee College of Music Reaper digital audio workstation OSARA: Open Source Accessibility for the REAPER Application Valhalla plugins: great GUI design for partially sighted users Komplete Kontrol and NKS: Native Instruments’ accessibility protocol Tips for making your audio software accessible Try out your software with a screen reader. Check how keyboard-only navigation works. Pay attention to logical and clear user interface layout. Try turning off screen and using your software. Pay attention to scalable, resizable user interface. Pay attention to a good color contrast. Pay attention to special accessibility labels of your controls (knobs, buttons, etc.). Don’t neglect aesthetics. Thank you for listening! All podcast episodes. Note: If you like the podcast so far, please, go to Apple Podcasts and leave me a review there. It will benefit both sides: more reviews mean a broader reach on Apple Podcasts and feedback can help me to improve the show and provide better quality content to you.Read More »Sound Without Sight on WolfTalk Podcast: How To Create Accessible Audio Software

  • Jay wrote a new post 5 months, 2 weeks ago

    Sound Without Sight update – your ideas wanted! I am incredibly happy to share that Sound Without Sight has received a grant from RNIB’s Elizabeth Eagle-Bott Memorial Fund fRead More »

  • Hello. I hope people are enjoying their musical journeys as much as I am enjoying mine.
    If anybody is performing, you should share when and where your gigs are, I’d love to come and support others.

    What are you working on? What are you struggling with? Also, what thing, big or small, have you accomplished this week that made you smile? For me,…[Read more]

  • Tony Stockman wrote a new post 7 months ago


    This article forms the introduction to a series in which I aim to introduce audio programming using a screen reader. Typical Readers of the series will be blind or visually impaired (BVI) […]

  • Bobby Goulder wrote a new post 7 months ago

    Bobby Goulder: Building a Career as a Musician with Central Vision Loss “There has never been a better time to be disabled” – Karl Schwonik, 2021 It is perhaps an over-romanticised, ideaRead More »

  • John Merriman wrote a new post 7 months ago


    I am so grateful that I listened to my friend, the architect. From a braille-labelled scale model of the studio complex to a fully adaptable website – this is the story of Crown Lane – a studio […]

  • Adelaide Jang wrote a new post 7 months ago

    Hello! My name is Adelaide Jang. I’m also known as NervousHarpist. Nervous for short. I’m a professional harpist, but I’d never touched a harp three years ago.

    My story so far

    I was born 13 weeks prema […]

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