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Basics – Recording

To record live sound, you’ll either use a stand-alone portable recorder, or an audio interface, which is a box that connects to your computer or smartphone.

Stand-alone recorders

There is a range of recorders from makes such as Zoom, Olympus, Sony, Tascam and so-on. Many of the Olympus recorders have built-in speech access, the Zoom range are generally usable without sight, and there are also microphones which capture sound that can then be transferred for editing, from manufacturers such as Rode and Audio Technica.  We’ll be including links to current information about specific models as we grow the community.

Audio interfaces

To connect microphones, electronic instruments, electric guitars and other sound sources to a computer or smartphone, you need an audio interface. These range from small boxes with one or two inputs for simple mono or stereo recording, to larger and more complex devices with many inputs and outputs, and sometimes combined with mixing capabilities. The software used with these devices is often inaccessible for users who rely on a screenreader. One popular and well-respected manufacturer, Focusrite, is actively working on improving accessibility of both their hardware and software, with the Vocaster range a good example of one that’s been very well-received by blind audio makers. The SSL range is also known for having intuitive and usable design, e.g. dedicated knobs and buttons for given functions.

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Peter Bosher

Peter Bosher

Sound engineer, musician and trainer in accessible music technology. I hope to contribute to SWS by sharing experience of access to equipment and software, including ProTools from Avid. I also hope to learn from others through networking and information sharing.