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.
- 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.
- Some Arturia software has been designed with screen reader accessibility in mind (Analog Lab V, Augmented Strings, Augmented Voices, etc.).
- 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 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.
- MuseScore – music notation software with much improved accessibility features, including live braille.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Riot Ensemble.
- Royal Northern Sinfonia.
- Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM).
- Sinfonia Viva.
- 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 below, or email us at: email@example.com