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Hello there gamers and musicians,

I have just watched a Youtube demonstration of the new Yamaha synth called MO DX 8. I noticed that similar to Genos (the new Tyros) it follows Yamaha's trend of putting touch-screens on their mid-to-high-range keyboards.
Personally, it meant allot to me that in spite of all touch screen craziness, Yamaha has kept at the buttons on their keyboardsI considered Yamaha keyboards being among those very few which have stayed blind-friendly and in addition, sounded awesome. I have a Tyros 3 and I bought it after 8 years of saving for a keyboard, and the sound and being the only keyboard without the touch screen were deciding factors for my purchase and use.
Now, even Yamaha has got into the touch screen race. What I'd like to hear are your experiences with the keyboards; what has worked for you; what left you disappointed, which keyboard you were excited to try out. Also, if you were to obtain another keyboard (either personal arranger like Tyros or a synth/workstation like MO XF would you go for and why.

Regards,
Rok

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I use a YPG-235, and am happy with it.  Not the best, but does what I need and everything I need is on the surface.

if I were to get a new keyboard, and could afford it, it'd be the MOXF8, for I have heard tose things in action, and have spoken with another blind musician who has a similar keyboard goal in mind, so I would assume that they are button based as well.  My worship leader at my church uses the mentioned keyboard, but I never asked her about it.  Maybe I should.  They have wonderful sound, for sure.  I generally tend to like them better than the Roland boards.

Recording artist @ Bass Mekanik Records.  Albums available Wherever digital albums are sold.
My YouTube Channel
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all my keyboards are old but still sound pretty good so I'm not looking to buy a new one thankfully. when will this stupid touch screen thing end? they tried it out in the early 90's and it went away but then came back with a vengeance and I hate touch screens on anything. I have to deal with one on my IPhone SE because I have no choice and that bugs the hell out of me. it's a bloody phone. why don't they make a version that has a smaller screan and buttons? i'll bet it'd be a huge seller because a lot of my sighted friends hate the touch screens as well and would love a phone with buttons on but they don't make them anymore unless you want a cheep piece of junk.
most people I know that use apple for example have I pads as well as a phone and they watch their movies on those so they don't need a stupidly big screen.
anyway, rant over.

if duct tape doesn't fix it, you haven't used enough.

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I use a nord stage keyboard with pretty much all I could need from it. It's nothing but nobs and buttons, so very easy to use, and sounds great.

Bar, bar, bar...
Bar is my name and to go bar is my aim...
Sometimes I'll go "Bad bar",
But in the end its always bar, ahem beer, ahem bar! beer bar!

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Touch screens are here to stay, like it or not. This time it won't end... you can see that by the fact that in the last ten years, instead of touch screens phasing out, more and more things are starting to go touch screen. My church just got an Allen and Heath sq5 which will prove to be a nightmare for me as one of the sound guys... because it has a nice, big, touch screen as well as all the traditional faders and, knobs, and buttons. It's a digital mixer and learning it is going to be a chore...

regards,
assault_freak

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I'm not a keyboard player, but I think we've all been on the wrong end of the move away from rotary controls towards LCD displays of one sort or another. It'll never happen, but blind organisations should at least be making a big fuss and trying to get governments to force manufacturers to make these things accessible as standard. Give them a tax break or something. Though the big hitters aren't paying any in the first place so that might not be much of an incentive.

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Seeing as blind people seem to be disproportionately users of these things, it seems kinda ... -_- unwise for these companies to be so careless in 2018.

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8

Not really, when you consider how small the blind market is. Out of 10 musicians, probably 3 or 4 are visually impaired and probably one totally blind and actually needs some form of full accessibility. The rest, including the visually impaired musicians, can manage a touch screen with little or no fuss.

regards,
assault_freak

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As for MO XF 8 I can confirm it's a great instrument. We had it at our worship band, but playing the guitar there, I didn't find time to play around with it as much as I would like to. smile
I agree with Cae. My reason why the blind should make a fuss is the fact that we can be good at audio/music stuff. Therefore, why shouldn't we be able to access newer devices. If we don't need to lear iPhone's touch screens by heart - which in itself is absurd - it would be appreciated not to do so with audio and music related hardware. I understand, though, that it's a small market. But since Apple has done it, why can't some music gigant do the same.

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well there's a vocal effects peddle I want to buy but it's all visual to use. glad I found that out before I wasted 300 quid on it. I also have a boss dd7 delay peddle which kind of kicks ass but one of the features I really wanted from it isn't accessible either. it's got a loop feature on it so you can do all the floid type stuff from run like hell etc but you have to be able to see the light on the thing to make it work properly. it changes color when it's recording the loop and if you can't see it, you end up with basically a mess. unless anybody knows a way to use it. I'd be greatful if anybody does and could help me out. thing is amazing if I can use it.

if duct tape doesn't fix it, you haven't used enough.

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@post 9, there's a difference between can and will. A music giant like Yamaha, Roland, or any others could easily do it. It's a matter of them wanting to, or not. Native Instruments is the only one making headway in this area, but unfortunately, that hasn't come to accessibility for touch screens... but they are the only company that seems to be wanting to make things accessible.

regards,
assault_freak

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@sir_badger, about the loop... why do you need the light to make it work properly? I don't know how that specific peddle works, but I've used other loopers and don't need any of their visual indicators.. just my foundational loop and then anything I overdub ontop of it. Could you be a bit more specific with what the issue is?

regards,
assault_freak

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Can't personally confirm this yet as I have not yet put much time behind the newer Yamahas, but I spoke to someone at Yamaha during NAMM (a major music convention) regarding this very issue the year the Montage came out. I was told that they did keep visually impaired users in mind, and that they made an effort to make all functions accessed via the touch screen to be fully redundant in some way with physical controls. Think things like moving around to the different items on a screen with cursor buttons, and changing values with a jog wheel. The new MODX series seems to be the next step up from the MOXF, as was the Montage for the Motif, so I'm hoping they built these alternatives into the MODX. Will have to wait and see I guess, at least until they start shipping, and will definitely check on this at the 2019 NAMM show.

Personally, I use an MOXF8 and Roland FA06 live, and both are accessible. I use a Motif XF8 to practice/record, and found it to be way too heavy to transport, which is why I swapt it out for the MOXF8 for my live rig. Can keep the Motif at home permanently with the Roland above it, and the controls of the MOXF and Motif are similar enough that I have no trouble when switching to the MOXF8 and FA06 rig when performing.

Also love the Nords. Actually had a Nord rep at NAMM tell me that they have a lot of visually impaired users, since they tend to build so many physical controls into their boards. Many of them have a screen that's only big enough to provide patch name and number and not much else, leaving so many parameters that are indicated by the physical controls instead of values on a screen.

Los Angeles Based musician, blogger, and programmer.
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@Quacker Thanks for shedding some light on this topic. I'm happy to see that Yamaha is not giving up, especially since Stevie Wonder is their customer.

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15 (edited by SirBadger 2018-09-16 07:43:45)

@12 as far as I can tell to use the loop on this didgital delay you have to hold the peddle down until the light changes, then it loops what you play until you let go. I've still never managed it. also the manual is all graphical so I can't read it.
annoying because I love my boss peddles. as a dd it's fine but I want those extra functions I don't seem to be able to use.

if duct tape doesn't fix it, you haven't used enough.

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16 (edited by kianoosh 2018-09-16 11:38:22)

I have a Yamaha OR700 which is really old i think around 2008 but has a very nice output, It's really really accessible and easy to use and has almost everything i need. Song creator, style creator, Voice editor(You can change effects, cut filters, etc etc), nearly everything that i need from a keyboard. But the thing is that it doesn't have those things i liked to have like a cool guitar like psr s950, And well number of voices is more limited than the newer titles. I think it has 360 voices in total. It supports USB connection though removable disks to the device not the device to the computers and stuff like that which is another bad thing about it

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touch screens have been around for 35 years.
I have come up with ways to make them blind accessible.
I am talking about static touch screens such as on microwaves where the screen locations don't change.
I put clear brail   numbers and letters on each item, using sighted assistance.
For example Braille numbers over the locations of touch screen numbers.
Then s for start, p for pause, and o for one minute extra.
If the device with a touch screen is also used by sighted people, I put the braille on a clear sheet of plastic cut to fit over the entire touch screen with double faced tape on the corners to hold it.
I did this on my local health spa, where I was able to use stepper and rowing machines that have touch screens.
I think the same idea of adding Braille to touch screens  could also work on musical keyboards.

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@sir_badger. I did some googling... and I think you may have crossed wires with thedd7. The mode is called hld mode, but it's a bit of a misnomer... and you don't actually have to hold the peddle to start recording, though that is an option... here is the block of relevant text straight from the manual, once you set the mode knob to  hold.

Recording starts when you press the builtin pedal switch (the
CHECK indicator flashes red).
* The maximum recording time is 20 seconds for stereo input or
40 seconds for monaural input.
* Recording continues even if you release the built-in pedal
switch.
3. When recording is finished, playback starts
Press the built-in pedal switch a second time to stop recording.
Playback of what you recorded begins simultaneously (the CHECK
indicator flashes green).

@quacker, thanks for the insights from Nam... it's nice to know that Yamaha does try to keep accessibility in mind, though frankly, as a newbie it still seems very daunting to me if I wanted to get a keyboard and play with it. Having the same fnctions from touch screens redundantly copied on buttons and physical controls for us is nice, but I'm still missing the fact that there is no actual acessibility other than that. It's a good step though... and shows that there's at least some awareness. Now if only guitar gear manufacturers would start thinking about it... unfortunately, contacting most companies seem to give very lackin results, even smaller companies.

regards,
assault_freak

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Regarding Yamaha's efforts with accessibility, they even built a voice guide for the yamaha Genos. It's all pre-recorded and as such isn't a screen reader but works quite similarly in the end. It's still a work in progress though I believe, as certain elements aren't covered yet.
I wish they will do it with the Montage eventually. It would probably be more complex especially with the FM synthesis engine, but let's hope it will happen nonetheless.

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Most complexity would be removed if music companies actually started thinking about text-to-speech from the very start as Native Instruments is now doing. The problem with making accessibility requests is due to the fact that most products be they keyboards, multi-fx units for guitars or whatever else, don't have firmware capable of supporting text-to-speech without some sort of major redesign, especially if it's a long-running series.

regards,
assault_freak

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assault_freak wrote:

Touch screens are here to stay, like it or not. This time it won't end... you can see that by the fact that in the last ten years, instead of touch screens phasing out, more and more things are starting to go touch screen. My church just got an Allen and Heath sq5 which will prove to be a nightmare for me as one of the sound guys... because it has a nice, big, touch screen as well as all the traditional faders and, knobs, and buttons. It's a digital mixer and learning it is going to be a chore...


Yeah, that's the same board we have at my church as well.  it's a bit of a chore to use, but most the main controls are on the surface, that you may need.  Additionally, the iOS appis not accessible enough to work properly.  However, there is a piece of physical hardware that will work in place of that for the stage monitor personal mixers, but the man board is nice, but a chore.   azslow.com has an OSC client that is somewhat universal and is accessible with NVDA.  Never tried it, but he says it can work with most OSC  servers to some degree.  Wonder if that may help you any.

Recording artist @ Bass Mekanik Records.  Albums available Wherever digital albums are sold.
My YouTube Channel
Drum Covers | Video Game Covers

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Thanks. I'll have to look at it... f not, I'l have to make due with making a scene with al the ruting I want, and then just fiddling with physical controls. lol

regards,
assault_freak

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23 (edited by UltraLeetJ 2018-09-17 21:11:21)

well, this really depends on everything. I have a new, recently released korg kross 2, and everything is accessed using buttons and jog wheels, so no issues there. Editting things I still find absurdly involved, but that is also true of the krome I have which has a touch screen. We definitely need some way of campaign, something to make us visible to the eyes of those companies to see if they would start thinking of accessibility in their products in some way (their pc editors that allow you to control the device from the computer would be a big, nice start). I do not dream about having text to speech, (after all, most of the preparation, editing, shaping, sound design you do at home before performing) but it would be nice to not rely too much navigation wise on the touch screen (as my krome likes to do for a few specific things).

still, its funny to think and find out that I bought a voiceLive 3. If you have it set up right, the way you really intend, performance will go really smoothly and its just wonderful because you can do things eyes free. Many in fact.
But then again editing and programming is involved and it has a touch screen for just very few things. But, their manual has already been tagged  for accessibility! so its a bit ironic.

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The Voice Live 3 is something else I would also love to own. But unfortunately, again, it's hard... and yes, now that so many things have editors and librarian software, even having those accessible would be a huge start! I would also love to have the fractal ax-fx2 for guitar, but that is also rediculously involved, and nothing about it is accessible despite the amount of processing power it has.

After playing with the Allen and Heath sq5 at church today, I definitely prefer analogue without scenes and soft controls... can't even control two mixes from different rooms without switching scenes, which requires the use of the very large, very nice looking aparently, touch screen. Yuck.

regards,
assault_freak

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Hi
It can be a bit out-of toppic. But. How can we use moxf? I have moxf8 and I can't use all functions including effects and editing patches/performances.
Even I can't memorize whole bunch of buttons.
Is there any document about describing moxf as a blind perspective?

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