Hello everyone!  It has been a while since I posted anything, but I've been hard at work with my project.

For those who do not know, I am a blind engineer who lost my vision back in 2015, and lost the ability to work on my music.  I always had bad vision all my life, and I kinda knew this was going to happen.  So I reached out to some people for some help and met someone who was willing to help me  with this setup, and here's what we have.

This project has allowes me to have control ofer my recording software: Cakewalk Sonar X3 Producer's Edition, using a physical controller, giving me speech feed back using Microsoft SAPI5 Speech Engine.  ALthough I use Sonar X3, this setup works with any version of Sonar.  SAPI5 is already integrated with Windows 7, 8, and 10.

I started with a Playstation 4 gamepad, and have managed to work my way up to using a Behringer X-Touch Compact, completely reprogrammed to work with what I want it to do, plus again, with speech output, and some additional functions that are not in normal setups, such as fine precision dialing, and an integrated virtual help assistant. 

I have created a youtube playlist showing off the setup using the X-Touch Compact.  You can find the playlist here.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P … aQ-TBmzvPL

Some key features:
Announcements  via SAPI5 Speech engine, integrated into Windows 7, 8, or 10
- Works with any version of Sonar
- Uses any gamepad (Functionality will vary)
- Works with Behringer X-Touch Compact controller
- Virtual onboard help assistant
- Fine precision dialing of any parameter
- Control remapping for effect controls
- Control over VST and DFX plugins
Works with any screen reader to announce  on screen dialogs, but NVDA is recommended to  control specific VST's


Accessible VST's via NVDA:
- Native Instruments Absynth 5
- Native Instruments Guitar Rig 5
- Cakewalk Sound Center
- Cakewalk Dimension Pro
- Session Drummer 3
- SI Bass Guitar
- SI Drum Kit
- SI Electric Piano
- SI Strings

Future VSTs include:
- Addictive Drums 2
- Cakewalk Rapture
- Cakewalk Zeta

These VST's listed are accessible through both the NVDA plugin and also with the effects control/plugin control in the setup.  The NVDA portion will let you get to things that are otherwise unaccessible.

I have used this setup in a live environment as well as in a studio environment.  Using the send control mode to give me monitor mixes and a wireless gamepad to allow me to control the setup remotely anywhere in the venue, as long as the controller is within range.  I mean come on, where else are you going to find someone using an XBox 360 gamepad to run a sound system? haha.   I also used this stup to do some recordings in my home, with the drums setup in a different room, I was able to start and stop recording or playback right there at the kit, and with the speech, of course, I did not have to be in view of the monitor, which I could not see anyways, which is why I started this project to begin with, so this could even apply for sighted people in some aspects.

Feel free to ask me any questions about this setup.  I'd be more than happy to answer them.

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Great to see someone making up-to-date versions of sonar accessible. I'm using CakeTalking with 8.53, and I am concerned that DancingDots has no plans to create anything new, and 8.5 is so old there are bound to be plugins I want in the future that just won't work with it.
I'd have a hard time leaving it at the moment though because I've spent a lot of time getting VSTs like superior drummer and Waves Ir1 and GTR accessible. Guitar rig 5 was the first vst I ever scripted, but I switched to waves GTR because it's good enough for what I want and is less hassle to use with a screen reader.
I'll watch your videos when I get time, but I'm really interested to know how you made guitar rig accessible in terms of letting you know exactly which components are present in the rack. Given GR is such a graphical app in which nothing at all speaks, it was a tough nut to crack for me, and I had to write a really long-winded script to make it accessible, especially being able to know which components were present in the rack after selecting a preset.

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NVDA is used and the OCR add on is modified to access Guitar Rig's GUI, more specifically the preset tree.    Once you select your preset type, sub type, and then preset from that category, you can then go into effect control mode with the xtouch compact and  scan through the parameters and alter their values.    This method works ffor Absynth 5. 

SIBIAC (Single  Image bBlob Intterface Accessible  Control), is a homemade NVDA script which incorporates many VST preset options, especially in the SI instruments, and with Session Drummer and  Dimension, it lets you navigate through   the instruments and change their values.    We're working on getting Addictive Drums 2 accessible, and we're only going to have problems, it seems, with manipulating mic placement.    Superior Drummer 2 would have been nice, and don't get me wrong, I   love that VST and miss it dearly, but all the presets change the location of the drums, so making it accessible would be difficult.   I would like to know how

Also, this setup works with a Behriner X-Touch Compact controller and/or a gamepad connected to Windows.   The gamepad is irrelevant and is easier to setup, but not by much.   I programmed it with a Playstation 4 dualshock 4 controller connected to the PC via USB, but it works with a Microsoft Xbox 360 controller, but some functions will be different or changed around, largely because it is "button number dependent".

I made a video lastnight recording a small track and going through many processes, largely just using presets.  I never did any in-depth effect controlling, largely because my effects are already assigned to what I called the "Quick access encoders" which make my workflow so much quicker.  However, they are assignable, and therefore you can change them.


The person helping me with this project works on Sonar Platinum, and I'm using Sonar X3, however, it should be accessible with all versions, with some possible slight audition changes.

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Sounds awesome. I'll be taking a serious look at it as it has a future unlike CakeTalking, which unless they do a serious overhaul, is a dead duck. The problem I have is I can write simple but effective scripts for jaws, but haven't a clue how to achieve something similar with NVDA. I'd love to use your setup with the option of also using my own scripts, but I appreciate that's not going to happen thanks to FS's outrageous pricing of jaws. So I'm torn between sticking with what I've got and seeing how long it lasts, and investing in a copy of X3 and trying out your system. Suppose there's nothing stopping me from doing both. As long as you can have two versions of sonar on the same machine.

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Having the game controller or the X-Touch is mandatory.    That is one thing I will mention, although some things are auditioned with the keyboard not everything is like  with the control surfaces.

I never tried Sonar 8.5.3 since I lost my vision when already owning X3, which gave me  all the courage to get something brewing for it.    Besides, I'd much rather spend $400 on a control surface (or $50 if you just get a gamepad) as opposed to A grand plus for outdated  setups, which would cause me to have to downgrade.

My setup for Sonar is free to use,  along with NVDA.

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Since we're talking about CakeWalk Sonar here, I wonder, does jSonar gets an update or something?

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No, JSonar did not get an update, and nor will Caketalking, apparently due to the supposive inaccessibility  of the Sonar X series and Platinum.   This setup does not use Caketalking or JSonar in any way.

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It sounds awesome! but... Were can i get it?

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There are download links on the videos descriptions, so you can download them.  I've been working with Addictive Drums 2 and I have it accessible, somewhat now.      It's not ready for public release, yet, but hopefully soon.

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