Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?

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To: Fons Adriaensen <fons@...>
Cc: linux-audio-user <linux-audio-user@...>
Date: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 5:19 am

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On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 2:58 AM, Fons Adriaensen wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 08, 2014 at 12:55:56AM +0300, Paul Davis wrote:

This doesn't fit with what I've seen in live mixing situations. I
understand the importance of the ergonomics, but I would suggest that if
you were using the best designed mixer and it was altered in one small way,
my question above would remain rhetorically on target.

The modification would be to (a) remove all value indicators from the mixer
(b) replace all the knobs with "endless v-pots".

Even in live sound, engineers are making constant visual inspection of the
mixer controls and state displays. I don't doubt that it is *possible* to
get so good at the job that you really could memorize the entire state of
the console, and I certainly do not doubt the importance of ergonomic
design, but I strongly suspect that most people continue to rely on the
state of the mixer as represented by the visual state to avoid having to
actually perform this full memorization.

In addition, live sound and the editing+mixing workflow are two different
things, related by a common set of concepts and tools. This is easily
demonstrated by the existence of consoles built specifically for live
sound. Certainly one could make a studio console work, but the workflow is
sufficiently differentiated that people have pressed for changes to make
things easier.

I think this discussion has reminded me also of why I think this applies to
editing as well. Although it is true that things like 4- and 3-point edit
ops can be performed without visual feedback, my original point was that
the visual aspects of a DAW or NLE act as a kind of memory for the user,
not as a means of enabling operations. What matters about the DAW display
is not that it allows you to perform an edit, but that it shows you very
easily "what is where".

To be honest, I think that if I were a blind user and needed to edit, I
would probably be looking at tools that used the same kind of workflow as
RTCmix or something similar. A fully text-based representation of the
operations/mix that can be easily manipulated without any visual
presentation. RTCmix has the downside that (if I recall correctly) it can
only play back the entire mix, but I would have thought that this sort of
thing would be a better starting point for a "music editor for blind users"
than Ardour.

Finally, to the Janina, I would note that Ardour KSI was created early in
Ardour's life when we barely had an edittor at all. The interface allowed
control of the mixer and not of editing operations. And as for why it did
not participate in any a11y standards: the blind user who paid me to
develop it did not like them and wanted something radically different.

--p

> Of course on a 'real' mixer some settings are

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On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 2:58 AM, Fons Adriaensen &=
lt;fons@linuxaudio=
.org
> wrote:
On Tue, Apr 08, 2014 at 12:5=
5:56AM +0300, Paul Davis wrote:

> actually i wasn't thinking of editing as much as mixing. you can r=
emember

ur

Sure. As can every audio engineer who has done his share of
live mixing.This doesn't fit with=A0 w=
hat I've seen in live mixing situations. I understand the importance of=
the ergonomics, but I would suggest that if you were using the best design=
ed mixer and it was altered in one small way, my question above would remai=
n rhetorically on target.
The modification would be to (a) remove all value indicators=
from the mixer (b) replace all the knobs with "endless v-pots".<=
br>Even in live sound, engineers are making constant visual =
inspection of the mixer controls and state displays. I don't doubt that=
it is *possible* to get so good at the job that you really could memorize =
the entire state of the console, and I certainly do not doubt the importanc=
e of ergonomic design, but I strongly suspect that most people continue to =
rely on the state of the mixer as represented by the visual state to avoid =
having to actually perform this full memorization.
In addition, live sound and the editing+mixing workflow are =
two different things, related by a common set of concepts and tools. This i=
s easily demonstrated by the existence of consoles built specifically for l=
ive sound. Certainly one could make a studio console work, but the workflow=
is sufficiently differentiated that people have pressed for changes to mak=
e things easier.
I think this discussion has reminded me also of why I think =
this applies to editing as well. Although it is true that things like 4- an=
d 3-point edit ops can be performed without visual feedback, my original po=
int was that the visual aspects of a DAW or NLE act as a kind of memory for=
the user, not as a means of enabling operations. What matters about the DA=
W display is not that it allows you to perform an edit, but that it shows y=
ou very easily "what is where".
To be honest, I think that if I were a blind user and needed=
to edit, I would probably be looking at tools that used the same kind of w=
orkflow as RTCmix or something similar. A fully text-based representation o=
f the operations/mix that can be easily manipulated without any visual pres=
entation. RTCmix has the downside that (if I recall correctly) it can only =
play back the entire mix, but I would have thought that this sort of thing =
would be a better starting point for a "music editor for blind users&q=
uot; than Ardour.
Finally, to the Janina, I would note that Ardour KSI was cre=
ated early in Ardour's life when we barely had an edittor at all. The i=
nterface allowed control of the mixer and not of editing operations. And as=
for why it did not participate in any a11y standards: the blind user who p=
aid me to develop it did not like them and wanted something radically diffe=
rent.
--p=A0 Of course on a 'real' mixer some settings are
visible, but if you depend on that you'll be in trouble before
you know it - at least if you're dealing with 30+ channels.
Much of that depends on ergonomic design of the mixer, which
is what sets the real top class apart from the rest. In my
experience Neve was the best at that - you could reach for
any control and have the right one every time, even when the
the only lights were the level meters and a candle or two,
as was often the case.

I *do* remember the first time I had to do anything on this
scale 'on air' - it was quite scary. Studio 1 in Brussels,
big band, 20 or so players + solos, Harrison console, live
broadcast and 24-track recording. All levels carefully set
before turned out wrong because the band had been drinking
between the rehearsal and the concert, and they were 'in
the mood'. But after a few times you get your grips on the
situation and you can relax.

Ciao,

--
FA

A world of exhaustive, reliable metadata would be an utopia.
It's also a pipe-dream, founded on self-delusion, nerd hubris
and hysterically inflated market opportunities. (Cory Doctorow)

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Messages in current thread:
[LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, Aiyumi Moriya, (Sun Mar 2, 1:17 am)
Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, Florian Paul Schmidt, (Mon Mar 3, 11:15 am)
Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, Joel Roth, (Sun Mar 2, 6:51 am)
Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, Len Ovens, (Sun Mar 2, 5:40 am)
Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, Aiyumi Moriya, (Sun Mar 2, 3:48 pm)
Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, Ralf Mardorf, (Sun Mar 2, 4:27 pm)
Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, Paul Davis, (Sun Mar 2, 3:51 am)
Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, Janina Sajka, (Mon Apr 7, 6:59 pm)
Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, Fons Adriaensen, (Mon Apr 7, 8:32 pm)
Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, Paul Davis, (Mon Apr 7, 9:56 pm)
Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, Fons Adriaensen, (Mon Apr 7, 11:58 pm)
Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, Paul Davis, (Tue Apr 8, 5:19 am)
Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, Fons Adriaensen, (Tue Apr 8, 8:50 am)
Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, Simon Wise, (Mon Apr 7, 10:49 pm)
Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, Paul Davis, (Tue Apr 8, 5:03 am)
Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, Simon Wise, (Tue Apr 8, 9:10 am)
Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, Fons Adriaensen, (Tue Apr 8, 9:22 am)
Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, Simon Wise, (Tue Apr 8, 9:57 am)
Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, david, (Sun Mar 2, 5:38 am)
Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, Paul Davis, (Sun Mar 2, 1:29 pm)
Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, F. Silvain, (Mon Mar 3, 10:37 am)
Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, Aiyumi Moriya, (Mon Mar 3, 11:49 pm)
Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, Ralf Mardorf, (Sun Mar 2, 8:48 am)
Re: [LAU] Music Editors for Blind Users?, Ralf Mardorf, (Sun Mar 2, 4:31 am)