Questions about NI Accessibility for blind users

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ChipMcCain
ChipMcCain Member Posts: 6 Newcomer

Hello,

I am a totally blind musician that's been professionally gigging and recording for 40+ years now.  I long since grew tired of trying to record drums on a keyboard and have finally decided to try and find some type of accessible drum machine type solution that doesn't require me to learn and recall a hundred screens by memory, such as I would need to do with something like the Alesis SR-16 etc.  I ran across the blog post at https://blog.native-instruments.com/how-komplete-kontrol-is-empowering-visually-impaired-musicians/ and became very interested, but not being familiar with your products really don't know what I'm looking at or for, or if even this would be a solution to me.  Am I understanding correctly  that the accessibility the blog post speaks of is only available on the Komplete Kontrol line of Smart Keyboard Controllers and does not extend to other NI products such as the Maschine Mikro MK3 Production and Performance System? If so, is this accessibility available on the Komplete Kontrol A25?  I already have two 88-key weighted keyboards in my studio and had rather not have to add another.


Next, does NI make a NKS compatible plugin-VI drum pack with patterns and grooves to choose from? I saw Studio Drummer but don't see anything about preset patterns etc.


Thanks so much in advance for any information you can share with me and I look forward to hearing from you. I can't tell you how frustrating it has been not having access to VI instruments and effect plugins like my sighted counterparts and still having to use, for the most part, all hardware instruments and effects in my home studio. Also, forgive my lack of knowledge, but I gave up years ago on ever finding any type of accessible VI or Plugin solutions. Till now, there really hasn't been much interest in helping us blind musicians out, even though I would say that a large part of the blind community are musicians, so thank you.

Answers

  • EvilDragon
    EvilDragon Moderator Posts: 1,023 mod
    edited August 2022
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    Hello!

    Accessibility is built into Komplete Kontrol software, as far as I am aware. I am not sure if it is also built into Maschine software, but they share parts of the codebase so it might be the case.

    Studio Drummer does contain lots of MIDI grooves to choose from, but unfortunately the widget through which this is executed (file selector) is not accessible.


    Accessibility on virtual instruments is sort of in its early stages actually - what NKS enables here is a plugin developer curated subset of parameters exposed to DAW's automation parameter list, which can then be used through screen readers. You unfortunately never get absolute and full control over all parameters that a plugin can/might have, and certain widgets like file selectors, which can have a dynamic number of entries (based on i.e. user adding MIDI files to it) is not appropriate for DAW automation mechanism.


    It's not a drum plugin, but I can warmly recommend Surge XT as one of the best examples of directly accessible virtual instruments out there. It's free and open source, and you can get it here.

  • Jeremy_NI
    Jeremy_NI Customer Care Posts: 10,314 mod
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    @ChipMcCain You can have a few accessibilty features from the Maschine software when using the keyboard. It is detailed in this document: KOMPLETE_KONTROL_S_Series_MK2_MASCHINE_Accessibility_Manual

    There is also a plan to implement accessibility on Maschine controllers and software, this might come in a few months. We don't have a date for this, unfortunately.

    Please also note that Komplete Kontrol Access is also a fantastic resource that contains tutorials and Accessibility-focussed reviews on third party plug-ins. There is also a community of users associated with this group who regularly assist one-another, and are welcoming to new joiners. It’s worth emailing komplete-kontrol-access@googlegroups.com and asking to be added

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