Cakewalk Sonar X3 for the Blind using Behringer X-Touch Compact, SAPI5, and NVDA - Gearspace.com
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Cakewalk Sonar X3 for the Blind using Behringer X-Touch Compact, SAPI5, and NVDA
Old 26th July 2017
Gear Head
🎧 5 years
Cakewalk Sonar X3 for the Blind using Behringer X-Touch Compact, SAPI5, and NVDA

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.

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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