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Accessible Peak Meter


ACCESSIBLE PEAK METER

A screenshot of the accessible peak meter Peak level meters, along with other components which rely on the sense of sight for their use, are inherently inaccessible to people living visual impairments. Our AccessiblePeakMeter is the first plug-in which makes these previously inaccessible meters completely accessible. It uses real-time sonification to deliver information to the user about audio levels and peaks in audio signals, and so supports core activities in audio production.

The AccessiblePeakMeter comes as a VST, AU or AAX plug-in, two of the main industry standards for the deployment of digital audio effects into professional DAWs (e.g. Cakewalk Sonar, Cockos Reaper, Ableton Live). The plug-in can be run on both Windows (32/64) and Mac platforms and it is free for download and completely open source!

WHY IT IS NEEDED

Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) are computer programs used by professional audio producers to record and edit digital audio. Many audio production tasks now heavily rely on the visual feedback that DAWs display on the computer screen in the form of graphs, colors, blinks, and so on. This makes them very difficult, often impossible to use by users with visual impairments.

Monitoring audio levels is a key task for audio production and is nowadays carried out using computer based peak level meters - gauges that display audio levels in real time, and possibly blink when the audio reaches critical levels that cause the sound to distort (called clipping). Monitoring audio levels plays an essential role when recording new audio material or during the mixing and mastering phase of audio post-editing, for example.

The following video explains the rationale behind the AccessiblePeakMeter plugin through the voices of two blind musicians and audio producers, who tried it out. It also contains samples of how the AccessiblePeakMeter sounds when in action.

AccessiblePeakMeter was also featured in the issue 19 of the Computer Science for Fun magazine, which explains the AccessiblePeakMeter in a bright, simple and effective way.

AWARDS AND FEEDBACK

Connect Ability Challenge Award

AccessiblePeakMeter received the Best Solution by a Large Organization award in the AT&T and New York University Connect Ability Challenge, a global software competition for software technologies that improve the lives of people living with disabilities. The winner were announced on Sunday July 26 2015, the day of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Oussama Metatla receiving the award

What they say about AccessiblePeakMeter

"Our Engineers installed the plugin here and loaded it into Logic. Works wonderfully!"
Brooke Fox, president of VisionaryMedia

"Works beautifully with Logic Pro X and VoiceOver "
Gary Readfern-Gray on his Blind Logic website

"The AccessiblePeakMeter with two soundcards works like a charm here; it's been a real step forward!"
Peter Bosher, Audio Producer and Music Technology Trainer