Accessibility in eyoControl

eyoControl supports VoiceOver, an iPad built-in technology enabling the vision-impaired to use the application through the generation of context-sensitive spoken hints. Each eyoControl controller has a dedicated VoiceOver support, as well as the application itself. This page describes common practices to enable VoiceOver on the iPad for usage with eyoControl, and provides a few details on each controller related to the usage of VoiceOver.

VoiceOver activation

To activate VoiceOver, open the iPad Preferences panel and go to the General/Accessibility menu. From there, we recommend to assign Triple-click Home functionality to “Toggle VoiceOver”, this way you will be able to quickly move in/out of VoiceOver during usage of eyoControl by triple-clicking the hardware Home button instead of having to go back to Preferences. From this page, open the VoiceOver submenu to enable VoiceOver and make sure Spoken Hints is toggled on. You may also adjust the Speaking Rate here.

When VoiceOver is enabled, browsing the screen with a finger tells which user interface item is located at that position. To activate or select this item, double tap on it. If the item represents an object that can be moved like a slider or fader button, or rotated like a wheel or a knob, double tap and hold a little while until a distinctive sound can be heard, then move the object. From time to time, you may want to disable VoiceOver by triple clicking the Home button for example to play a virtual instrument, then re-enable VoiceOver later.

Entering eyoControl

When eyoControl opens, it defaults to the Controller Library page. This page contains large image-buttons to access each controllers. Under each controller button can be found an Information button, opening a popover within which the controller is briefly described.

On the top-right of the Library page are Help and Preferences buttons. The Help button presents basic information about the application and revision history notes. The Preferences button opens the eyoControl Preferences page, from where, among other things, it is possible to lock the orientation of the application so it doesn’t change as the iPad is being rotated, and connectivity options to opt between native MIDI or eyoControl Server.

Surface

Surface is control surface type controller presented over two pages, a Mixer and a Panel view. The general controller description can be found on the eyoControl Surface page.

At the top of the Mixer view is a 2-lines LCD screen, underneath which is a row a 8 panning knobs, one per track of a bank. Below are columns of REC/SOLO/MUTE and SEL track buttons, one for each track. Then comes a row a 8 faders plus Master Fader on the right. Just above the Master Fader are Next and Previous Bank buttons. In Portrait orientation, the Transport bar is horizontally laid out and located at the bottom of the Mixer view, whereas it is vertically laid out and on the right of the view in Landscape mode. The Transport Bar includes a 10-digits timecode display, Fast Forward/Rewind/Stop/Play/Record buttons, 4-direction with Zoom buttons, a Scrub Wheel with Scrub button.

It takes a few seconds for the controller to be opened and synchronized with the DAW software. Please make sure to select the appropriate DAW type in the controller’s DAW TYPE pop-up menu function of the software you are using.

When VoiceOver is enabled, tapping on a track button, fader or panning knob tells which track this items belongs to, taking into account the current track bank. Tapping on a fader button or knob tells its current position as a percentage.

To move a track fader, double-tap the fader button and hold for a short while until a distinctive sound is heard, then you can slide the fader up or down. Release the finger when done, then tap on the fader button again for VoiceOver to tell its current value. Same principle for the panning knobs, except those have to be rotated instead of slid up/down (unlike what the spoken hint may tell). As a principle, when the item’s spoken description contains the word “rotative”, this means it has to be rotated to operate. This is also the case for the bottom-right scrub wheel, whose spoken hint also contains the word “continuous”. When an item is described as “continuous”, this means it has no associated value, so the spoken value you may hear has no significance.

When you have located the position of the fader structures/buttons and panning knobs on screen, you may want to disable VoiceOver by triple-clikcing the Home button so their usage requires less steps, you may also use multi-touch to move several track faders simultaneously.

The Panel view presents 12 rectangle track banks of 8 tracks, a single bank being active at a time. VoiceOver speaks the order number of the bank when passing over it. When selecting a bank, it becomes the active bank (in the Mixer view also), the bank area then contains 8 track buttons which can be independently selected. Selecting a track button opens an small overlay view, centered on the track button, containing solo/rec/mute/sel buttons, and a close button on the top-right corner of the overlay. Selecting either button of this overlay performs the related operation and closes the overlay, or you can just tap the close button to leave the overlay without performing any operation.

Transport

Transport is a simple transport bar with large buttons, scrub wheel and timecode display. With some DAW such as Logic it also makes it possible to mark the beginning/end of a loop and set/clear markers. The general controller description can be found on the eyoControl Transport page.

On top of the controller screen is a large LCD display with states on the right (Loop On/Record/Play) and a 10-digits timecode display in the center. Below can be found a row of utility buttons related to loop mode activation and begin/end selection (IN/OUT), SET/CLEAR/UNDO marker buttons, TC/BEATS button to toggle display between SMPTE and Bar/Beats, and Scrub button. The bottom area is composed on the left of two rows of buttons, REC/PREV/NEXT (Prev and Next are to navigate over markers) and Fast Rewind/Fast Forward/STOP/PLAY; a large scrub wheel is on the bottom-right area. The Portrait layout has utility buttons on the left side of the screen, the scrub wheel right below the LCD screen, and Transport buttons underneath it.

To operate the scrub wheel, as with the Surface controller, double tap the wheel and hold for a little while until a distinctive sound can be heard, then rotate the wheel clockwise or counterclockwise. You might want to have the SCRUB button engaged when using the wheel so you can hear the song at the current playhead position in realtime.

Pad

Pad is a drum pad MIDI controller. The general controller description can be found on the eyoControl Pad page. When VoiceOver is enabled, tapping over a pad tells the note it is currently assigned to. To move the Global Velocity slider, double-tap the slider button and hold for a short while until a distinctive sound is heard, then you can move the slider button left/right (spoken hint may say up/down but the slider is horizontal except in 4-pads/Landscape mode where it is vertical). Release the finger when done, then tap on the slider button again for VoiceOver to tell its current value.

When you have located positions of the pads on screen, you may want to disable VoiceOver by triple-clikcing the Home button so you can actually use them to play. Try to tap and release the pads in a vertical type of gesture while playing and not to slide fingers on the pad’s surface (this can happen especially when playing fast) or you may experience misses.

Keys

Keys is a dual keyboard MIDI controller. The general controller description can be found on the eyoControl Keys page. The controller screen is divided horizontally in two sections, each one containing a row of utility items on the top, and a keyboard underneath. The top row is composed of an Edit button, a slider used to control the keyboard’s velocity, a key width selector (pop-up) and an octave selector. VoiceOver tells the octave number when passing over the octave selector, double-tap on a given octave so the keyboard’s keys will be mapped to that octave. In VoiceOver mode, each keyboard’s key reports its assigned note, and the velocity slider reports its current position as a percentage. As with other sliders in eyoControl, double tap and hold the slider’s button to move it. The velocity slider in Keys is horizontal, so move the slider button left/right.

Pressing the Edit button enters edition mode, where the MIDI channel assigned to a given keyboard can be changed. In Edition mode, the editable items are overlaid on the top of the keyboard. Press the Edit button again to leave Edition mode.

mXY

mXY provides 1 to 4 X/Y controllers usable and configurable independently. The general controller description can be found on the eyoControl mXY page. The controller screen includes set-up buttons as a column on the left (Landscape orientation) or a row at the bottom (Portrait orientation) used to add/remove controllers, enable/disable each axis or swap them, plus the EDIT and MERGE buttons. The rest of the screen is filled up with X/Y controller “canvases”, whose size and shape depends on the current count of controllers on screen. Each canvas contains a controller button which can be moved in all directions on the X and Y axis. Both the canvas and the controller’s button order numbers (1 to 4) are spoken by VoiceOver when the latter is enabled. As with other controllers, in VoiceOver mode, double tap and hold a controller button (“handle”), then move it in any direction.

Tap the EDIT button to enter Edition mode, where parameters for each X/Y controllers are displayed and modifiable. Settings for each controllers are aligned with their corresponding set-up buttons, horizontally as rows in Landscape orientation, vertically as columns in Portrait orientation.

Press the MERGE button to have all the controller buttons be part of a single large canvas. Press this button again (now called Split) to return into Split mode, where each controller has an independent canvas.

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