ARDOUR Accessibility Question

I have been trying to locate a multi-track recorder that will run on Open Source operating systems (FreeBSD or Linux variants), that would be accessible to those without sight. I noted that ARDOUR appears to be fully controllable by keyboard shortcuts so that’s a plus. Would anyone be able to assess whether it’s workable with a screen reader? It’s quite the challenge to find a recording package that will work for the blind without paying over a $1000 just for the software. Has anyone set up a workstation for someone without sight? Thanks in advance.

A LONG time ago there was a Keyboard only interface specifically for this purpose IIRC. It has not been maintained in quite some time though so it would need quite a lot of work is my though. Of course this is all going off memory, Paul would likely have to tell you the full story.


Thanks for the reply. The keyboard shortcuts in the FAQ post from August 09 looks like basic keyboard input via x-windows would be usable. While a non-windowed version would be perfect, hooks to let a screen reader capture announcements would make it usable even running in an x environment. If some existing code is still in the source, that could provide a template to bring it up to speed I’d think, but in lieu of that, trying a windowed version seems the next step. I’ve not tried it yet, but perhaps I can try the OS-X version (I don’t have a FreeBSD box configured at the moment with sound) and see how it plays with the Apple screen reader. Would that provide a representation that would carry over to an X implementation?

Ecasound is also used by visual impaired people on Linux.
Check this website:

Actually I would bet that the OS X version will not play at all with their screen readers. You really will have to find out from Paul what the state of things is, but at this point I am fairly certain at best it is not working, at worst may have been removed entirely.