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Beta & Usablity Tests


TomW
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Dear Beta-User,

in this forum we can discuss the features, the development, missing functions, new functions, user stories and workflows belonging to your daily work and experience with SOUND FORGE Pro. You can start new topics, talk to other experienced users and talk with the developers and the team for your much-loved SOUND FORGE. Please help us to develop the most useful, effectiv and efficient Audio Editing Tool that you ever used. We want that you love your tools and the forge of your audio and music.

The next steps wil be, that i would like to talk with you what we have planned, what features we would like to build and what features we maybe not have in a first version.

I will prepare a list with topics at the weekend so i think at monday i will show you what we will do. A first alpha or beta needs some more time, because until now we start with development, and we have no version for you until now. So you see i want you form the very first beginning of development and not only for tests at the end of development just befor the release.

Maybe it would be good for us, to know more about you. If you like you can fill your profil detailed or you can also introduce yourself for the others in your first post, because its always good to know the others and to work as a team, not only as a group. I will start in one of my next posts. :-)

Maybe you can awnser also the folowing questions:

  • What is your daily work, what are you doing with SF Pro?
  • How long takes your sessions with SF approximately?
  • What plugins you use?
  • What do you like, and why you love your SF?
  • What can be improved? Why or for what you use other tools?
  • What would be a reason for you to upgrade to SF Pro 12?

Thank you very much
Tom

 

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Ok, so here we go!

What is your daily work, what are you doing with SF Pro?
I'm working as part of the support team for a company dealing with TV broadcast.
So audio is a hobby. I record local bands, restore old tape records, make podcasts and I also do mixtapes...on CDs!
I use SF for editing, (fade in/out, offset remove, resample, dithering).
I use it also for post production: add compression, eq, reverb, delay, distortion, and so on...

How long takes your sessions with SF approximately?
I can spend a few hours a week on SONY SoundForge, depends on the project I'm working on, and spare time available!
I may spend between 30min and 90min on SoundForge per session.

What plugins you use?
112dB, ANTARES, Audio damage, NOMAD FACTORY, BOZ DIGITAL, EVENTIDE, FLUX, iZotope,
KLANGHELM, MELDA, PA, OVERLOUD, PSPaudioware, SSL, Zynaptiq, Waves

What do you like, and why you love your SF?
It is more handy than Aud*t*on!
I like the ability to encode/decode so many formats, including video codecs and multi tracks .wav files.
I like plugin chain, schedulable recordings, scripts.

What can be improved? Why or for what you use other tools?
Vst managing, please add 64bit engine, please add support for controler (MACKIE MCU).
I use samplitude for multitrack recording or mixing because I miss automation in SF.
I use EZ CD audio extractor to extract audio from CD.
I use CD architect to burn my "mixtapes".

What would be a reason for you to upgrade to SF Pro 12?
As written above: 64 bit engine, better vst sorting, and features unavailable from studio pro
like dealing correctly with my two RME soundcard (only one seen, whatever ASIO drivers choosen)
and dealing with layout or presets (called "option administration" in Samplitude).

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

>What is your daily work, what are you doing with SF Pro?

 

Everything from remixing to editing music and spoken-word material. I also record live DJ mixes. Then I'll use SF is use for mastering these DJ sets. This would include audio enhancements -- compression/limiting for volume consistency, some EQ when necessary and making edits to portions of the mix.

 

>How long takes your sessions with SF approximately?

 

Depends, but usually an hour or two.

 

>What plugins you use?

 

Mainly just the ones included with SF Pro -- Wave Hammer, reverb and chorus/flange effects and the Elastique Timestretch. Btw, the way I work is by applying effects one-at-a-time. I don't use the Plug-In Chainer or Plug-In Manager.

 

>What do you like, and why you love your SF?

 

What I love most about Sound Forge is how accessible it has always been and continues to be to the blind and visually impaired. I'm a blind computer user myself and I use a screen reader when using SF and accessing the PC in general. All the keyboard shortcuts and standard dialogs/commands in SF make it so easy to work with.

 

>What can be improved? Why or for what you use other tools?

 

* 64-bit support.
* Statistics dialog showing min/max values for volume and the time and location of other important details.
* The ability to import and export saved custom presets (like Preset Manager does with SF Pro 10).
* Ability for adding loop information and other properties for importing directly into Acid and other loop-based programs.
* Access to more information on the active sound file i.e. what attributes are being used for internal processing, the playback attributes being used and the file's actual audio properties.

 

>What would be a reason for you to upgrade to SF Pro 12?

 

What I mentioned above, plus maintaining of accessibility - keyboard shortcuts, being able to control the behavior and movement of the playback cursor, being able to select data from the keyboard and other options already implemented in Audio Studio 12.

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I am a blind computer user and audio producer, so rely on audible feedback through a screen reader with accessible features of things like sound editors. I have been using Sound Forge since version 4.5, which was the first accessible version using keyboard commands. I have then been able to use iterative upgrades of Sound Forge Professional ever since, and find it the best editor for basic editing functions.

 

I have used Sound Forge to produce freelance contributions to BBC Radio, producing content for commercial radio, a series of radio plays, audio manuals, dialogue for video production, podcasts and various personal projects with nature recordings.

 

Whilst there is much I can do with Sound Forge, there are elements of a visual nature which are impossible to translate in to an accessible format, like spectrum analysis and visual wave form editing. This doesn’t stop me being very capable with manipulating sound, but it would be great if there was a way of getting to some of the functions that are currently inaccessible, as they rely on sight or mouse manipulation.

 

What would I like in Sound Forge 12 Professional? Screen reader Access to VST plugins, split recording as can be found in Total Recorder, where input from Skype is on one channel and the microphone is recorded in the other channel. Keyboard accessible multi track editing, native DSF editing and rendering, access to Apple compressed formats, continued support for batch processing with network access.

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Another thing that would be immensely helpful to blind Sound Forge users, is the ability to easily check if an In or Out point has been set. This is sometimes a point of confusion, so without being able to visibly see a highlighted area, mistakes can be made if you are not sure you have set either edit point. This could be confirmed with a tick next to the In or Out edit option in the insert menu if the edit point had been activated.

 

The process of navigating around VST plugins is still not totally screen reader friendly. In a normal dialogue box, I can move between elements with the tab key and manipulate elements with text input, the space bar and arrow keys and the like However, with VST plugins in Sound Forge Audio Studio 12 it would not be possible for a screen reader user to do this in for example Ozone 7 without sighted help, as you did with me back in the summer.

In Jaws for Windows, later versions, there is something called the touch cursor, which enables me to navigate around a screen, or dialogue, and interact with it, where traditional keyboard commands don’t seem to work.

In Ozone 7 for example, I would open it, invoke the JAWS touch curser and then click on Pre-set File Explorer List. I could then switch back from touch curser to navigate the dialogue box in the normal way.

Some elements like the pre-set list will work like this, but elements like buttons seem to trigger the track being processed to play, so there is clearly something not quite right with the use of keyboard commands using this method.

Lastly, a JAWS user would have to remember to go to touch mode again to find the cancel or OK and the same thing happens. This in my opinion, is not an easy and productive way of navigating a dialogue box, so should not be the default way in which a screen reader user has to navigate elements of the software.

I have also tried this with NVDA. Maybe it is me, but I wonder how other blind screen reader users cope with VST plugins in Sound Forge Audio Studio 12?

PS. Have also tried using Ozone 7 in Sound Forge 11 Professional, and whilst the initial dialogue box is accessible, many of the VST defaults do not load, and I note other commands do not work without the use of the touch curser.

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On ‎10‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 4:42 PM, John Welsman said:

Hi John,

 

I wonder if many of the issues you mentioned in your post could be resolved by using Jaws Scripts? i.e. the ability to tell when data is highlighted, access to VST's, etc.

There are scripts available specifically for SF Pro which are very helpful and provide the kind of feedback you are looking for. 

 

Just a thought.

 

Steve

 

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Steve,

 

A good thought! However, I think one of the original tasks I was set with beta testing, was to find out where SF Audio Studio and no doubt SF Professional were not accessible for a screen reader user.

 

It is clear, that some elements of SF will not at present be friendly for screen reader users. However, I do think that Magix are Kean for these products to be as accessible as possible without the need for third party scripts for Jaws for Windows and other access technology, so that is my premise for highlighting issues with the VST dialogue and other dialogues and elements if they don’t work as expected.

Another thing that would be immensely helpful to blind Sound Forge users, is the ability to easily check if an In or Out point has been set. This is sometimes a point of confusion, so without being able to visibly see a highlighted area, mistakes can be made if you are not sure you have set either edit point. This could be confirmed with a tick next to the In or Out edit option in the insert menu if the edit point had been activated.

 

The process of navigating around VST plugins is still not totally screen reader friendly. In a normal dialogue box, I can move between elements with the tab key and manipulate elements with text input, the space bar and arrow keys and the like However, with VST plugins in Sound Forge Audio Studio 12 it would not be possible for a screen reader user to do this in for example Ozone 7 without sighted help, as you did with me back in the summer.

In Jaws for Windows, later versions, there is something called the touch cursor, which enables me to navigate around a screen, or dialogue, and interact with it, where traditional keyboard commands don’t seem to work.

In Ozone 7 for example, I would open it, invoke the JAWS touch curser and then click on Pre-set File Explorer List. I could then switch back from touch curser to navigate the dialogue box in the normal way.

Some elements like the pre-set list will work like this, but elements like buttons seem to trigger the track being processed to play, so there is clearly something not quite right with the use of keyboard commands using this method.

Lastly, a JAWS user would have to remember to go to touch mode again to find the cancel or OK and the same thing happens. This in my opinion, is not an easy and productive way of navigating a dialogue box, so should not be the default way in which a screen reader user has to navigate elements of the software.

I have also tried this with NVDA. Maybe it is me, but I wonder how other blind screen reader users cope with VST plugins in Sound Forge Audio Studio 12?

PS. Have also tried using Ozone 7 in Sound Forge 11 Professional, and whilst the initial dialogue box is accessible, many of the VST defaults do not load, and I note other commands do not work without the use of the touch curser.

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3 minutes ago, John Welsman said:

Steve,

 

A good thought! However, I think one of the original tasks I was set with beta testing, was to find out where SF Audio Studio and no doubt SF Professional were not accessible for a screen reader user.

 

It is clear, that some elements of SF will not at present be friendly for screen reader users. However, I do think that Magix are Kean for these products to be as accessible as possible without the need for third party scripts for Jaws for Windows and other access technology, so that is my premise for highlighting issues with the VST dialogue and other dialogues and elements if they don’t work as expected.

other commands do not work without the use of the touch curser.

 

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9 hours ago, John Welsman said:

 

John,

Just so you know, I'm blind as well and also use Jaws. So we're in the same boat here. I just wanted to add that when it comes to plug-ins, I think it's really up to the developers of a plug-in to make their UI accessible or not. For example, the plug-ins that came with SF Pro 10 I use all the time and have never had any issues with. On the other hand, there's other third party VST plugs that were completely unusable. Each one is different and for third party plug-ins there is probably not much that can be done other than contacting the company of the plug-in and try to see if they can provide better access. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's the way I understand it.

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