Audible peak level meter for Audacity

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andrewd
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Audible peak level meter for Audacity

Post by andrewd » Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:38 am

A couple of months ago I heard about an audible peak level meter for use by blind users of DAWs (see http://depic.eecs.qmul.ac.uk/apmfeedback). It is a VST plugin. I tried it and it does work with Audacity but not in a manner that is effective because it relies on a track being routed to a separate output. In Audacity its tones are mixed with what is being recorded - cute but not desirable.
I decided to do what I should have done years ago and wrote one for Audacity. I am using AutoHotKey, a free scripting language for Windows (http://ahkscript.org/). It isn't ideal because, unlike screen reading software, it does read the screen. The meter must therefore be on the chosen setting and in the default position. So far, it has worked on machines with several different screen resolutions. It looks for the blue peak level line and, based on horizontal pixel count, plays a .wav file with the relevant value.
If anyone is interested, I am more than happy to make it available. It includes a GUI and shortcut key options and a user manual.
Andrew

Gale Andrews
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Re: Audible peak level meter for Audacity

Post by Gale Andrews » Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:26 pm

Thanks, Andrew. Note that the upcoming 2.1.0 release of Audacity has added minimal accessibility to the meters - if you TAB into the control for a meter, the current position of the blue maximum peak bar is read out once.

Have you mentioned the accessible meter from http://depic.eecs.qmul.ac.uk/apmfeedback and your meter on the audacity4blind list ( http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Audac ... users#docs )? That list is the main resource for blind users of Audacity.

Are you saying the meter from http://depic.eecs.qmul.ac.uk/apmfeedback results in its tones being recorded, even if not recording from stereo mix or Windows WASAPI loopback?

Is your meter also a VST plugin and is it GPL licensed? Audacity 2.1.0 will support VST effect plugins on Linux as well as Windows and Mac OS X.

What do you mean when you say your meter must be on the chosen setting and default position?

By all means add a link to your meter as a first step so we can try it out.

Thanks

Gale
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andrewd
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Re: Audible peak level meter for Audacity

Post by andrewd » Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:50 am

Thanks Gale. On reading your reply I checked out a nightly build and was delighted with the "minimal accessibility support" on the meters. That makes my exercise pretty much redundant. No, mine isn't a VST plugin but an external script. Regarding default position etc for the meter, I meant that the Audacity meters have to be in the default position. My script trundles across the screen in a defined area looking for the blue line. The only benefit that my script has is that it announces new peaks automatically. I suspect I can write a simple script to create a hotkey to save tabbing back to the meter. I have just spent an enjoyable half hour checking out 2.1.0 after a somewhat testing day in a new office. Congratulations to all involved.
I doubt there is much point in sending you a link to my script, given the revised meters. Following your questions about the VST meter I will check it out again. I am fairly certain though that it behaves very much like applying an effect to a track in Audacity, which is why it is added to the recording.
Andrew

Gale Andrews
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Re: Audible peak level meter for Audacity

Post by Gale Andrews » Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:13 pm

Thanks, Andrew.

Yes please let us know if the VST meter is more useful than you thought for use in Audacity and if you update your script so that it will speak the meter peak on demand without tabbing manually to the control. I would think that would be useful.


Gale
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