I went blind about a year ago, suddenly, after 28 years of eyesight. I’ve been a musician for most of that time, and I used to use all sorts of DAWs and mobile apps.
Unfortunately, even after learning iOS VoiceOver in and out, I had the hardest time finding a good tracking app that would definitely be accessible. This changed when I was searching a few weeks ago.
I took a chance with an app called Ferrite by developer Wooji Juice, after reading a review praising its accessibility. What I found was a very blind-user friendly app designed for podcasts/journalism, however, I couldn’t get it to record and sync up recordings easily, so I wrote to the developer to ask if I was just missing the feature. I got an almost immediate response from lead developer Canis, who was immediately helpful and quick to respond.
Canis introduced me to another app called Hokusai 2, and holy moly, it’s just as easy and solid as Ferrite, but with soooooo many useful functions for musicians. I didn’t think it was possible to combine this much function with accessibility, but I have been pleasantly surprised, all the way up to a help file detailing exactly how and what controls are adapted for use by VO.
I’ve made a promise to myself that I will always speak highly of anybody who considers accessibility, but I gotta say, Canis really knocked it out of the park with such quick responses and great design.
I wanted to share this with everybody here, and I’d love to hear anybody elses’ good experiences finding accessible DAWs for iOS, something I genuinely couldn’t find before Hokusai.
I’m in no way affiliated with Wooji Juice, I’m just so thankful for the people out there, like Canis, who take our community into account and find different ways to make our lives easier, and will shout it from the rooftops when I find these great people.
I am a musician as well. Our use HokusAi and garageband. Both work well for me. I say anything made by wooji juice is amazing. I have actually tried all of their apps that are available on a scale of 1 to 5, I give them 10 stars.
Hokusai is really good
Hey there. I have lost most of my vision gradually over my 38 year lifetime, so I can only imagine losing your vision so suddenly, well into adulthood. I know it’s frustrating when you feel like your loss of sight hampers your abilities to make music, so I’m glad you found Hokusai so helpful. I think it is a great audio editor and a decent multitrack recorder, although it is no replacement for a proper DAW, something I am still searching for, myself. The accessibility is excellent – I have yet to find any similar apps that rival it in that respect. However, there is no support for standard plugins like VST, there is no MIDI capabilities and the mixing capabilities are pretty limited. For it to be a true DAW, I need plugin and software instrument support, MIDI support, a proper mixing console screen of some sort and nondestructive effects processing. Maybe someday such an app will come along. In the meantime, if I am feeling inspired, I can throwdown an acoustic guitar track, lay down a second track with a lead line or vocal idea, save it all to a portable file and share it with my friends or upload it to the cloud – all from my iPhone, and I totally appreciate that. For serious recording projects, I still use a PC based DAW though.