Introducing sonogrid; a Drum machine on steroids - 95% there with VoiceOver support, and want feedback on the last 5%

iOS & iPadOS

Hello AppleVis, just wanted to share my newly released app 'sonogrid' for making beats:

I worked a lot on the VoiceOver implementation and I think it's a good start, but I could use some feedback. There were certain things that were hard to translate because it's a very visual app, but I think maybe 95% of the functionality is available through VoiceOver. I hope those of you who like music will have a chance to check it out.




Submitted by Pyro2790 on Wednesday, September 26, 2018

I would be interested in helping provide feedback regarding the accessibility of this app with VoiceOver, however, the app is paid. Do you have a beta program going for individuals to help test this app?
I am not inclined to pay for an app that does not guarantee it is going to be fully accessible with VoiceOver.

Submitted by jrjolley (not verified) on Wednesday, September 26, 2018

I paid for it £0.99 in my country and started to use it and have noticed a bug. If I go to the documents section and select templates the app crashes.

Submitted by Rosano on Thursday, September 27, 2018

At the moment there isn't a beta program but I should definitely have one - I'll be sure to announce it here.

I tried to replicate the bug but it doesn't crash for me – can you let me know which device and iOS version you are running? Does it happen every-time or was it just once?

Submitted by Scottsdale on Thursday, September 27, 2018


From an initial poke around, I can tell that some effort has gone into implementing VO support. Thanks!

Couple of bugs for you:

1. The "Clock" button doesn't reflect updated BPM until the app is restarted. If I start out with a BPM of 60, then modify that to 180, the button will still report "Clock: 60 BPM" until next time I restart the app. Also, I'm not sure that "clock" is the most intuitive name for that button - "metronome" or "tempo" would probably be more intuitive.

2. I'm seeing frequent crashes on playback if I'm playing back after modifying events on a track. It's not happening 100% of the time, but it's happening often enough to be a showstopper here. This is on an iPhone SE running the release build of iOS 12.

Keep us posted with updates, and of course, any questions.

Looking forward to seeing where this goes... :)

Submitted by Rosano on Friday, September 28, 2018

I have found and fixed the labelling of that button for the next release - thanks for letting me know. I was not able to replicate the crashing when modifying events so I might need some more info. If you send an email from within the app I can work with you directly: it's located under Info and then Send Feedback.

Submitted by Malthe on Thursday, April 18, 2019

I'm looking for an accessible metronome app, that can also handle complex time signatures and possibly design claves/patterns.
This was recommended to me on an other topic, and the description seems to be what I'm looking for.
I am having trouble wrapping my head around the interface though. Let's say I want to create a loop of 1 bar of 13/8, where I only want certain subdivisions played, let's say the fifth, seventh, and eleventh sixteenth note. How would I do that?
Edit: Clarified what I want to happen when playing

Submitted by Rosano on Thursday, April 18, 2019

In reply to by Malthe

The interface is organized around tracks, similar to Garageband. Each track contains a certain number of beats and you can modify the start point, end point, and beat count to create almost any combination. There is also the clock which is important to understand: when you add a track with three beats for example, it sounds three beats in the space of one clock tick. Try to create this first and listen before continuing.

Okay for thirteen, there are a couple of steps with VoiceOver:
- First, add a track of 12
- Second, select the track and enable the operations by swiping up with two fingers and then toggling the first button
- Third, select the 'Add' operation to add one beat and make 13.
- Fourth, disable the operations by swiping up with two fingers and then toggling the first button
- Fifth, use the rotor to select the Edit command and modify the tail by dragging and snapping it to the clock tail. This makes the track sound 13 in the space of one clock tick.

It's sounds like a lot of steps, but once you become familiar with where everything is it will feel more natural. You can also add a track of 16 and subtract three beats instead of adding one to 12.

I'm not sure what you mean by subdivisions, but when you are hovered on a track, you can turn beats on and off via the same Edit command used to adjust the tail.

If you send a message from within the app I can help you directly via email.

Submitted by Malthe on Thursday, April 18, 2019

Many thanks for the quick and detailed response! I see why you wouldn't understand the thing about subdivisions, I wrote sixteenth note instead of eighth note. Sorry about that. Blame the lack of coffee this morning ;)
I am trying to replicate your instructions now. I'm running into a thing where, when toggling operations, I have no "add" action. This is on the same screen where "randomize", "half" and such are. Do I need to do something to make that action appear?
I am also getting a fair amount of app crashes for some reason, though I haven't figured out why they occur. I get them when initiating playback, or changing track operations.
I am also wondering if there is a way to delete a track? I tried using the rotor on it with actions, but there is no "delete" action present.
I have some ideas for things that could improve the VoiceOver experience even more, which I can e-mail to you.
I want to reiterate how great it is that you're making your app accessible! It is very much appreciated.

Submitted by René Jaun on Friday, April 19, 2019

Thanks for these steps. Following them, I discovered that on my iPhone. VoiceOver announces the Add Operation as Push for some reason.
So to add one event, I have to select PUSH.
To remove an event, the operation is currently announced as Pop, instead of Remove (or similar).

I found the tail dragging operation to be rather fiddly. But i managed it in the end. It helps putting iPhone into landscape mode, so one has a lot of room to drag things around. :)

Submitted by jcdjmac (not verified) on Friday, April 19, 2019

This app sounds interesting. Is there a promo code? just curious. would love to try the app out and provide feedback as needed.

Submitted by Rosano on Friday, April 19, 2019

Yes like René said its called Push and Pop instead of Add and Remove, I forgot because my phone is not in English.

To delete tracks, selected your tracks, and then select the third operation - I think it's called Delete and you can find it right before Push and Pop.

For the crashes, this is one of those magical mysterious bugs that will probably disappear automatically. You can try restarting your phone to shake some sillies out.

It's actually a highly visual app so it's been an interesting project to make it work with VoiceOver - I'm happy that most of the functionality is accessible - hope to improve it in the future especially the feedback while dragging the head/tail.

Submitted by Malthe on Monday, April 22, 2019

Thanks very much for the help guys! This app is perfect for my needs, as I often practice to claves.