JAWS For Windows Scripts for Magix Audio Studio 12


Credigs

We want to extend our thanks to the friendly folks at Magix Software for their cooperation in making Audio Studio 12 as accessible as possible, right out of the box. For the most part, yu can use the program without any special scripts. But, these scripts do address some accessibility issues, add lots of extras, implementing some of the features that were familiar from previous sound forge firsions, including a very nice audio skimming feature, which is superior to, and more responsive than what the program will do on it's own,, and in general, turn a program that is merely "accessible", into a tool that is actually efficiently usable by the blind. You can acquire Sound Forge Audio Studio 12 from: http://Magix.net

Licensing


Because this version of Sound Forge is a major redesign, these scritps are not geneticaly related to those that were provided for earlier versions of Sound Forge. A totally new set of scripts had to be written, which means that a significant effort was required in order to make these available.

However, unlike with previous versions, these scripts are free, for unlimited use. The source is not provided, because we don't want unscrupulous people modifying them, and then selling them as their own. But, you can install them freely, on as many computers as you like, and if you wish, use them free of charge. We don't charge for the scripts. WE charge for the support.

We offer these scripts on an as-is basis. They do what they do. And, Jim Snowbarger, and SnowmanRadio.com are not responsible for any loss or inconvenience you might experience while using these scripts, whether the loss is due to the script logic or not. It's all your deal, whether you pay for your scripts or not.

For the free user, the hotkey help, under JAWSKey+h, in conjunction with the Sound Forge help file, and the other notes provided further down this page, will serve as your guide.

However, we respectfully request a donation, of whatever amount you feel you can afford, which we know will be totally understandable to those of you who feel that people who help lift the burden of providing accessibility should be rewarded for their work. You can make a donation through PayPal, by sending cash to
Snowman@SnowmanRadio.com.
When we receive your donation, should you choose to make one, your name will be added to the list of subscribers. And, should you have questions, about Sound forge in general, or concerning problems with the scripts, and your name is on the list of subscribers, your inquiry will be answered to the best of our ability.

Download

Audio studio is presently only provided for 64-bit systems. That is a limitation of the program itself, and not of the scripts. But, this installer will work on both systems. Download the Version 2 Installer here

Once you install the scripts, focus in Audio Studio 12 and press insert+q. JAWS should say that The Snowman's Scripts for Audio Studio are loaded. If an update is available, it will be spoken at the end of that insert+q message.

To see a list of changes implemented in the current version, see the Change Log at the end of this guide.

Introduction

The rest of this page lists notes about JAWS scripts for Sound Forge, Audio Studio 12. This is not a tutorial on using Sound Forge,but is a collection of observations you may find useful. As usual, you can find a list of supported hot keys by pressing insert+h, when focused in Audio Studio 12. There is a different set of hot keys for the Record dialog, versus the wave data window. The wave data window, which is where you are focused when editing a file, has many more hot keys, and includes the list of manufacturer supplied shortcut keys.

Language

These scritps are specifically written for English, and depend on the user interface being in English.

Focus Problems

When you open the application, or switch focus back into Sound Forge 12 from another window, You may hear jaws say "unable to find application main handle, press the control key to attempt to resynchronize". This is a known problem between the platform on which Sound Forge 12 was developed and JAWS. The symptom is known. The cause is not. A solution is still being saught. But, oddly enough, if you press the control key, something happens that seems to correct the problem. Typically, when you alt tab into the application, you will hear a bunch of speech, as JAWS informs you of the new event, and, if you are like me, you immediately press the control key anyway, to stop the jabber. This should finalize the connection between SF and JAWS, which will be good until you alt tab away again.

Likewise, the audio skimming feature, using the arrow keys, will not work unless focus is properly established, If you find that skimming is not working, try bringing the wave data window into focus by pressing control+p.

Generally, you should vbe focused in the Wave Data Window. But, you can also do audio skimming when focused on the Regions display. The Regions list is where you can use the jaws cursor to explore the list of markers, or regions. From that list, you can delete or rename markers, etc. Hot keys are provided to switch tabs.

Menu Activation

When you first start the program, and no file has loaded yet, you might expect that alt+f would open the file menu. So far, it doesn't, and we're working with the developer on that. But, if you just tap the alt key by itself, you can then use left/right arrow to pick the menu you want. Once a file has been opened, alt+f starts working. We will try to improve this in future versions.

Unexpected Items In The Tab Sequence

As you tab through the various dialogs, especially some of the effect dialogs, Or the New File dialog, you sometimes see items that have no apparent purpose, but whose name might resemble the thing you are looking for. But, these controls are read only text, don't do anything, and usually the next tab lands you on a similarly named item that is the control you actually need, such as a slider. These might have been an early attempt at addressing accessibility issues on the part of the developer, and, as such, these may disappear in later versions. For now, you will just need to tab past them.

Shortcut Keys

SF12 provides a large list of predefined shortcut keys, and the scripts make use of some of them. Therefore, if you change those default shortcuts, you run the risk of breaking the scripts that use them. So, if you decide to modify the default short cuts, go with care. Don't use any that are assigned to scripts, and only assign new shortcuts to keys that are not already assigned. The Scripts especially use those hot keys that play portions of audio relative to the start, or end of the selection. Don't change those. The default shortcut list is included as an appendix at the end of the Wave Data hot key help, under JAWSKey+h.

Familiar Shortcuts

A couple shortcuts that will be familiar to users of previous versions have changed slightly.

To toggle the looped playback status, you can still use the Q key. However, the method we currently have available for identifying the current looped status may or may not work on your system. We hope for a better mechanism in future patches. However, if it does work, you will find that it takes about a second for the status to update. This means that repeated, frequent presses of the q key may report incorrect status. If you allow more than a second to elapse between subsequent presses, all should be well. In any event, this option is easily control from the Options menu.

The tab key used to cycle between left, right, and stereo channels. This key no longer works in SF12. But, the selection can still be made from the Edit menu.

The GotoDialog

If you want to go to a specific time in a sound file, you would press control+g to open the GoTo dialog. Once that opens, press alt+p to put focus on the edit spin box where the time should be entered. This edit spin box does not work properly with screen readers. And, we are working with the developer on a solution.

In general, this spinner is broken into four fields, the hours, minutes, seconds, and milliseconds. To operate the spinner, you can use the tab key to move to the desired field, then up and down arrow to modify that field. However, speech can not currently report which field has focus. But, if you press up or down arrow, the entire time will be spoken, and you can hear which one you are modifying. Alternatively, you can focus in the first field of that spinner, and type in the value you want. However, this too is non,standard, and will be fixed. At the moment, version 2, dont' use the colon to separate hours, minute and seconds, but just type in the string as a bunch of digits, and Audio Studio will switch fields automatically. Sadly, sayLine currently does not work, but if you shift tab in or out of the field, or just do up arrow followed by down arrow, you will hear the current time spoken.

Mappable Text Fields

If you take the JAWS cursor to the bottom of the main window, and then go up about 5 lines, you will find a series of fields, starting with "position", followed by the time value of the edit cursor. The format of this line is fieldName value, fieldName value, and continues for a series of about 6 fields. Position: denotes the time at the edit cursor, or at the start of the selection. Note that, if data is selected, your cursor is at one end or the other of the selection, never in between. and you can use home and end to decide which. Thus, the actual cursor time is not shown in these fields if data is selected.
SelEnd: denotes the time of the end of the selection,and will be blank if nothing is selected.
SelLen: Denotes the length of the selection,and will be blank if nothing is selected.
PeakLeft: contains the level of the left channel at the edit cursor.
PeakRight: contains the level of the right channel at the edit cursor.
SlicS: is the start time of the currently selected "slice".
SlicE: denotes the end time of the currently selected "slice". Read the Sound forge help to learn about slices.

If you right click any of these fields, you can select what the field represents, which means you can completely rearrange these fields, or change their assignments. The scritps attempt to accomodate re-ordering. But, if you eliminate fields that are required, you will break the associated scripts functionality. It is recommended that you not reassign fields. However, you can change the units of the value in the field. In fact, it is recommended that you right click all of the time fields, and change the units of measurement to SMPTE/Milliseconds. This allows the scripts to present times in the same format as with previous SF versions, of hh:mm:ss.xxx, where xxx is the milliseconds portion. That will let the scrips speak time values in a familiar, natural language.

Level Meters

The level meters provided to us in the Wave Data Window, by Sound Forge 12 are different than previous versions.

Unlike in previous versions, where the level is updated as you play the file, showing the level under the play cursor, this implementation only shows the level under the edit cursor. So, it will not update as you play. However, it will update as you move around the file, or when you press enter to pause the playback.

This meter only shows the amplitude of the samples under the edit cursor. While a file is playing, the edit cursor is stationary. This means that the measurement does not update in real time. Thus, peak monitoring is not possible. However, if you press the enter key while playing, play will stop, and the edit cursor will jump to the point where playback stopped, and the meter will update to show the value of the samples at that position. Likewise, if you arrow around during playback, you will be moving the edit cursor position, and the meter will update to show the value of the samples at the new edit cursor position.

This level is actually the peak sample discovered within a small range in the neighborhood of the actual edit cursor position, and is defaulted to 50 milliseconds. You can adjust that time interval in the Program Settings portion of the Preferences.

The recording levels are more like previous versions. Both left and right are shown at the same time, and are updated in real time. Again, you can use f11 and f12 to speak the current level when the record dialog is open.

Managing A Selection

Similar to previous versions, you can use hot keys provided to control what gets played when you operate the shift+arrow keys while data is selected. The space bar will always play the selection. However, their are shortcut keys to allow you to preRole to selection start, preRole to Selection end, or play from selection end. And, SF provides Control+k to preview a cut. But, what happens when you use shift+arrows is control by a mode that you set with control+windows+f9 through f12. These modes are similar to those provided in earlier versions, but the list is more comprehensive now.

For example, if you were modifying the start point, so your cursor is position at the start of the selection, and you decide to now adjust the selection end point, you could press Control+windows+f10, to go to PreRole to selection end. That would automatically take your cursor to the selection end. And, now, each time you press shift+arrow keys, you will hear a short bit of audio leading up to the end point. If in doubt, you can use the hoem and end keys to make sure SF knows which end of the selection you want to adjust.

The Record Dialog

Similar to previous versions, when you are recording, you can hold down the control key, and hear a periodic, soft beeping sound, which indicates that the time counter is continuing to increase, meaning that you are still recording. Releasing the control key will stop the beeping. Special hot keys are provided in the Record dialog to start or stop recording, to pause, and to drop a marker.

The controls which regulate the recording process are in the tab order. But the scripts provide hot keys to allow you to directly execute an action without tabbing to it. When you do that, focus will move to the targeted control. Some of these controls look like checkboxes. For example, the button that starts recording is a checkbox. But, once it becomes checked, the only way to stop it, and cause it to become unchecked again, is by clicking the stop button, or double escaping out of the dialog. The pause button, is a check box. When it is checked recording has paused. Oddly, you can check, and uncheck that button, even if Sound Forge is not recording. If you do check it, to pause, and then click the record button, recording will not start, because the application is paused. You would need to uncheck the pause button before recording could proceed.

You can use JAWSKey+PageDown to check the recording status via speech.

Sounds are provided to allow you to monitor the state of things without hearing invasive speech. For example, the p key, which pauses recording, will beep a low pitched tone when recording is paused, and a higher pitched tone when it resumes. You will hear speech when focus changes. But, if you stay focused on a control, such as the pause button, you can press p to pause, and then again to resume, and will hear only a beep to indicate the new state. A high beep means recording, and a low pitched beep means paused.

Remember, you can hold down the control key, to hear the 1 second periodic beeping, if you want to know if recording is continuing. Or, you can check the record time, and see that it is increasing. But, we think you will find the beeper much less intrusive.

Assigning Files To NumbersRow Keys

If you were used to using this feature in previous versions, you may want to know that this functionality had to change slightly with SF12. The number keys, on the numbers row, are used to move directly to a marker. For example the number 3 will move to the third marker in the file. In order to make that navigation possible, it was necesary to change the file access mechanism to use control plus a numbers row key for moving to the file. Shift plus a number still assigns, just as before. But now, it is control plus a number to actually activate that file. Sorry for the change.

The VST Effects Rack

This is functionally similar to the idea of the pluggin chainer of previous versions. This area is under construction, and further work on the part of the developer is likely as well. Essentially, as of this writing, this area is not addressed, but work is anticipated.

Change Log

Notes on what changed to create the current version.

Version 2

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