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Don't Let Reaper be Grim! A Training Course for Screen-Reader Users.

Introduction.

REAPER is a complete digital audio production application offering a full multitrack audio recording, editing, processing, mixing and mastering toolset. REAPER's full, flexible feature set and renowned stability have found a home wherever digital audio is used: commercial and home studios, broadcasting, podcasting, location recording, education, science and research, sound design, or game development. Reaper can be installed on high-end desktop PC's down to a student's laptop.

When a screen-reader user wants to learn to record, edit, mix and process audio, the first questions are usually: are the programs accessible? Will I need script files to support the application? And how much is the entire package?

Fortunately due to some present and past talented innovators, Reaper is extremely accessible. Two freely available packages to support various screen-readers exist, (Osara and ReaAccess), so you can gain the most from this truly awesome application.

But how do you use it? Reaper contains hundreds of features and corresponding shortcut keys to allow you to work with it. But it is helpful not only to understand how these features work but also the concepts behind them and why you would use one function in preference to another. We've read many comments from people who simply do not know how to begin using the program or ways in which they can further their limited knowledge. It can be bewildering.

"Don't Let Reaper be Grim" from Hartgen Consultancy will show you how to get the most from Reaper within the context of audio. While Reaper is perfectly capable of handling midi and tasks relating to music composition, this course does not cover those aspects. The course is specific to the audio enthusiast or anyone needing to create sound as part of his or her education or employment.

Over the years, a number of attempts have been successfully made to ensure visually impaired people can work with audio either for basic editing or to accomplish extremely complex projects. We think that Reaper offers the most accessible solution there has ever been!

What Will I Learn?

The course is divided into four sessions, each of which lasts for approximately 90 minutes. Topics include, but are not restricted to:

  • Installing Reaper and the Accessible Solution.
  • Configuring Reaper and the access technology.
  • Training Mode, Getting Help and Learning the Keystrokes.
  • Enabling and disabling speech output.
  • Single Track Versus Multi-Track Productions, what are they?
  • Working with tracks.
  • Recording audio.
  • Playing and navigating through the audio.
  • Working with Projects.
  • Adding media files.
  • Level metres, adjusting volume and panning. Panning refers to the placement of audio in the stereo field.
  • Muting and Soloing.
  • The concept of non-destructive editing.
  • Editing in a single or multi-track environment, including working with Items, selection, cut, copy, paste, delete and Ripple Editing (which is a Reaper function).
  • Hear time values rather than musical terms.
  • Moving to specific time values.
  • Combining a project into a single audio file for regular playback.
  • Working with Markers.
  • Track Effects, such as Graphic Equalisation and Audio Compression.
  • Bypassing Effects.
  • Converting from stereo to mono.
  • Normalise audio.
  • Crossfading.
  • Adjusting Pitch and Rate.

Who is the Course For?

This course is suited to anyone who has an interest in creating or working with audio content. You should be familiar with how your screen-reader functions together with Windows concepts, such as how to navigate around applications.

The course is fast-paced. There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions regarding the topics under discussion, however this is achieved in a structured manner. This ensures that you can focus on learning the concepts being taught.

What Happens If I Do Not Have the Reaper Software?

This is not a problem. A fully functional 60 day demonstration copy of Reaper can be downloaded and installed, details of which will be provided to you when you sign up for the training course.

Should you decide to purchase a copy of Reaper, a license for home or non-profit use is priced $60. So as well as being extremely powerful, it is one of the less expensive products in this field.

Links will also be provided by us for the two access technology packages mentioned above.

If I Purchase the Course, What Will I Receive?

The course will give to you:

  • An audio recording of each of the 4 lessons in MP3 format.
  • Sample files which you can use in your Projects and to work with at a later date.
  • A list of keystrokes to reinforce topics covered in the lessons.
  • Resources collected together during the training course to enhance the Reaper experience.

Costing.

The cost of the course is £50 which is currently 62 US dollars.
Purchase Don't Let Reaper be Grim Online.

Alternatively, anyone can purchase the course by sending an Email to jaws@hartgen.org, whereupon a fully accessible electronic invoice will be sent to you which can be paid through PayPal or any major credit or debit card. Orders can also be placed by telephone:

  • Call us (from within the UK): 02920-850298.
  • Call us (from the United States): 415-871-0626.
  • Call us (from any other country): (+44)2920-850298.

If you would like to read the views from participants of our previous courses, please Visit our Training area.

Course Prerequisites.

It is important that you have:

  • Good keyboarding skills;
  • A computer with an internet connection.
  • JAWS for Windows or NVDA screen-reader. Please note that our company is exclusively concerned with the JAWS for Windows screen-reader, however NVDA has been tested extensively with both Reaper-compatible access technologies.
  • At the very least, a microphone so as to make recordings with Reaper, or alternatively a more sophisticated environment, such as an audio mixing console. If you do not wish to make recordings, and are content with importing audio including our samples, a microphone may not be necessary.

Summary.

Reaper has proven itself to be a thoroughly usable, productive audio environment in which to work: a production powerhouse." Why not give it a try and learn how to use it from a blind person's perspective! And remember, "Don't Let Reaper be Grim"!

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