The accessibility of synths is being improved through the use of tactile patch sheets, as reported by

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The Power of Tactile Patch Sheets in Music Accessibility

The world of music technology is constantly evolving, but one thing remains a constant consideration in this landscape – accessibility. Geert Bevin and Tim Burgess, both avid synthesizer enthusiasts, have taken on this challenge head-on with their groundbreaking project – Tactile Patch Sheets. These 3D printed overlays are designed to bridge the accessibility gap for individuals with low vision or blindness, offering a tangible solution that goes beyond traditional screen-readers.

Patch sheets are commonly used with synthesizers that don’t have patch memory, such as retro or analogue synthesizers. They serve as a reminder to the musician for dialing in their preferred settings to recreate the sounds they desire. Geert and Tim initially focused on creating screen-readable versions of patch sheets for the Moog DFAM and Mavis synthesizers. However, their vision expanded as they delved deeper into the project, leading them to devise tactile overlays that physically provide both patching ideas and knob positions on the synthesizer itself.

The result of their collaboration? A more immersive and inclusive experience for synth users with varying levels of visual ability. What sets Tactile Patch Sheets apart is their user-friendly approach. The overlays are open-source, encouraging further innovation and customization within the music technology community. Geert’s passion for 3D printing culminated in this ingenious concept, injecting new life into the accessibility conversation.

The Tactile Patch Sheets consist of a base sheet that allows users to design their own patch sheets, ensuring compatibility with both Mavis and DFAM synthesizers. Notably, these tactile solutions go beyond traditional Braille, accommodating individuals with diverse needs, such as reduced finger sensitivity due to medical conditions like type 2 diabetes.

For those eager to explore the world of Tactile Patch Sheets, Geert Bevin’s UWYN website is a treasure trove of resources. The website offers detailed information and downloadable project files to help musicians dive deep into this incredible innovation. Additionally, Geert’s tactile knob rings, aptly named Knobotron rings, extend the accessibility revolution to devices with visual indicators for knob positions.

To get your hands on these printable patch sheets, head over to this link. We are eager to hear your thoughts on our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages. And make sure to sign up for our weekly additive manufacturing newsletter to stay up-to-date with all the latest stories in the industry, delivered right to your inbox.

In conclusion, Geert Bevin and Tim Burgess have taken a significant step forward in making music technology more accessible with their Tactile Patch Sheets. By providing a tangible solution for individuals with low vision or blindness, they have created a more immersive and inclusive experience for all synth users. Through their open-source approach, they encourage further innovation within the community, ensuring that accessibility remains at the forefront of music technology advancements.

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