The project Feel the Noise is a YouTube channel which I intend to become an educational resource for anybody who wants to learn about synthesis, but with the episodes designed with the needs of blind and partially-sighted musicians, support workers and educationalists in mind. The YouTube content will be supported by a web site: Feel the Noise, which will provide additional resources, such as equipment panel layout descriptions that will help bridge the gap between a manufacturer’s documentation and the real-world experience of trying to work with a piece of gear that you can’t see well enough. I’d like to acknowledge the amazing support I’ve received from Erica Synths and their Fenestra initiative, which has meant that I will be able to cover topics that I would have to have ignored due to lack of the appropriate equipment. They have provided a large number of their Eurorack modules that I will be using to demonstrate synthesis techniques that go beyond the typical analogue and rompler architectures. Erica Synths have also offered technical advice and support that have helped hugely in overcoming the issues of becoming a blind video producer, something I never would have thought possible only a few years ago
My name is Tim Burgess and I’m a totally blind software developer, musician, accessibility consultant and trainer – you’ll find me on the web atRaised Bar. I started out playing the violin in middle school but, to everybody’s relief, I gave it up after a few years and turned to keyboards, originally on my mother’s electronic organ. In my late teenage years, I started playing in bands, with lots of gigs and some recording work. My eyesight completely failed in my early 20s and I pretty much gave up on music for a while due to the lack of accessibility of the instruments that I had. I retrained as a computer scientist and graduated in 1993. I then worked for an accessibility consultancy before moving to work for Microsoft as a technical support engineer in 1995. At around this time I got back into making music using a digital piano and a Yamaha synthesizer module linked over MIDI. I moved to another accessibility consultancy and did workplace training and development, plus technical support for over 15 years, whilst building up my equipment collection based on quality of sound and the level of accessibility and I got more and more involved with accessible recording software and hardware. In 2006 I formed my own company, Raised Bar, with the intention of bringing together my computer and musical skills to try and improve the accessibility of music-related hardware and software to visually-impaired musicians. Since that time, I’ve trained lots of people on how to use DAW packages and advised a number of major companies on how to make their products more accessible.