I am creating a voice-controlled effects pedal for music practice and live performance. Any modern music with electric instruments requires the manipulation of effects such as distortion, reverb, delay, and looping. As someone with lower body weakness, I cannot press foot pedals which are the standard device for manipulating these effects. Therefore, I have been developing methods of using my voice to control live effects while playing an instrument with my hands. I created software which loops multiple channels, applies effects, and allows me to sing after applying effects. The device will also provide a speech synthesizer output to verbalize parameters for visually impaired users like myself.
I will be publishing the open hardware and software documentation under the creative commons license. I will also directly distribute documentation on how to similarly modify existing pedals to disabled musicians and audio hackers. My intent is to widen the field of accessible tools which can be hacked and rearranged for diverse bodies and minds. In addition, I see this project as a way to open conversations with other musicians, and people interested in the arts in general, about how the tools and spaces we use are inscribed by normative bodies and how those tools can be reimagined to hold more capaciously the varied ways we embody life.
What our grantee is saying: "I'm excited to create a tool that can expand production and performance possibilities for disabled people. This project is dedicated to all the disabled dolls blasting music in their rooms :)"
Funded by Disability (November 2021)