Dancing Dots
Where Music Meets Technology for the blind
Dancing Dots serves blind musicians and their educators through technology and training

Dancing Dots Accessible Audio and Notation Workstation

A Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is a computer that has been customized, both in terms of its physical construction and its software, to be optimized for recording and editing audio. While our software will work with off-the-shelf computers, these computers are optimized for office applications and Internet browsing, and can present problems for recording professionals and serious enthusiasts.

Peace and quiet?
If you've ever tried to record in the same room with a typical computer, you've undoubtedly noticed the noise that it produces. Typical computers have fans for their power supplies, fans to circulate air inside their cases, fans on their expansion cards, and inexpensive hard drives that produce a constant whine. When you record, your microphones record that noise. When you mix, the noise gets in the way of hearing the quiet details.

Our Digital Audio Workstations are extremely quiet. The internal design of our systems removes the need for most fans, and, in the situations where fans are required, we use high quality fans with quiet motors that are able to run at low speeds while keeping the internal components cool. We select internal components, including hard drives, that operate quietly, as well as perform well. For customers that must have absolute quiet, we offer solid state hard drives that use no moving parts and produce no sound, as well as operate with several times the performance of mechanical hard drives. To reduce what little sound remains after our modifications, the interior of the cases are lined with sound absorbing acoustical foam to help prevent sound from escaping.

No bloat!
Off-the-shelf computers typically come with lots of software, but you probably would prefer that the manufacturer kept most of it. Computer manufacturers are paid by the creators of that software to include it on your new computer, and so it is a great way for the computer manufacturers to earn some extra money. All of that bloat consumes resources that could be better spent on recording your music.

Our workstations come with Windows, some simple tools for troubleshooting the workstation if something goes wrong, and any software that you've requested us to install. That's it.

Ready to go?

Buying an off-the-shelf computer for recording is only the start of the process. There are device drivers to install for your equipment, software to load and configure, Windows settings to tweak for best audio performance, and more. If you spend the time to struggle through the technical jungle, you might have to do it all again in the future if you experience a hard drive crash or catch a virus.

Our workstations come to you loaded and configured. We install Windows, Jaws, Sonar, CakeTalking, device drivers for your gear, and make all of the needed settings. We perform several tweaks to Windows to increase performance for recording software. And, perhaps most importantly, once we finish our work, we create a complete image of your system. The image is your insurance against problems in the future. If anything happens to corrupt the software or settings on your workstation, or if you reach a point when you'd just like to clean house and start from a fresh system, you can use the DVDs containing the system image that we created to reset your workstation back to the exact condition that it was in when we shipped it to you, with all of your software loaded and our tweaks applied.

Custom built
All of our workstations are built one at a time to suit each customer's needs. Dancing Dots will consult with you to create the right mix of hardware and software to help you reach your audio production goals. We have supplied blind musicians and record producers with everything from a budget system for hobbyists through a pro-level working studio. We know what is accessible and what’s not. We can save you lots of time and money by steering you away from gear that may be really cool if you can see it but just will not allow us blind people to work independently in the studio. We can offer the equipment we sell at prices that are equal to well-known online sources. But we add our expertise on access issues that those companies cannot provide to you.

E-mail info@dancingdots.com. us to schedule a phone consultation or just give us a call right now at 610-783-6692 and we will get started on finding the right workstation and accessories to fit your interests and your budget.

Thank you for your business and support!

Copyright 2002, 2005 Dancing Dots