Get started on your VR music career with these five incredible apps.
Immersive technology is changing the way we look at music the music industry. Whether you’re looking to spin and mix existing music, produce your own original sounds, or enhance your IRL setup, the following apps represent the very best in modern VR music-making:
Kicking things off we have Tribe XR by Tribe XR Inc. Available for $39.99 on Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, and Steam VR, this hyper-realistic DJ simulator offers you the chance to upload and mix your personal music collection using a virtual deck that mimics the setup used in nightclubs around the world. As a former DJ, I was shocked by how accurate the experience is, from the CDJs down to the four-channel mixer.
It can actually be a bit overwhelming for newcomers, which is why the team established a Virtual DJ School. Users can take DJing lessons—learning the basic mechanics and techniques—as well as practice in Free Play mode with tracks curated specially for them. They can then cue and play tracks, beat match, scratch, and mix using a virtual CDJ-style setup.
Moving on we have EXA: The Infinite Instrument by Aesthetic Interactive. Available now for $14.99 via SteamVR, this unique app allows you to compose, record, and perform original music using custom-built expressive instruments. The software includes a slew of options for creating your very own ‘impossible band,’ such as looping, effects controls, and much, much more. Multiplayer functionality allows bandmates to jam out together in a shared space and even use one another’s instruments. Once you’ve composed your masterful piece, record your session with multiple in-app cameras so the rest of the world can get down to your sick beats. You can also check out the workshop to try out other players’ bizarre instruments.
Next up is Electronauts by Survios. Available for $19.99 via Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, SteamVR, and PSVR, Electronauts is a hallucinatory music creation program designed for musicians of all skill levels. Using a variety of unique interactive instruments, users are able remix, edit and perform a variety of tracks from big-name electronic artists such as Tiesto, DJ Shadow, The Chainsmokers, ODESZA and Steve Aoki. In order to help harness this wide range of powerful music into one intuitive, fluid experience, Survios enlisted the help of Grammy®-winning producer duo Stargate. Playing with the stems from some of EDM’s most recognizable tracks is an absolute blast. Performing live remixes feels incredibly satisfying in VR, allowing you to trigger different samples with big, grandiose movements.
Following up Electronauts we have SynthVR by developer 42tones. The newest application on our list, this surprisingly complex simulator allows you to go hands-on with thousands of dollars worth of modular synthesizers without having to sell your kidney. Available free on Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, and PC VR, this one-of-a-kind patching experience offers you the chance to go hands-on with a variety of complex modular synthesizers, saving you thousands in hardware purchases.
Using your motion controllers you can turn knobs, flip switches, adjust faders, tune oscillators, and experiment with other equipment with your own two hands, offering a more engaging experience than existing 2D simulators. You’re also free to organize your space for maximum efficiency; stack modules into racks, or just leave them floating beside you within your virtual space. Much like Tribe XR, prior knowledge of modular synthesizers is required in order to properly enjoy this app. Unless of course you enjoy wasting hours blindly switching patch cords until you eventually collapse in frustration. Not that I would know anything about that…
And finally, there’s VRtuos by developer Pavel Marceluch. Available free on the Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift via SideQuest, this educational app teaches you how to play real songs on a real piano in a virtual space. After calibrating your real-world piano to your digital instrument and uploading a song, you’ll see virtual notes appear above each of the corresponding keys. Hand tracking technology then allows you to tickle ivories exactly how you would in real life. It’s sort of like having your own personal music instructor, minus any class fees.
And there you have it! Five incredible VR music-making apps available now on VR headsets. Of course this list represents just a fraction of the immersive music-making experiences available at the moment. But what do you think? Is there an app you feel should have been included on the list? Leave a comment below and let us know!
Image Credit: tk via Steam