Musical virtual reality (VR) videogames seem to be going through a slight resurgence at the moment, with titles like Survios’ Electronauts offering an easy to use creation experience while Little Chicken Game Company mixes rhythm and puzzles together in Track Lab. There are plenty more developers out there experimenting with music and VR, with the latest to come to VRFocus’ attention being Jonatan Crafoord and his VR music controller.
Crafoord is a freelance Audio Director and Unity Developer based in Stockholm, Sweden, who has previously worked on Angry Birds 2 (audio director) and LittleBigPlanet 2 (sound designer) before moving into the world of VR. His VR music controller project (which currently doesn’t have a title) is being designed to offer customisable instruments for use in other programmes.
Describing the project and what he hopes to achieve, Crafoord mentioned to VRFocus: “It is essentially a customizable virtual controller for music. You pair it up with any music software or synthesizer, and it can work as a MIDI keyboard, an electronic drum kit, a mixer or something entirely new and unheard of. It is still in development and pretty much only usable by me, by my long term goal is to have a version where anyone could build their own custom music controllers in VR, or share and use existing controllers from the community.”
The video demo below showcases several instruments and how the process of control works. Using Oculus Rift and Touch, Crafoord selects from an Organ, Theremin, Harp and Modular Drumpads. Taking the form of a variety of blocks these can then be moved between to create sound, and depending on the instrument will alter the block layout. He’s even added options to change the scale for greater control.
If you happen to be in Stockholm this month Crafoord will be taking his VR project to several festivals, including Music Tech Festival, KTH – VR Music Controller exhibit from 7th – 9th Sept, and Gather Festival, Nobelberget – Virtual Dancer Performance on 14th Sept. As development continues VRFocus will keep you updated on the project.