Our latest foray into the wild west of VR environments in the pursuit of musical expression is SynthSpace and a virtual modular synthesizer. Is this the killer app VR has been waiting for?
Probably not, is the short answer, but that doesn’t stop this being a fascinating project for people who have invested in the hardware to make VR a reality in their own leisure time. The idea is to model a modular synthesizer in Virtual Reality and make it as real as possible. In the demonstration you have a rack of modules patched together with the ability to move plugs about, repatch and move knobs with your VR magic controllers.
Markus, the man behind the VR googles, says that VR frees us from screens, mice and keyboards and lets us use our hands again and have an entire room to play in. I guess that’s why we all like hardware. But assuming that your access is via software then this could give you something approaching a hardware experience without having to invest all that money in buying actual modules. He also talks about “magical bits” that are not available in the real world…. although I’m not sure what they are. In the video there’s a floating virtual oscilloscope display which you wouldn’t normally expect to see in the real world.
At the moment Markus is looking for investment via Patreon to move to the next level of development and hopefully bring some people along with him.
As it stands it looks pretty convincing, in fact, the modules look amazing but it will be whether the sound lives up to the usability that will be the key. Markus’ hope is that it will be available on regular computers as well as VR so it can be a useful modular environment for everyone.
- SynthSpace website.