SoundStage is a VR music creation and performance sandbox built especially for room-scale, motion-tracked virtual reality. Whether you are a musician or just want to bang on virtual drums, SoundStage has the tools for you to express yourself.
Keyboards, maracas, synthesizers, theremins--these are just some of the tools at your disposal to build instruments and jam.
Logan Olson is an experience designer who has worked in immersive entertainment since 2008. He started building for room-scale VR at the Institute for Creative Technologies with Mark Bolas then moved on to theme parks and interactive toys. SoundStage is his first independent project.
SoundStage is inspired by two things--room-scale synthesizers and 80s airbrush art.
If you talk to synthesizer enthusiasts or look at rock performances from the 70’s, you’ll see these HUGE synthesizers that the musicians would connect together to make electronic sounds. These synths are literally enveloping the player. Now you can make those sounds on a desktop computer or even your iPad, but the physicality of the room-scale synths is lost. This project started as a way to recapture the feel of those 360 degree instruments, but once I started building and playtesting it, I realized I wasn’t just limited to synths. Suddenly, I could create 3D theremins, maracas, sequencers, and anything else you can imagine performing on. Future development will continue the move away from real-world instruments to more abstract tools only possible in VR.
From a look and feel standpoint, I embraced the neon CG/airbrush look of music and electronics ads from the late 80s and 90s (Justice’s DVNO music video might be the gold standard in pastiche of this aesthetic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLOtl3nLR7Q) When I was a kid during that time, this is how I’d imagine making music would look “in the 21st century.”