Electronica, EDM, Dub Step, it’s all a genre of emerging music that mixes high octane bass with mesmerizing synthesized melodies. Some may think it’s merely pressing buttons on a computer when in fact like any art there’s composition and rules to know when creating music for thousands of people to bond and tribally dance to. Survios, the company who’s brought incredible virtual reality experiences to gaming is giving music enthusiasts the tools to conduct their own electronic symphony in Electronauts.
First thing to know is Electronauts is not a traditional video game in the sense of trial, reward, and purpose. Survios does not advertise it as a game but a VR Experience. Electronauts is a piece of music making tech that has built in layers of fun. Building from licensed real-world electronic music tracks, you as a space DJ are virtually put behind your own music lab where you’ll use the touch controls or move controllers on PSVR to lay down parts of a track, pick vocal verses to loop, mix in sound effects, then watch it all come together in this outer space psychedelic setting.
If you’re like me, not a novice but far from DJ Shadow, when it comes to music, simply being put behind the wheels of a musical corvette can be intimidating and off-putting. To its credit, this app does everything it can to compensate for every level of music maker from beginner to expert. Electronauts features a very bare bones tutorial that explains what all the different tools work but takes for granted that you’ve had some musical knowledge. While I understand this application is about finding new ways to conduct sound through experimentation; when you base what players are doing in real-world music it would go along way to have a metronome tool or at least a simple lesson in how to 4-6-or-8 count the beats of a song.
It’s not rocket science to get the hang of how these tools integrate into the music making. In particular the set of orbs you can bring up to play like an electronic synth using the motion controllers like drumsticks. The orbs really show off how good Survios is at making VR, even on the lackluster hardware of PlayStation VR everything is incredibly responsive. Nothing feels as though it lags or ever escapes your timing.
Electronauts is an experience that grows its enjoyment the more you use it. As you get better at mutating and stretching the elasticity of these tracks it becomes easier to incorporate the visual experience going on around you. The entire world of Electronauts reacts to the music you create. Light tunnels bounce to the beats of your music and change as you alter the sonic highway. There’s even camera tools that allow you to grab dynamic shots of your DJ avatar in action. Giving you a sense of how to entertain a crowd while making music.
Electronauts might not be for everyone, it’s music is strictly limited to the electronic music scene so if it isn’t your thing then you aren’t the audience this experience is looking for. Personally, I also would have liked to have seen Survios put in some sort of percussion only mode using the orb tools, turning it into a close a VR electronic drum kit as you can get.
This tech is vivid and the audio tools incredibly crisp. At some point, I wouldn’t doubt it if we see an Electric Daisy Carnival act simply plug Electronauts into a stage show and perform for a crowd using these tools. Not only would it audibly treat the ears but it provides plenty of visual to excite audiences as well.
Electronuats is available now for HTC, Oculus, and PlayStation VR. It features tracks from artists such as Netsky, Steve Aoki, DJ Shadow, NERO, 12th Planet and many more. If you’re looking for the perfect party entertainment then stepping into the world of Electronauts could be your next big hit.