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Announcing Soundscape VR 2020, our next update

December 1, 2019

Today we are rolling out a massive update to the Soundscape Universe platform and our last official update of the year, Soundscape VR 2020. This massive update has a long list of features, but a couple of highlights include visual and performance improvements across all worlds, updates to the Sonic AI audio-reactivity engine, and so much more. Take a look at the highlight list below for more detailed information.

Don’t forget to join us on Discord, you’re feedback and enthusiasm drives this universe! Thank you & Happy Holidays to all of our users!

Visual overhaul and enhancement of all worlds
– All worlds have received new art assets and expansion of their core visual theme. Discover new spotlights, new planets, new trees, new foliage, new snow, new stage areas, and much more, as well as lighting and shadow upgrades to make each Soundscape more beautiful than ever before.

Performance improvements for all worlds
– All worlds have undergone significant optimizations improving performance. Higher framerates means a more immersive and comfortable experience for longer play sessions. Twilight Thicket is still our most advanced level and designed for users with advanced GPUs, but you can expect to see improvements of 30% or more on framerates, while at the same time improving overall visual quality.

Control upgrades supporting Vive/Index/Rift CV1/Rift S
– Enhanced haptics, controls, aim, and usability for all controller types, including new experimental WMR support.

SVR LIVE performance and gameplay upgrades
– A variety of visual and usability enhancements to our mixed reality stage and art installation mode.

Sonic AI v2 audio-reactivity improvements
– Improvements to beat detection, frequency detection, and visual reactivity to any genre of music, making the world of Soundscape more reactive and dynamic. Phase 2 improvements coming soon.

Real-Money transactions are now available for those who wish to support development
– All store items can be purchased for free with Harmonia you earn from playing. Want to help out another way? Leave a review for Soundscape on your platform(s) of choice and share your experience to help other music lovers find this free software!

Optical Hack unlocked for all players across all platforms
– 3 trippy effects available for free, expandable with up to 25 visual enhancements that you can use to glitch out your friends.

Lighting micro-controller to control and modify each world in tune with the music available for purchase and coming soon
– Includes free Enhanced Optical Hack effects!

Artist Link stage upgrades
– Improved and expanded with brand new enhancements to visualizations, models, and pyrotechnics

Menu and UI enhancements
– New world select screen, new gameplay modes added, and new instructions on how to play any music you want to hear

Bug Fixes
– A large number of reported bugs have been fixed enhancing every thing from solo to social play, UI, cosmetic items, music, and more.

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SVR Live at the Far Out Factory

September 1, 2019

Soundscape VR has been invited to join some of the top music, artistic, and tech talent from the Denver area at the second annual Far Out Factory art experience. This year’s event takes place on October 11-12, 2019 from 6PM-2AM on both nights. This event is limited to adults aged 21 and up. Far Out Factory is being hosted at Major Studios – 3881 Steele Street.

Inspired by cannabis and perfected by dreamers, Far Out Factory transforms an old warehouse into a multisensory portal, enabling and encouraging a complete escape from reality and a glimpse into another dimension. This two-day makeshift museum-meets-music-festival promises to titillate your senses and expand your perceptions like you never thought possible. Please note, though cannabis-inspired, this is a strictly no-consumption event.

This year’s line-up includes Crooked Colours, Brasstracks, Will Clarke, Quantic, Ventus, Chrome Sparks, Retrofette, Motion Trap, and more!

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Feature Story: This Denver Startup is Bringing VR Concerts to Your Living Room

July 12, 2019

Live concerts are a blast, but expensive tickets, bustling crowds, long bathroom lines and obstructed views can sometimes dampen the show.

One local startup wants to enhance the current live music experience, while also bringing virtual reality concerts into the comforts of your living room.

Soundscape VR CEO Eric Alexander admits that he wasn’t always focused on virtual reality. Prior to launching Soundscape in 2018, he was a food scientist with a degree in microbiology that had a side interest in tech, music and digital art.

Gradually that side interest grew to become his main one and his focus shifted exclusively to what would become Soundscape VR.

“It was just too much for me to resist,” he said with a laugh.

He launched Soundscape in Chicago, but after researching some of the best places to start a tech company he landed in Denver. Since arriving, the one-person team has ballooned to more than ten and Soundscape’s technology has garnered interest at festivals across the country.

Soundscape offers two main products, an at-home VR experience and a live, VR music stage.

The at-home experience is the company’s most robust offering, allowing users to explore virtual, social worlds with up to 244 other users, all while listening to music. The company has developed three worlds, all between 10 to 20 kilometers in size, for users to explore, interact with other users and experience a concert-like atmosphere.

Soundscape has partnered with Boulder artist Big Gigantic and Atlanta’s STS9 to upload concert sets to the platform. Users can also play their own music over the platform, creating a concert-like atmosphere with the music they want to hear. Within the world, Soundscape offers a series of character customization micro-transactions. Alexander said the platform, available for free download on Oculus Rift, has more than 40,000 users.

“At the initial level, it was just about letting people have that immersive experience at home. It’s a full field of view, immersive physical experience. You can drink beers out of your fridge, use your own bathroom and go any night of the week,” Alexander said.

The latest version of the company’s virtual reality music stage made its official debut at the recent Sonic Bloom music festival at Hummingbird Ranch, CO.

The stage allows users to put on a headset and go on a musically guided tour of a digital world that lasts between eight and 20 minutes.

“We’ve grown the stage to allow for more participants at the same time, increased visibility to 360 degrees so all spectators can experience what’s happening ‘in world’ and enhanced our state-of-the-art VR hardware to the most powerful in the world – when you couple all of that with the live music pumping through the new P.A. system, it’s a shared immersive audiovisual experience unlike anything ever seen before,” Alexander said.

The stage was first presented at Burning Man, and then Suwannee Hulaween.

As the company grows, Alexander said Soundscape is preparing to launch a Series A funding round and hopes to form more partnerships with musicians to build out the platform’s experiences.

He acknowledges that VR is unlikely to ever replace the live concert experience but hopes to be a supplement to it.

“Soundscape has to be at least as good or better than the live music experience to succeed,” he said.

As appears on https://www.americaninno.com/colorado/denver-startups/this-denver-startup-is-bringing-vr-concerts-to-your-living-room/

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SVR Live at Sonic Bloom Recap Video

July 9, 2019

On June 21st 2019, Soundscape VR debuted v3.0 of their mixed reality live stage at Sonic Bloom Music Festival. First presented at Burning Man, and then Suwannee Hulaween, Sonic Bloom marked the first event to feature SVR’s expanded, 360-degree virtual reality stage.

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Soundscape VR Debuts New Stage at Colorado’s Sonic Bloom Festival

June 25, 2019

Soundscape VR, the world’s first virtual reality music stage, made its official debut at last week’s Sonic Bloom music festival at Hummingbird Ranch, CO. Groove Science Studios, creators of the Soundscape VR platform, offered festival attendees the opportunity to explore and interact with the company’s audio-reactive virtual reality worlds while onsite at the music festival. First presented at Burning Man, and then Suwannee Hulaween, Sonic Bloom marked the version 3 unveiling of the latest changes to the expanded stage

Soundscape VR is home to the most advanced visual arts and music experiences available in virtual reality. Users can fly, explore, play, create, and immersive themselves in massive surreal audio-reactive worlds with breathtaking visuals; alone, with friends, or other fans – Soundscape VR is a social, musical, metaverse without limits.

“We’ve grown the stage to allow for more participants at the same time, increased visibility to 360º so all spectators can experience what’s happening ‘in world,’ and enhanced our state-of-the-art VR hardware to the most powerful in the world – when you couple all of that with the live music pumping through the new P.A. system, it’s a shared immersive audiovisual experience unlike anything ever seen before,” remarked Eric Alexander, Founder and CEO of Groove Science Studios.

“Our intention has also been to bridge the gap between what’s capable live, on-stage, and what we can experience ‘in-world’ through virtual reality. said Alexander, “It’s incredibly satisfying to work with other artists who ‘get’ what’s happening with music and virtual reality, and it only emboldens Soundscape to push the boundaries of what we can do. After all, if it wasn’t for music, this wouldn’t exist at all!” 

Soundscape VR is catching the eye of the industry. Earlier this year, the company announced the addition of three pre-loaded sets to the platform, including Big Gigantic’s Nocturnal album, STS9’s 2018 Hulaween set, and EOTO’s performance from Denver, CO in 2018. 

“We’re working with artists who really love utilizing new technology and concepts to engage and interact with their fans. Soundscape offers a 24/7, enhanced festival environment where bands and fans can intermingle, experience music in new ways, and connect, regardless of location or time. It’s the next generation in social music,” commented Matt Hogan, Director of Artist Outreach, “And because we have the capability to build out custom environments, the artists we work with can curate their own ‘always-on’ venues and worlds.”

Soundscape VR can be found on Oculus Home and Steam, and downloaded for free for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and the Valve Index. The platform has already seen a number of additions this year, including 244-player social interactivity, character upgrades and customization, and the addition of a third, brand-new 20 sq km fantasy world “Twilight Thicket.”  

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Patch 2.03 Goes Live With Improved Graphics and Sound Visualization

April 2, 2019

Patch 2.03 is live! In this new patch, we have made a number of upgrades to the graphics and sound visualization effects across all three levels. We also addressed a few minor bugs affecting players.

-Crystalline summit BUFFED with new audio-reactive effects, lighting, shadows, and other visual upgrades!
-Fire effects have been upgraded across all worlds
-Laser visual upgrades across all worlds
-Glowing materials and objects now have RGB rainbow fading modes triggered by audio-reactivity.
-Floating lanterns upgraded
-Fixed an issue where players could not access instant paint light
-Fixed an issue in multiplayer that caused players to rotate when loading into the world
-Fixed an issue with teleportation that would cause players to rotate

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Soundscape VR Affirms its Greening Efforts

April 1, 2019

Groove Science Studios has announced new company directives aimed at maintaining an environmentally progressive mentality as the company continues to grow.

“Like many of the artists we work with, we too are heavily inspired by nature,” said Groove Science Studios CEO, Eric Alexander. “And it’s important that we protect and maintain those assets for future generations. The Soundscape VR platform already offers the ability to host a zero-carbon footprint music festival, but as a company, we want to make sure our impact in the real world is also zero. That includes everything from a remote workforce and being a 100% paperless company, to utilizing electric vehicles for our events and travel.”

In celebration of Earth Day 2020, Soundscape VR is affirming our commitment to reducing our environmental impact and continually improving our methods, with regular view points. We will encourage our audience, suppliers, and stakeholders to also do the same. We will lead by example by making smart decisions to protect the environment and manage our environmental impact responsibly. We are committed to regulatory compliance as well as increasing employee awareness and training.

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Patch 2.02 Goes Live With New Upgrades And Fixes

March 29, 2019

Hey all! BIG patch 2.02 today is now live on Steam and Oculus! Enjoy the many improvements, more to come!

-Dozens of performance improvements and optimizations
-Improved lighting in Twilight Thicket
-Multiplayer characters will now move and fly much more smoothly
-Visualization modes and Chaos modes unlocked and able to be selected via UI
-Scoring HUD now displays correctly in multiplayer
-Swords now display in multiplayer
-Session list upgrades to sort and join multiplayer games easier
-Player list now displays curator and other multiplayer users in session
-Improved visuals and effects on floating lanterns
-New particle effects added
-Crystalline Summit visual upgrades
-Various particle upgrades
-Tree upgrades
-Stability improvements and crashing fixes
-Some magical springtime flowers have been seen sprouting in Twilight Thicket

One final note regarding multiplayer – we are aware of an outstanding bug affecting teleportation in multiplayer. We plan to have this fixed very soon and will let you know when bring in this update next week

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Patch 2.01 Goes Live With Numerous Bug Fixes

March 9, 2019

We’ve just updated the Steam and Oculus versions of Soundscape VR with a new patch that brings in a number of fixes and improvements, but at current time affects our multiplayer server connectivity. We’re going to be working as quickly as we can to restore full functionality.

Patch 2.01 changelist:

Fixed an issue where the main menu song was playing too loudly in the tutorial making it difficult to hear
Fixed an issue where collectible items were not saving
Fixed an issue that caused the menu to open incorrectly
Fixed an issue with the Keyboard tilting
Fixed an issue where the music UI was displaying files by default
Fixed an issue on vive where the sword holding hand position was incorrect
Fixed an issue where players could not select any chaos modifiers
Fixed an issue in multiplayer where the player scoring was not displaying correctly
Fixed an issue where you could not see other players afterburners
Fixed an issue where multiplayer session names were displaying incorrectly
Fixed an issue where the player start would be floating off the ground
Fixed an issue with visual glitches upon loading into different worlds
Fixed an issue where certain items could not be destructed
Fixed an issue with graphical glitches in the Black Sun
Fixed an issue where you were unable to shoot fireworks
Fixed an issue where visualization modes were unable to be changed

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Soundscape Universe Expansion Launches For FREE

March 4, 2019

 After premiering the world’s first virtual reality concert stage in October, Soundscape VR has launched Soundscape Universe –  an expansion that includes features like public and private social VR worlds, a multiplayer rhythm game, an enhanced UI, and music collaborations with leading festival artists like Big Gigantic, STS9, and EOTO.

Soundscape Universe is a free update included in Soundscape VR, expanding the virtual world into a musical metaverse. After beginning as a Burning Man art installation, Soundscape VR has evolved into a 24/7 VR music festival that lets users meet up with friends and other music lovers across the globe face to face in audio-reactive music venues where they can have a next-generation concert experience.

In the new multiplayer setting, players can choose between listening to special sets from major artists delivered in partnership with Soundscape, user-created mixes and synchronized playlists hosted by curators, or each user listening to their own music simultaneously in a virtual silent disco. The music makes the world come alive, creating a mind-melting visual experience with millions of unique combinations.

Users can chat, dance, and play face to face with anyone worldwide in public venues or private listening parties, customizing avatars to reflect their digital persona. The Soundscape VR world is filled with unique pieces of art to marvel at from every angle as you fly around, exploring the vast panorama and digital landscape.

“Your imagination is the limit for what you and your friends can create with Soundscape,“ said Founder & CEO Eric Alexander. ”Our audio-reactive painting and effects let you collaborate on interactive virtual canvases of art and music. With this expansion, we’re solidifying our position as not only one of the best free VR games in the world, but as one of VR’s first killer apps.”

Soundscape VR now includes an open-world multiplayer rhythm game where users can shoot and slice their way through the interactive venues to their favorite songs, competing against up to 8 players at a time to see who can cause the most destruction.  There are no beatmaps to be made, no limited songs to choose from, you can play any music you want from Beethoven to Skrillex and everything works automatically!

After debuting the world’s first VR music festival stage in 2018, Soundscape is preparing to take the latest version of the software on tour in 2019 at major music festivals across North America with a brand-new stage/art installation unlike any other.  Musicians will perform live, playing their music synchronized across the virtual world and real one simultaneously.

Soundscape VR is available as a free download on both Steam and Oculus Home.

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