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New Oculus Rift S Giveaway Announced!

July 6, 2020

Stop what you’re doing and head on over to GLEAM to enter for your chance at winning a brand new Oculus Rift S VR Headset! The Rift S is the newest headset from the innovators at Oculus. With new headset mounted cameras, improved optics, and ergonomics, the Rift S is the perfect way to dive deep in the Soundscape Universe!

The sweepstakes is free to enter and offers daily opportunities to increase the number of entires you have in the contest.

This giveaway will run from July 6th thru July 17th and is open only to residents of the United States, ages 13+. One winner will be randomly selected and notified via email. The winner will have 24 hours to accept the prize before it is forfeited to the next randomly selected winner.

Good Luck and thank you for your support!

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ARTIST LINK

June 23, 2020

There’s never been a better time in history to be making music.  An artist today with just a laptop plus a copy of Ableton Live has limitless creative potential at their fingertips, able to become the next Grammy winner.  This explosion of musical decentralization has sent shockwaves through the industry that has already changed the musical landscape forever.  But even though technology has massively benefited the music production, it hasn’t yet had quite the same positive impact on touring and live shows.  It’s time for that to change with the introduction of ARTIST LINK.

Artist Link is a new technology Groove Science Studios has been developing for over seven years now, enabling the next generation of the concert experience.  Artist Link connects fans and artists across the globe instantly, unlocking an abundance of novel benefits for both music creators and music lovers.  It’s about traveling thousands of miles in the blink of an eye, shattering barriers and being teleported to hyper-immersive virtual shared spaces where the limitations of reality no longer apply.  Let’s take a look at two scenarios of how this new technology can redefine how people interact with music. 

As an Artist:
One second you are sitting in your studio working on a new song, the next an alarm goes off to remind you it is time for your big show.  You slip on your HMD and step onto the main stage ready to perform.  You’re performing not just on a stage, but within a whole world you’ve helped design.   Tonight you’re choosing to operate your entire stage singlehandedly, a true one-man show.  Your worldwide fanbase is assembled into one venue, the stage scaling dynamically to accommodate everyone ranging from a dozen friends up to tens of thousands of fans.  Your audiovisual presentation is in a word, mind-blowing.  You are in total command of your audience and have their complete attention.  Hundreds of lasers fill the space around you but you never had to buy them, you never had to rent a vehicle to transport them, you never had to hire a crew to haul them.  There’s no safety or liability to worry about with them or any of your 50ft flame cannons, everything just works.  You perform your music live, blending realities by playing real instruments into the virtual world.  As the music builds, you take control of your fans’ vision via optical hack and melt the world around them.  For your big finale you blast off and fly through the crowd shooting fireworks into the audience, the crowd is lost in a sea of chromatic explosions.  The smoke clears, the crowd goes wild, you bow and take off your HMD, and you’re back in your studio ready to keep doing what you love – making music.   

As a Fan:
You arrive at the show three minutes before the start time and fly up to your perfect spot where all of your friends are waiting for you.   Your entire festival family is gathered together, you can tell who is who just by the way their avatar moves and translates their real-world motion 1:1. Your view is wholly uninterrupted with limitless room to dance, you are fully immersed in a world of no cell phones and no distractions.  Whether you are pressed against the stage, or you are flying overhead 1000′ above, the sound is flawless and magnificent within your favorite pair of headphones.  The visuals are somehow even more impressive, your mouth hangs open as the impossible repeatedly happens.  Out of the corner of your eye, you see a mobility-impaired friend soaring backward with arms outstretched, out of the other corner you see another pair of acquaintances painting audio-reactive streams of light out of their hands, collaborating on virtual art together.  Time stands still until the set is over seemingly as quickly as it began.  Your favorite artist comes down to greet you, passing you an invite to a special album release party happening later this month.  You take the money you would have spent on a ride getting home and instead donate it directly to the artist, a special 3d collectible from the event materializes in your inventory to forever remind you of the amazing time you had tonight.  You hang out with your friends for a few minutes gushing about the set, before taking off the headset and returning to your living room.  You grab a drink from your fridge, sit down, and smile.

Does this like sound like fantasy or science fiction?  It’s real, it’s Artist Link, and it begins this summer. If you’re interested, reach out, we want to hear from you – https://www.soundscapeuniverse.com/artist-survey/

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Geek Insider Podcast: Featuring Soundscape VR CEO – Watch Now!

June 3, 2020

On Season 4, Episode 5 of The Geek Insider Podcast, co-hosts Matthew Harris and Meredith Loughran sit down with Soundscape VR CEO, Eric Alexander to talk about Silica Sol, the fourth and largest virtual landscape to date, his journey from Burning Man to creating SVR, and what he hopes to accomplish in years to come.

Check out the podcast on any of the below platforms:

Geek Insider Website

YouTube

Geek Insider Light Years Away Podcast Page

iHeartRadio

Video and audio are both available.

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Announcing The 50K Giveaway!!

May 21, 2020

We are thrilled to announce that the Soundscape Community has grown to include over 50,000 users from around the world! Music lovers….. gamers….. artists….. explorers…..all have found their way into the Soundscape Universe and we are so grateful for your continued support and feedback.

When Soundscape VR first debuted on the playa at Burning Man, our goal was the same as it is today – to revolutionize and redefine the way music can be experienced for music fans around the world. To celebrate, we’re teaming up with Edmeventz.com to giveaway some fantastic prizes!

Today, we are launching a brand new giveaway promotion! For the next month, you can enter (for free!) to win one of the following prizes:

First Prize – Oculus Rift S VR Headset
Second Prize – GeForce RTX 2070
Third Prize – GeForce RTX 2070
Fourth Prize – 100K Harmonia, in-game currency ($200 value)

Winners will be notified on June 21st.

TO ENTER, CLICK HERE!

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The Virtual Music Platform for Good

May 21, 2020

The birth of the Soundscape Universe wasn’t just intended to explore the exciting intersection of music and technology, but to evolve the industry by putting power directly into the hands of artists and fans.  What started as an immersive music visualizer has continued to evolve into something much more.  Here at Groove Science Studios, we’ve been combining art and music in imaginative VR spaces for nearly seven years now, leading the world in the exploration of this technology.  Since our very first live event at Burning Man 2017, a gifted art installation showcasing the power of music, art, and love, we’ve continued to double down on our community-driven platform for good.

Today I’m announcing the start of a new ongoing partnership with Conscious Alliance, a Colorado charity fighting hunger that provides meals for underserved communities. Together we are a movement of artists, musicians, and music lovers on a mission to end hunger, gifting hyper-immersive audiovisual experiences to heal the world.  Starting today, every time someone makes a purchase inside SVR supporting our art, they will also be fighting hunger at the same time, helping those who need it most.  I’ve been so impressed by the incredible work of Conscious Alliance, and I can’t imagine a better partner to join forces alongside in an ongoing commitment.  To celebrate the start of this great collaboration, I’m going to be kicking things off with a $10,000 donation.

For years we’ve been designing the platform with the goal of empowering artists, and the need for that has never been more apparent than during this difficult time.  We are democratizing touring and live musical performance, allowing any musician to tour globally from home while putting more money in their pocket than traditional touring.  We take no cut of revenue generated by any artist on our platform, resulting in lower fees for fans, and higher payments for artists.  We’re going to be continuing to roll out new artist features over the summer and fall that expand our already industry-leading capabilities.

One of the fundamental differences between Soundscape and other tech platforms is our company values related to responsible technology user privacy.  We don’t harvest and sell user data, we don’t bombard users with intrusive ads, we don’t limit free speech on our platform.  We can do this since we are not beholden to ultra-rich corporate investors, choosing to remain an independent company that has the freedom to choose to do the right thing, rather than the thing that milks the most money. 

As Creator of Soundscape VR, I’ve been personally responsible for the development of this platform since inception, and I’m proud to say I have never taken a single paycheck for my labor of love.  I have no doubt others will arrive to the industry soon driven by the prospect of making billions, but the Soundscape Universe will always be first and foremost a platform for good.  Our audience of over 50,000 users, some of the most passionate and dedicated fans of music, have already proven how much authenticity matters in VR.  Thanks for making history together with us, and for helping to make the world a better place. 

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The Power of Closing Your Eyes

April 16, 2020

Have you ever been to a concert and found yourself with your eyes closed?  Maybe it was to allow yourself to be pulled deeper into sound, maybe it was completely involuntary, or maybe just to forget for a moment about that 6’8″ person’s head (and shoulders) blocking your view.
 
When I set out to create Soundscape, I knew the visual intensity must be on a wide spectrum so that each person would be able to choose from a range of options to match their sound selection.  On one end you would have complete immersion, an uninterrupted, unimpeded, and unfiltered visual extravaganza where no outside forces would exist to distract you from the performance at hand.  On the other end, the player would have the ability to shut their eyes at any moment and freely escape, heightening senses like hearing even further.  It may surprise you to hear Soundscape is intended to be played with your eyes closed or open, facilitating those wonderful moments of escape!  And not only that, but also giving you the freedom to adjust your pose – sitting, standing, or even lying down flat on your back!  Every piece of music warrants a different ocular approach, there is no right or wrong way to play.  In Soundscape, the player has all the power. 

By layering different levels of visual effects on top of one another where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole, we’ve managed to create a visual arts experience that is constantly changing and can feel fresh indefinitely.  With over 10 million combinations of visual effects to date, you could stay inside Soundscape for a year straight and still not see everything that exists!!!  It’s that replayability that keeps people coming back time and time again to discover new audiovisual magic.

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Soundscape VR featured on VRROOM!

April 10, 2020

A big thanks to our friends at VRROOM for featuring our latest world, Silica Sol, on the front page of their site! Take a look a the feature here, and be sure to share with your friends so they too can experience Silica Sol for the first time!

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Soundscape VR Announces Newest World: Silica Sol

March 17, 2020

Today Soundscape VR unveiled its newest world, Silica Sol, inspired by the deserts of the southwest and reminds disappointed festival ticket-holders that Soundscape gives music lovers a festival experience from anywhere in the world.

Continually updating, upgrading and adding new features, Soundscape VR (SVR) introduces its fourth and largest Soundscape yet, Silica Sol. Silica Sol will transport users to a magical world of eternal desert sunsets filled with unique plant life, alien minerals and audio-reactive art. SVR users are invited to shoot, slice, draw, paint, and compete together in various game modes all while in one of four 360-degree world of breathtaking visuals – a bioluminescent forest coming to life at sunset, a crystalline mountaintop bathed in the aurora borealis, the center of the universe deep inside a shifting nebula. Like each SVR world, hidden visual effects throughout challenge users to discover glowing butterflies, crystal spirts and other dreamlike creations. 

“This whole Soundscape journey started for me at Burning Man where we traded tech-art for smiles on The Playa to the delight of festival-goers and has continued to grow from there. Burning Man is a truly a one-of-a-kind event that blends the best parts of music, community, technology and art in a mind-bending festival experience,” said SVR CEO and Lead Developer, Eric Alexander. “Silica Sol in a way pays homage to the desert landscape so many people fall in love with at Burning Man, but in the unique SVR way that our users have come to expect. We’ve also included so many new ways to customize your adventure in this update. I can’t wait to hear people’s experiences.”

In this newest update, available for free on Oculus Home and Steam, a character progression enables users to can level-up their characters and build community prestige thereby unlocking new abilities. Talent points earned will allow users to enhance their character and gain special powers like getting closer to the stage with “Rail Rider,” fly faster with “Stage Sprinter” or go invisible with “Dark Sunglasses.” Users can more easily broadcast their style and recognize that of other users with enhanced profile customization featuring favorite songs, albums, artists, festivals and more. Customize even further by earning nine new avatar elements like helmets, masks and hats.

Virtual experiences are in even higher demand in light of the world’s most recent events. SVR offers an alternative and amplified virtual festival atmosphere to people who are unable or would rather not gather in person. Functioning as a social metaverse and 24/7 VR music festival, users can customize their avatar, meet friends and other music lovers across the globe face-to-face, and experience next-generation concerts in the Soundscape audio-reactive worlds all from the comfort and convenience of home. Choose between listening to special sets from top artists like Big Gigantic and STS9, user-created mixes and synchronized playlists, or any music you can imagine from any music service. Engineered by an independent collective of artists, musicians and developers, SVR serves as the premier destination for musical and artistic virtual reality content. Users are invited to elevate the combined vision of each individual artist and user together through a bespoke VR world paired with any music, creating an entirely original and new visual experience. The SVR platform creates a 24/7 virtual music festival delivered directly to each user worldwide. Artists are given the ability to bring any visual concept to life, from a listening party deep in space to an underwater concert and beyond.

Whether gathering with music lovers from around the world or exploring individually, SVR’s offerings are unparalleled in the industry offering live concert capability, mixed reality stages, customizable avatars, unlimited music choice, multiplayer, full locomotion, bespoke worlds and more, all free to play. 

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The Advantages Of VR In Today’s Climate

March 12, 2020

One of the most attractive aspects of Soundscape VR is the unique advantages it offers compared to the current state of the live music experience. Live music has been a hallmark of our existence for as long as recorded history suggests, and while it has evolved over decades of participation, it is not infallible. In the last decade, the live entertainment arena has been the setting for some of the worst tragedies experienced by music loving fans: The Sugarland Stage Collapse in 2011 (7 killed, 58 injured), the Paris Eagles of Death Metal Concert (150 killed), Ariana Grande’s Manchester Arena bombing (22 killed, 59 injured), and more recently, The Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas where more than 50 were killed and more than 500 people injured. And in the past month alone, we’ve seen some of the biggest music festivals in the world entirely shut down (SXSW, Ultra, Tomorrowland) or forced to postpone (Coachella) due to the impact of the COVID-19 virus.
 
Part of being a festival operator or concert promoter is knowing the risks involved, and thankfully, that’s why insurance exists. However, the staggering insurance premiums required to faithfully protect not just the promoter, but the fans, the artists, the vendors – are all typically passed along to the consumer in the price of the ticket or additional fees. And that’s assuming the promoter did in fact secure insurance in the first place! Virtual reality offers the unique opportunity to entirely mitigate issues like these when it comes to the live performance industry. And because it’s virtual, other factors like traffic, noise pollution, trash, and violence, immediately cease to be a cause of concern. 

While SXSW is shut down and Coachella is postponed, fans must deal with the heartbreak of missing their most anticipated performances by their favorite artists. But the show goes on for VR users who are able to freely tap into a 24-7-365 music festival that never ends. When you just don’t have the budget for the ticket and the VIP camping, and the supplies, VR users can put on their headset and be teleported thousands of miles instantly to connect with friends. When flights are cancelled or travel is impossible, an artist can slip into VR and project their avatar across the globe, delivering a performance from anywhere on Earth. And why should having a family limit your ability to catch those favorite artists live? You don’t have to anymore. VR changes the paradigm when it comes to what is possible with experience and live music.
 
For music fans, VR offers wins across the board in convenience, immersion, price, flexibility, and audiovisual quality. And those advantages are only improving more rapidly as further technological development is incorporated into each new hardware iteration. With every feature added, VR’s list of advantages for fans and artists alike, grows even further. It won’t be long before serious music enthusiasts can no longer ignore the innovation that is happening with music and virtual reality. It’s hard to believe that it wasn’t too long ago where if you might have been called crazy for believing that movie lovers would regularly choose their living room over the theatre, yet that is the world we live in today. Cheaper technology afforded a clear path to replicating the experience at home, movies are now widely available at the touch of a button, and price gouging for cheap popcorn and name-brand soda are a thing of the past. The transformation took less than a decade. What Netflix is to the movie industry is what Soundscape VR will be to the music industry. Staying at home no longer has to be an isolating experience.

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Does gaming (specifically VR) bring people together or isolate them?

February 3, 2020

Each month, we feature new perspectives from our Developer Team at Soundscape VR. This month, Soundscape Creator and Lead Developer, Eric Alexander discusses his ideas about the hot topic of isolation in gaming:

The relationship between technology and community has always been complicated and it’s no different with Virtual Reality (VR). Virtual reality creates a universe outside or in addition to the one we live in every day and, like any universe, can be adapted to serve the user best in that particular moment. VR certainly has the power to isolate and also build community like no other technology. 

Its isolation potential already quite strong, and will only continue to increase with further hardware improvements as the technology matures.  But is VR’s isolation potential a bad thing?

Isolation can be an amazing thing in small doses. To be able to disconnect from society at times is a necessity. With VR a user has the potential to be isolated in the greatest way possible, fully losing themselves in an experience. I originally set out to create Soundscape VR not for just its social capabilities but because I wanted to explore the power of music and isolation. VR can be a gateway to a zen universe with no distractions of the real world (including the otherwise ever-present cell phone), a place you can escape to and not be bothered with reality for ten minutes or for hours.  

Most thing in life are better when shared with those closest to you so it was important to me to ensure Soundscape VR could be enjoyed in groups when users don’t want to be isolated. The connection potential that VR allows can be equal to or greater to that of phone calls, text messaging, or email. VR social worlds bring friends from across the globe together virtually into a shared space where they can escape together, unlike any other technology. VR can also help users forge new friendships with other users who have similar interests but would never encounter each other save for in VR. Nonverbal communication alone with a friend’s IK avatar is an incredible feeling that will blow your mind.  It will not be too long until enjoying the company of friends in VR is a regular activity for many that bring them even closer to the people they care most about. 

Isolation and shared experience available within technology, and VR specifically, are the yin and yang. People must have the freedom to have either kind of experience, and each person will have to be mindful of the balance that works best for them depending on a variety of factors. They must also have the discipline to use VR responsibly as we approach simulation superiority — the moment in time when the virtual world will begin to exceed the real one. 

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