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:
Video and audio are both available.
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.
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.
Soundscape VR is please to announced the addition of Mike Swanson to the company’s advisory board. Mike joins the team with over 25 years of experience working in the video game industry.
“Mike has been an Executive Producer on eight shipped titles, and we are beyond thrilled to have him join our Advisory Board. His experience at Electronic Arts, Sega, and LucasArts, brings a wealth of knowledge to our team at Soundscape VR and in his short time with the company so far, he’s already proven himself to be a change-maker,” said Soundscape VR CEO Eric Alexander.
Mike has left his stamp across the gaming industry. In addition to working with large publishing companies like Electronic Arts, he also supported top VR and PC game titles and experiences while at technology company, NVIDIA. While his credit list includes notable titles like SSX, FIFA, and several Star Wars titles, Mike is most looking forward to the bleeding edge that Virtual Reality gaming offers,
“I love working with Soundscape VR – the experience, the visuals and the potential are awe-inspiring! The roadmap for success with Soundscape is truly exciting and I am looking forward to being involved and associated with this success!” commented Swanson.
Soundscape VR (SVR) is a music, arts, and gaming VR platform enabling a new generation of live concerts, music experiences, and sound visualization conceptualized by Eric Ryan Alexander in 2014. Friends across the globe can listen, fly, paint, explore, watch, dance, compete, and more – with groups of up to 240 players together in a sonic-visual adventure. With richly detailed environments that span miles, Soundscape VR is the premier destination for musical and artistic virtual reality content.
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
– A large number of reported bugs have been fixed enhancing every thing from solo to social play, UI, cosmetic items, music, and more.
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!
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/
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.”
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.
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.