Virtual reality, or VR, has made its way into DJing: Vinyl Reality is a Windows app that lets you DJ using a virtual reality headset. You wear special goggles (an HTC Vive headset, sold separately) and grab a controller stick in each hand, and you’re then placed inside a living room with a pair of turntables, a mixer, and a crate of vinyl. The controllers act as your “hands” within the virtual space, letting you flip through your crate made up of tunes in your hard drive, place a record on the deck, drop the needle in a groove, and do fades and EQ tweaks.
Though it may seem impressive at first blush, it’s still very early stages for Vinyl Reality and VR DJing as a whole (don’t expect this to replace actual DJing any time soon), and the app features are still limited to the absolute basics of what you can do with two decks and a mixer. We have yet to see a demo of someone scratching using Vinyl Reality, and maybe because at the moment, DJing with it is just not as “immediate” as putting hand-to-platter: responsiveness and latency are issues according to those who have used it, for instance. However, it is an interesting take on what the future holds for digital DJs.
<h3>What is virtual reality?</h3>
VR, or virtual reality, was a buzzword in the late 80s and 90s. There is a renewed interest today as the technology capable of providing a truly immersive experience has only started to become available. Consumer items like the Playstation VR, Samsung Galaxy Gear, and HTC Vive all seek to make virtual reality as real as possible – it has to be, after all, if you want users to wear bulky goggles for long periods of time.
If and when VR DJing does become a thing in the distant future, we don’t think it will completely replace physically being behind the decks or at the club, rather it’ll be another outlet and venue for DJing and electronic music performance.
Check out the promo video below to see it in action
• Vinyl Reality is available on Steam as an “early access” in-development app for US$12. Check the Vinyl Reality page for more details.
What do you think about this app? Does virtual reality have a place in DJing? Where do you see this type of technology headed for music performance as a whole? Share your thoughts below.