Speaking of VR, KORG’s ongoing collaboration with developer DETUNE keeps bringing their instruments to more platforms. VR is the latest, in the form of a Meta Quest (and PC VR) version of KORG Gadget, the toybox full of fun Korg instruments, beatmakers, and pattern makers.
Gadget in VR is fun just because Gadget itself has so many fantastic-sounding instruments. The arcade console extras from the Switch version also make their way to the Quest. Watch Detune’s official demo:
Also, VJ FRANZ K gives this one a go in an extended hands-on:
Immediately I notice some stuff that is included in PatchWorld that isn’t here. You don’t get the options for sharing your work (apart from screen recording, as in all Quest apps). There’s no multiplayer or patch-through support. PatchWorld does remain the most powerful and complete and customizable option available, by far.
But as a fun toybox, having this as an addition is still terrific – and I’m sure having multiple synth choices on the Quest platform is ultimately good for all developers trying to make an argument for its use in music.
The one big issue is, you use buttons and thumb stick to manipulate virtual controls. (I noticed that right away even in the Detune video.) Someone asked about this regarding my PatchWorld story, and I can tell you – using the controllers does feel reasonably intuitive. I do agree that ultimately what we want is fluid gestures for those interactions, as hinted at in Apple’s WWDC presentations. But we’re not there yet.
Franz K’s comments:
Lots of fun, an app we already love from other devices, in a new octagon shaped room in VR! It’s incredible and impressive they were able to do this port. A good “starting line up” of musical devices are available, enough to make a complete track of your choosing! (I would like the Tokyo drum synth to be added! But the London drum sampler will do for now.)
I’ve had a great time using it thus far! My one criticism is: Some parts of the User Interface, and the way that our VR hand controllers interact with it are a bit unusual, different from the other VR apps we have been using. For example, I’d want to directly grab knobs and other controls with the trigger and “just move them” as in other VR music apps, but in this case you must first point your laser line at the control to change and click the trigger, then use the right hand thumb stick and buttons to change them. Perhaps more controller modes can be added in future?
Overall, KORG Gadget VR is great! And it should be one of your first VR choices if you like to make electronic or hip hop beats!
No Tokyo, really?
By the way, the other app for Quest is SynthVR, which gives you a limited but nice-sounding collection of modules to patch together. It hasn’t had the update cadence of PatchWorld and it isn’t as open ended, but if you’re building a little Quest studio, it’s well worth a look and is nicely done:
Also worth noting for PC VR users: both SynthVR and KORG Gadget VR are available on Steam as a PCVR title. (PatchWorld is not, but you do have the option of PC + VR support via the VIVE Elite, for the like… one reader of you who maybe that fits. The Korg and SynthVR options will work for the several of you in the other camp.)
I love Gadget, though – here’s the surprise, the platform I enjoy using it most is actually Nintendo Switch. Maybe that’s because I like getting that tactile button feedback; maybe it’s because Detune also worked on Nintendo DS titles. That interaction from the Switch actually is remarkably similar to the one here on Quest – but on the Switch, it actually feels native. For most users, admittedly, it really will be the iOS version that’s ideal – it’s the most cost-effective (even for just the app itself), it’s the most feature complete, and touch interactions are the easiest and fastest.
Now we just need music to have its Tears of the Kingdom moment.