Every virtual-reality tester at Ars Technica has a favorite app on either the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive, especially when it comes to introducing newbies to the format. For my money, Audioshield is the most breathtaking for musically inclined users (and our own Lee Hutchinson might agree), but that rhythm-action game can be too stressful and movement-heavy for casual testing.
Now, I have a new feather in my VR-demo cap: Tilt Brush‘s new “Audio Reactor” mode. This update, which was added to the HTC Vive’s best-known paint-sculpting app for free on Tuesday, lets VR creators add PC audio sensitivity to any of the app’s strokes of paint. Certain Tilt Brush creations now react to the rhythm and dynamics of whatever song is being played on your VR computer. This means different types of paint strokes will glimmer or animate in time with the music.
Enabling Audio Reactor’s music feature is a little clunky right now since Tilt Brush has neither its own dedicated MP3 interface nor a convenient YouTube search tool. Currently, you’ll need to alt-tab out of Tilt Brush, turn on your music-playing interface of choice, and make sure it’s playing on Windows’ “default playback device” before switching back to your VR window. Thankfully, Steam includes a music-playing interface in its VR “chaperone” system, but it’s a bit inelegant since it requires going into Steam’s menus.
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