A proof of concept VR project that allows users to explore music and sound using concepts and characters from the Dabbledoo education world. The project was funded by Northern Ireland Screen and took place from late 2019 until the start of the COVID pandemic.
The goal of the project was to investigate whether VR could be used as a learning mechanism for students of music. To achieve this, the Boom Clap Play team worked closely with the Dabbledoo team in Dublin to conduct company and user research, which helped to inform the development of the prototype. The team was made up of technical producer David Baxter, creative director Andrew McHugh, 3D artist Meave Gilheany, technical artist Daryl Randall, animator Yasmine Herron, concept artist Emma Dunleavy, and coder Aaron Meehan. Killian Redmond, the executive producer from Dabbledoo, provided valuable insights throughout the project.
Boom Clap Play and Dabbledoo were thrilled to explore the potential of combining their creative ideas and were eager to discover the impact of using VR for educational purposes. With the launch of Oculus Quest earlier that year, the team was excited about the promising potential of emerging Immersive Tech.
Working alongside DKIT professor Rory Walsh, the team delved into the world of CSound and Unity, investigating how they could use CSound to build a high-performance drum step sequencer and other music tools. The result was an impressive sound engine that could provide event hooks that could trigger animations and other game mechanics, providing an immersive and tactile learning experience.
The prototype proved to be a success. Users were able to explore sound sources, graphic notation, rhythmic concepts, music technology equipment, and interact with characters in a virtual space. The team was able to demonstrate the potential of music technology systems within a game engine platform, and show that VR could be used as a powerful learning tool for students of music.