CNDY Factory VJ Night

IMG_2179I got around to visiting CNDY Factory last night and it was way cooler than I expected. Proprietor and visionary Tim Reha is creating an epic production facility and creativity incubator in this former clandestine pot growing space on Dexter. Last night CNDY Factory hosted a gathering of video artists, vjs, and VR enthusiasts. We demoed a MIDI DJ tool that a developer named Gus McManus created with Unity. Several attendees declared Gus’s creation “dope as fuck.”  An Oculus Rift Vive modded with a front-mounted sensor captured your hands and translated them into robotic hands in VR. When you slipped on the headset you entered a space defined by an easy to use GUI–buttons, crossfaders, etc.–that you could use to manipulate various loops and effects. To put it more simply: the tool let you become a DJ in virtual reality. Everybody who took this tool for a spin loved it and laughed at how fun it was. I promised Tim I’d come back. I can’t wait to see what happens next in this wonderland of VR/audio/video art.


So I was a little wobbly with my terminology when describing Gus’s DJ tool. Gus sez, “This is a mixer I designed using Oculus Rift, Leap Motion, and Unity. It is controlling Ableton Live via MIDI.” Check out the clip below to see it in action. At the risk of stating the obvious, everything you see on that monitor is what Gus is seeing in VR.