Song Exploder, the podcast hosted by Hrishikesh Hirway in which musicians break down their own songs piece by piece and provide insight into their songwriting process, is giving its listeners the opportunity to learn about music through an even more immersive experience. Built using WebVR, a Google-produced API that’s used to create virtual reality experiences in web browsers, Song Exploder Presents: Inside Music asks the simple question, “What if you could step inside a song?”
After selecting one of six tracks, users are transported to a black void where they are surrounded by the song’s various instrumental and vocal tracks, each represented by an animated sound wave icon. As the song plays, users are free to turn each track on or off, isolating various elements and learning more about what makes the song work. Obviously, headphones are recommended for this experiment.
Granted, this VR experience doesn’t provide the same anecdotal context behind a song’s creation that the podcast does, but it does offer a unique perspective on the creative process that music fans don’t often get. In this strange, spacey void, users are placed in the position of being a music producer, deciding which minor elements of a song to pull forward and which to leave behind. In this sense, Inside Music employs that same granular focus that makes Song Exploder so good in the first place.
If you like this, but you’re bummed out there are only six songs to pick from, don’t fret. Song Exploder has made this VR experiment open-source, so you can find everything you need to make your own VR music over on GitHub.