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Immersive Audio Programming in a Virtual Reality Sandbox

Immersive sandboxes for audio-visual content creation in Virtual Reality (VR) are becoming widely available, thanks to the VR distribution platforms, such as the Steam VR. Some of these sandboxes are specially build to host Virtual Reality Musical Instruments (VRMIs), but they usually contain only basic components, such as oscillators, sample-based instruments, or simplistic step-sequencers. In this paper, after describing MuX (a VRMI-hosting sandbox) and its basic components, we present new elements developed for the environment. We focus on the lumped and distributed physically-inspired models for sound synthesis. A simple interface was developed to control the physical models with gestures, expanding the interaction possibilities within the sandbox. A preliminary evaluation shows that, as the number and complexity of the components increase, it becomes important to provide to the users ready-made machines instead of allowing them to build everything from scratch.

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