Software Engineer

Snappy Drums


Snappy Drums is a super responsive VR drum set!

Roles: Designer, Programmer

In my experience, music creation tools are extremely unforgiving when it comes to latency. Latency can make even the best musicians sound sloppy, so I wanted to make a VR drum set that would address this problem.

Other VR instruments will have you waggle your arm in the air, through an invisible drum. In theory, that’s a great idea! It’s intuitive, it works fairly well, and it’s even well suited for some rhythm games.

However, for music creation, not having the feedback of a surface really hurts, and the overall input-to-audio latency makes that problem even worse. In my experience, this stops most VR drum sets from being very fun or useful.

Snappy Drum's first solution is to use the triggers on your VR controllers to give you a sense of feedback on your strikes. When you pull the trigger, a drum stick shoots whatever drum you are aiming at.

The real magic, though, is that Snappy Drums uses predictive algorithms that measure the velocity of your trigger in order to predict when you will have the trigger fully pressed in the future. This entire predictive algorithm is designed to account for input-to-audio latency. The final result is that no matter how fast you hit the trigger, the drum sound plays in your ears at the exact moment that your trigger is fully pressed. This really feels great, and is more authentic to the experience of drumming than any other VR drum set that I’ve tried.

I believe that this type of solution is useful for any number of VR instruments beyond drums, and could help improve the user experience of VR music creation greatly—all without requiring the user to purchase specialized hardware.