Meta Quest 2: Learn to play the piano in mixed reality with Pianovision
With Pianovision for Meta Quest 2, you take digital piano lessons where the virtual notes correspond exactly to the keys of a real MIDI keyboard.
If you're having trouble hitting the right keys on the piano, Zac Reid's training app Pianovision could help: The piano software for Meta Quest 2, available in Early Access, films your hands on the real keys and uses dynamic notes to show you which key to hit and when.
There have already been several similar piano exercises in virtual reality, such as iVRTuos AR. However, Pianovision offers a crucial innovation that directly addresses your playing and any mistakes.
You can connect the Quest 2 app to a MIDI keyboard that is connected to a PC or Mac via USB. The computer, in turn, makes wireless contact with the Quest 2. This way, the software recognizes when you hit a wrong key and pauses the piece until you correct the mistake.
Pianovision: Learn to play the piano with Meta Quest 2
If you know Rock Band, Guitar Hero, Rocksmith and similar music games, you will instantly understand Pianovision's system: Via the external cameras of the Quest 2, the app recognizes piano keys and fades in virtual notes that fly towards these keys from the front. When the virtual note reaches the key, that is the right moment to strike it. The length of the block tells you how long you should hold the note.
In addition to various included classics, you can also create and play your own two-track MIDI pieces via the desktop app.
The VR alternative to sheets of music
In initial test plays, longtime musician and VR journalist Harry Baker is thrilled with how well the optional real-time correction with short stops works - especially as an alternative to classical sheet music. He describes it as a "more tangible" way to learn a song since he sees how the note is hitting the correct key.
Baker has even mastered some previously too-difficult pieces thanks to the app, he says. He cautions, however, that the program doesn't teach finger technique or intonation.
As an alternative to the training mode shown in the video, the app offers a mode in which the notes scroll even if you don't hit them in time. This has less corrective effect, but allows you to play and listen to the piece fluently and to adjust better to the rhythm.
You can head over to the official Pianovision website for an Early Access request and the desktop app. With Meta's upcoming AR VR glasses Cambria, augmented reality apps like Pianovision could become even more useful thanks to the high-quality video passthrough.