TheWave: A Virtual Reality DJ Experience
Aaron Lemke is the Chief Creative Officer of TheWave, a new “cross-platform virtual reality experience that lets users create music in totally new ways.” He’s sitting in a swivel chair oscillating between his computer and keyboard. There are a half-dozen guitars in the general vicinity. The computer’s monitor is perched on a stack of textbooks. The walls are covered in art and flyers about music events. It’s a space that reflects the diverse interests of Lemke.
Lemke says TheWave started as a whim. After spending over a decade playing music around Austin, which he describes as “the perfect place to grow up and be in a band,” Lemke began designing games. After college, he taught himself how to make games in Unity, the engine that has made videogame development far more accessible to those eager to learn. The Oculus Rift Kickstarter inspired him to start making VR experiences because it was, he says, way too cool not to.
At first, Lemke was making “mostly virtual nature mediation experiences.” He describes his creations in contrast to the standard shooter games that were being made. When other people were trying to freak people out, Lemke says, he was trying to find a way to chill them out.
But Lemke’s musical interest eventually kicked in. He said that he and his buddy (current CEO of TheWave, former Harmonix employee) both wanted to make something musical in the platform of VR. Lemke built the first prototype, then reached out to the company’s current CTO, Finn Staber, who “came in and made it a whole lot better.” They would later work with a DJ called Grimecraft and various 3D designers to create what is currently TheWave...