Step on the podium and become a true orchestra conductor in Maestro: The Masterclass. Play hands free or grab a chopstick and master the real hands motions that command the orchestra through an off the rail conducting masterclass that culminates with an epic symphonic concert in a packed opera house.From the product description
About the Experience
Conducting an orchestra in real life is complicated by the real people who will hate you if you mess things up. At the same time, it’s a little bit like coaching where a good “team” will still do ok if they work well together and know their stuff. Either way, a good conductor/coach will help bring out the best performance while encouraging good playing and discouraging bad playing. In Maestro: The Masterclass, you can be a first-rate (or last-rate) conductor with none of the accompanying stress.
Conducting a band or orchestra requires years of experience to understand the various instruments, to really know the music, and to be able to follow crazy number of staffs on a page. Many people who are familiar with music may like the idea of trying their hand at conducting, but it’s not something you can easily just do. VR is the perfect platform for simulating standing in front of a large group of people, all watching you closely, as you wave your hands around.
Maestro is a little different from most apps on VR Voyaging since it does contain gaming elements. That said, you can play it just for fun without worrying about that aspect of it. The only timer is based on the length of the music, and instead of spaceships attacking you, you have beats, emphasis, and other flourishes coming toward you somewhat like Guitar Hero. You don’t actually read any music here, so it’s a good way to try out the experience even for mostly non-music people, but since your movements ultimately are very similar to what a real conductor would do, it feels surprisingly satisfying if you do have the skills.
Graphics and Sound
The graphics are a bit cartoonish, but well-done. They have the look of a slightly goofy 3D animation. There’s a master conductor (the maestro), plus the members of the ensemble. They all look around, focus on you, lift and play their instruments, and react at appropriate moments. It has a feeling of realism despite the style.
A game about conducting wouldn’t be much without good sound. The players all play their parts, and the maestro speaks to you to present new moves or to critique your work. Everything works together to create a fun simulation of conducting in a large concert hall.
While there are elements of actual music and conducting, it’s mainly stripped down to the essentials. You move your baton in a mostly correct pattern accents using your other hand, and larger or smaller movements as needed. The maestro tells you to feel the music and explains what you’re doing, but it’s not truly a “masterclass” in any sense. As long as you go into it with the right expectations (it’s not a conductor simulator) you should enjoy it.
Navigation and Interactivity
There’s no moving around. You are stuck at a podium. This tends to be the case for conductors in real-life though too. I tried the game from a sitting position but was disappointed that I couldn’t find an easy way to adjust the podium. I had to crane my neck up a bit to see the stand. As it turns out, the stand isn’t as important as the beats on their tracks above the podium, but still, developers need to take into account people with different abilities when designing VR interfaces.
I love the fact that this is played without controllers. Using hand tracking, you just wave your hands naturally. In the initial tutorial, it recommends holding something like a spatula or chopstick to feel more realistic, but it’s not needed. Using your hand/baton, you’ll mark the beat, indicate emphasis, and cue players. They even move the beat indicator to be above the right area based on who you’re conducting at the moment. These touches all contribute to make a fantastic experience.
They also did a good job of not just focusing on classical music. There are a variety of different genres to try out which can definitely be amusing when conducting hip-hop from the podium.
Updates and Support
I’m not sure if additional music will be released or not, but it would make sense. I think just importing musical scores (midi or similar) would likely be difficult since the app needs to know how to simplify it for the game. A few DLC packs for $1-2 would probably go over well.
All in all, a great app for being a pretend conductor. Not a realistic simulator, but fun for what it is. I applaud the developers for creating something that’s approachable for a wide variety of people, musical or not, and especially for making it free!
- Variation of small and large orchestras with multiple genres
- Fun graphics and character reactions
- Easy to learn and have fun
- No DLC content for additional music
- No provision for height adjustment
- We may earn a commission for purchases using our links.
- This product is an App Lab title.
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