When it comes to the immersive visuals virtual reality offers, the audio needs to be equally as compelling. That includes having the sound adapt to your movements as you navigate a scene or event. To show off what its PlayStation VR setup is capable of, Sony enlisted violinist Joshua Bell to record a 360-degree virtual reality studio session. With adaptive audio and positional tracking, the company offers the ability for you to "step inside" the venue a lot more realistic.
Sony used its FDR-X1000V action cameras to capture video and rendered the full scene in 3D. This means that viewers can not only look around, but they're free to move around the room as well thanks to PSVR's positional tracking. Of course, having the audio adapt as you change positions is equally as important and that's just what Sony has done here. Using specially placed microphones to capture sound, positional audio tracking changes what you hear as you navigate Air Studios' Lyndhurst Hall in London. If you move closer to the artist, you can hear more detail from the violin. If you back away, you get more of the natural reverb and overall sound of the room.
The company explains that capturing something like this would typically take a lot more equipment. However, this setup allows for a less cumbersome method for documenting an informal event in VR. Sony says the next step is to simplify the process so that it can easily be used to capture not only musical performances, but theatre and sporting events as well. It will be interesting to see how the company continues to develop ways for people to produce content for PlayStation VR beyond just games.
If you have PSVR gear, the Joshua Bell performance is available for free. For those who haven't yet committed, you can check out a behind-the-scenes look at the project in the video below.
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