[CES 2021] Sony Immersive Music Studios unveils behind the scenes of its first virtual concert

Sony Corporation of America announced on January 12 the creation of a new subsidiary called Sony Immersive Music Studios, dedicated to “development of immersive musical experiences through the power of creativity and technology“.

This entity is headed by Brad Spahr, former vice president of Sony Music in charge of developing emerging technologies, including virtual reality, augmented reality, blockchain, artificial intelligence and high resolution audio, the company lists. .

Coming soon to PlayStation VR and Oculus headsets

Sony returned, as part of the 2021 edition of CES, on the first projects of this new branch, based in Los Angeles. She created a virtual performance by Madison Beer, an American singer and model.

In partnership with Verizon, the young woman sang the titles of her latest album during a virtual concert during which she was represented in the form of an ultra-realistic avatar. For the occasion, a virtual reconstruction of the Sony Hall concert hall in New York was produced.

Sony explains that it relies on real-time 3D capture technology using the Unreal Engine game engine. This one allowed him, “using reference images, really going into complex levels of detail to create the most accurate version of the place possible“, explains Brad Spahr.

The virtual concert goes further than the simple reproduction of the artist and his environment. Elements of fire and rain have been added which is much more complicated and expensive in a physical show. Madison Beer’s concert will air soon on PlayStation VR and Oculus VR. For the moment, a teaser gives an idea of ​​what to expect, complemented by the enthusiastic testimony of the young artist.

Last May, Sony had confided that he was working on a team “dedicated to the reinvention of music through immersive media“. The company relied to do this on the Unreal Engine, designed by Epic Games. Information on which the company remains at the time very discreet. As a reminder, Sony is an investor – up to 250 million euros dollars – from this company to which we also owe the Fortnite game.

Virtual events are in the current context a very interesting avenue for the music industry, anxious to continue the promotion and activity of artists. Singer Travis Scott’s “Astronomical” concert, hosted on Fortnite, drew 27.7 million viewers in five sessions.

Aude Chardenon


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