For the first time in the world Sony has created real-time live distribution technology with full object-based spatial sound, and you can try it on January 19th… without leaving home.
While livestreaming is valued for its ease of use and lack of restrictions on location and movement, achieving a sense of realism has been a challenge. Sony has evolved its proprietary 360 Spatial Sound technology, enabling real-time distribution of three-dimensional sound and video with “360 Reality Audio”, so users can experience the reality of enjoying a live performance or concert at the same time without being there.
It’s a world’s first for the use of full object-based spatial sound associated with real-time live distribution technology. The first live event that will be distributed in real time with “360 Reality Audio” is the online event “40 Dai-Wa-Iroiro♬” by the artist Hikaru Utada, scheduled to be held around the world on January 19, 2023. This event will be free for the first 10,000 attendees, according to Sony.
Hikaru Utada is a Japanese-American pop singer, songwriter and producer. By 2010, Utada had become one of the most influential, and best-selling, musical artists in Japan. The event announced by Sony is a live event that happens once every ten-year(decade). During the event Hikaru Utada and you can communicate live online. Sony’s 360 Reality Audio introduces a new aspect to the event.
Introduced in 2019, Sony’s 360 Reality Audio got an update in time for CES 2021, with the expansion of the services, which include adding new video streaming capabilities and content creation tools. ProVideo Coalition noted at the time that “Sony’s 360 Reality Audio is a revolutionary musical experience, powered by Sony’s spatial sound technologies, that evokes feelings of being in a music studio or live concert venue – all without leaving the comfort of home” adding that “the service makes it possible for artists and creators to produce music by mapping sound sources such as vocals, chorus and instruments with positional information and placing them within a spherical space.”
A world’s first that will change live streaming
Now the company says that it has developed “the world’s first real-time live distribution technology with full object-based spatial sound” and has also expanded the range of support for its “360 Reality Audio”, a music experience that allows users to immerse themselves in a three-dimensional sound field. This means that live streaming can become more immersive than before, and the first worldwide test will be the online event “40 Dai-Wa-Iroiro♬” mentioned above.
Sony says that 360 Reality Audio has improved the production environment and developed a real-time encoder that provides both real-time performance and sound quality for artists and sound engineers. In order to create a spatial music experience, sound engineers first assign position information to each sound source such as vocals, guitars, and drums, and arrange them in a spherical space. Sony has developed a new “360 Reality Audio” production tool for real-time distribution to improve the production environment for sound engineers. With this tool, engineers can place sound sources freely and instantly, and create sound with a three-dimensional effect as intended.
In addition, in order to send music to the server and deliver it to users, there is a process to compress the audio data including location information once, but it takes a certain amount of processing time to maintain high sound quality. Sony has developed its own sound quality processing algorithm to achieve real-time performance, which is important for live distribution. Furthermore, by taking advantage of the fact that “360 Reality Audio” is an object-based spatial audio technology, the amount of information (bit rate) given to each sound source (object) is automatically optimised, without reducing the auditory quality. It enables real-time distribution synchronised with video by compressing audio data for a short period of time.
The event “40 Dai-Wa-Iroiro♬“
Sony jointly developed “360 Reality Audio Live” with US software company Streamsoft Inc., an application that allows users to enjoy real-time distribution of “360 Reality Audio”. Users can enjoy the new live entertainment with this application and their own headphones. In addition, Sony adds, “this application is equipped with a real-time chat function, which allows real-time communication between artists and viewers, and between viewers, realising a sense of unity online as if they were participating at the venue.”
If you want to find more about the event, visit the links shared by Sony:
“360 Reality Audio Live” website: https://www.sony.net/united/360RA_live/schedule/
The event “40 Dai-Wa-Iroiro♬“ will be distributed around the world from 21:00 Japan time on Thursday, January 19, 2023, when Hikaru Utada turns 40. Attendees need the application “360 Reality Audio Live” and headphones to participate.
Hikaru Utada online event “40 Dai-Wa-Iroiro♬” website: https://www.utadahikaru.jp/40iroiro/en/