I have been a proud owner of the PlayStation VR hardware since its launch last year, and for the past several months I’ve enjoyed playing VR-based games and demos, while also having a fun time playing non-VR games in theater mode. VR, in general, is successful when the visuals and audio become optimally immersive, but most of the focus had been on visuals. To show how capable PSVR can be by having the audio and other sounds adapt to your movement in the virtual space, Sony brought in violinist Joshua Bell to record a 360-degree virtual reality studio session at Air Studios’ Lyndhurst Hall in London. This project, which features adaptive audio and positional tracking, allows the subject wearing the PSVR helmet to semi-realistically “step inside” the recording studio.
Sony used their FDR-X1000V action cameras to capture video and rendered the full scene in 3D, allowing viewers to look around AND freely move around the room (thanks to PSVR’s positional visual tracking). Sony was also able to record positional audio tracking by placing various microphones in certain areas of the room to capture sound, resulting in sound tracking changing depending on where you are in the virtual space. If you’re close to and face the artist, you’ll hear more of the violin, and once you move away from the artist, you’ll hear more natural reverb and the overall sound within the studio room.
If you have a PS4 and the PSVR gear, the Joshua Bell performance is available for free. However, if you have yet to take the jump, check out a behind-the-scenes look at the project in the video below.