Sony takes wraps off secret Unreal Engine challenge, unveils new subsidiary: Sony Immersive Music Studios


In Could final yr, MBW found that Sony Music was building a team “devoted to reimagining music by means of immersive media”. Mentioned staff could be utilizing Unreal Engine, the video games engine from Fortnite maker Epic Video games, during which Sony Company acquired a minority stake final July, making a strategic funding of $250 million.

Aside from a number of hints inside job adverts, particulars about what the new recruits could be engaged on – and what division inside the wider Sony company umbrella they’d be working with – had been below wraps. Not anymore.

At the moment (January 12), Sony Company of America has introduced a new subsidiary known as Sony Immersive Music Studios, which is targeted on “creating immersive music experiences by means of the facility of creativity and expertise”.

The division is led by digital leisure veteran Brad Spahr, who in accordance with Sony is “an award-winning developer of next-generation experiences on the intersection of music, immersive actuality, and gaming”.

In accordance with his LinkedIn profile, Spahr was beforehand Sony Music’s Vice President, Head of Rising Know-how for seven and a half years a job during which he led the corporate’s “digital technique associated to new verticals similar to Digital Actuality, Augmented Actuality, Blockchain, Synthetic Intelligence and Hello-Res Audio”.

The primary challenge from the new Los Angeles-based Sony Immersive Music Studios division was unveiled completely on the digital version of CES 2021 expertise convention this week: a “groundbreaking” digital efficiency from Epic Information-signed singer songwriter Madison Beer in partnership with Verizon, to showcase songs from her debut album, Life Assist.

Performing as “an ultra-realistic digital avatar”, Sony claims that Beer’s efficiency was “powered by cutting-edge improvements in real-time 3D creation expertise”.

The immersive expertise occurred in “a meticulous recreation of the Sony Corridor live performance venue in New York Metropolis”, which in accordance with Spahr, talking throughout a panel discussion at CES right now (January 12), was created utilizing Epic Video games’ Unreal Engine.

Beer’s efficiency shall be obtainable on PlayStation VR and Oculus VR, and as an immersive 2D expertise, which shall be broadly obtainable on streaming music video channels. It’s set to debut later this winter.

“After we first spoke with the staff at Sony Corridor and we first spoke with Verizon, [we asked], ‘What if we had been to recreate a venue in Unreal Engine? What would that be like? How can we make it as practical as attainable?”

Brad Spahr

Mentioned Spahr: “After we first spoke with the staff at Sony Corridor and we first spoke with Verizon, [we asked], ‘What if we had been to recreate a venue in Unreal Engine? What would that be like? How can we make it as practical as attainable?

“We really labored with the venue and acquired the CAD information; the precise flooring plan and dimensions of the venue and had been in a position to go in and reconstruct it in [Unreal Engine] after which, utilizing reference imagery actually go into intricate element to create essentially the most exact recreation of the venue that we may”.

Spahr added: “We had been in a position to take the newest expertise, push it to the Max [and] ship a component of realism not solely [with] Madison, the venue she carried out, within the nice Sony Corridor and the results, however then layer some fantastical components and layers of issues on high that you simply wouldn’t usually get to see in a traditional live performance venue.

“So there’s a hearth sequence that wouldn’t have been attainable, there’s a rain sequence that may not have been attainable in a bodily venue. To have the ability to use expertise to take that have a bit of bit additional however with out dropping the intimacy and the within the realism of efficiency was one of many magical issues that occurred right here.”

“We now have huge capabilities to showcase our artist creativity throughout platforms around the globe and the mix of those strengths is a key differentiator within the worth proposition we contribute to the music group.”

Dennis Kooker, Sony Music

Additionally talking at CES, Dennis Kooker, President, World Digital Enterprise and U.S. Gross sales, Sony Music Leisure, stated:At Sony Music Leisure we’re at all times in search of new methods to assist our artists broaden their artistic alternatives and attain followers.

“These potentialities are even better as a member of the Sony household the place we develop distinctive collaborations between artists and new expertise.

“We even have huge capabilities to showcase our artist creativity throughout platforms around the globe and the mix of those strengths is a key differentiator within the worth proposition we contribute to the music group.”

“Madison Beer is elevating the bar of what’s attainable in a digital live performance efficiency and we couldn’t be extra excited.”

Sylvia Rhone, Epic Information

Mentioned Sylvia Rhone, Chairwoman and CEO, Epic Information: “Madison Beer is elevating the bar of what’s attainable in a digital live performance efficiency and we couldn’t be extra excited.

“With this cutting-edge collaboration of music and expertise, Madison has introduced her progressive imaginative and prescient to life in a novel method whereas taking it to new heights.

“That is one other instance of Epic’s dedication to empower our artists with groundbreaking alternatives to broaden their artistic choices and have interaction followers by means of immersive experiences.”


2020 was a decisive yr for the digital live performance enterprise, with the music trade’s hand pressured into investing in and exploring the probabilities of on-line occasions, due to, you understand what.

Early on within the pandemic, Travis Scott’s ‘Astronomical’ Fortnite occasion attracted 27.7 million viewers throughout 5 pre-recorded ‘units’, arguably catalysing a paradigm shift within the expectations of what may really be achieved with digital performances.

Final yr additionally proved to be pivotal for Sony Music (the proprietor of Scott’s label, Epic Information), as a result of, decided to face out as a distinguished participant within the convergence of the gaming, music and immersive media worlds, 2020 arguably turned the yr that its “One Sony” strategy developed from idea to actuality.Music Enterprise Worldwide



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