You can play a live show for thousands of people live from your home studio. But does new technology increase the risk of losing this vital life experience, or does all this lead to an even more exciting place?
Imagine the scene: you are at the top of the most important concert you have ever attended in your life: a truly profound experience that alters the soul. In the crescendo of the encore, you and your friends, caught in a euphoric wave, move from your front row viewpoint, up on stage with your favorite artist.
Standing side by side with them, you sing the chorus, facing the thousands of charming faces that surround you, participating in this transcendent and dreamlike moment. The show ends and in a matter of seconds you will be back home on the couch.
Sounds like an absurd dream? Well, it really isn’t: a similar experience can now be achieved thanks to the increasingly impressive development of virtual reality concert technology. Yes, the intensity of a live show, for both the audience and the artist, can now be played from your home.
Companies like MelodyVR and Woov are pushing the boundaries of something that could revolutionize the way we think about the live music experience. But should we worry about the implications for an industry that already has problems?
The real deal
“Our goal is not to replace live music, but to offer an alternative, which means you can still attend a program if it’s sold out or in another country,” explains Tom Harper, MelodyVR’s head of support.
“The virtual reality experience offers the chance to jump into a show and move through space using our Jump Spot feature. This means that with a stream of MelodyVR, audiences can occupy places they may normally have looking at the stage or, more singularly (and more popularly), jump on stage with the artist.The cameras we use, built at home, are designed to be non-invasive, so we can place them in anywhere when we record a program that allows us to bring fans closer to what is happening. ”
Sounds incredibly exciting, but can it really compete with the visceral, primordial excitement of performing your music to real living humans? It’s hard to say at this stage, but with virtual environments developing in complexity, it may not be an impossibility.
Leaving aside any cynicism about this new technology for now, the real potential of virtual shows (which, let’s remember, has real humans both at once and as witnesses) is mind-boggling.
Many of the restrictive practices of putting on a real show, site specifications, safety and security issues, and just the small possibility of being trapped behind an inhumanly tall person, are completely forgotten in the virtual world, while improving of the experience could only increase the enjoyment.
“As for the way the performances are presented live, we can place them in unique places or stage them in interesting ways,” Harper adds.
“For our Live from LA series last year, we built our own studio and filmed it all in a circular setting surrounded by screens that was really great. Our show directors have some interesting challenges with staging ideas so the audience can look everywhere, so you have to provide images for the full 360-degree field of view. ”
Can you imagine what it will be like in ten, 20 or even 50 years? While virtual concerts are still in their relative infancy, the desire to enhance the live experience will no doubt keep driving technology in fascinating directions.
Cross the streams
Live shows have really exploded over the last year. And it’s easier than ever to set up a live performance in your home studio. All you need to do is make sure your live streaming platform of your choice picks up the audio output from your interface. Of course, just because you’re safe in your home studio doesn’t mean you have to let go of the “show” aspect of the dynamic. Remember you are still performing here.
Daily live video platforms such as YouTube, Instagram Live and Facebook Live are often used by musicians and are easy to access for members of the general public, while more concert-ready platforms like Stageit offer more monetization features for those who want to invest in stable pattern of live shows in the future.