Sony Launches "360 Virtual Mixing Environment" Service for Immersive Sound Production
Sony announced the launch of its measurement service and dedicated software for the 360 Virtual Mixing Environment ("360VME"), a spatial sound technology that uses headphones to reproduce the sound field environment of a reference studio with high precision. As spatial sound content is increasing in music, movies, and games, the monitor environment of production studios is becoming multi-channel. Conventionally, the production of spatial sound content was generally done in studios equipped with multi-speaker environments, and the number of compatible studios was limiting. 360VME supports creators by reproducing the sound field of a multi-channel studio with headphones so that they can create spatial sound content from virtually anywhere.
With the measurement service, creators can accurately measure their hearing characteristics in the studio and create customized 360VME profile data. Using the profile data and dedicated software, the headphones virtually reproduce the sound field environment of the studio. This enables users to produce studio-quality spatial sound content such as "360 Reality Audio1" in almost any location. Sony partners with three influential studios in the United States and Japan, and each studio will start providing measurement services and dedicated software expected in June2.
In addition, Sony's MDR-MV1, an open-back3 monitor headphone planned to be newly released, will maximize the performance of the 360VME, and by using them together, creators can reproduce the sound field environment of the studio with even higher precision.
1: 360 Reality Audio uses Sony's object-based spatial sound technology to provide an immersive music experience that feels just like being at a live concert or with the artist recording in a studio.
2: Please contact each studio for detailed start dates.
3: Structure that does not acoustically block the housing.
1. The measurement services at three studios in the United States and Japan
A measurement service will be provided for creating personalized 360VME profile data and will be available expected in June from three studios in the United States and Japan: The Hit Factory (New York), Gold Diggers Sound (Los Angeles), and MIL Studio (Tokyo). Sony will continue to work to provide measurement services at various studios.
Comments from studios offering measurement services
"With 360VME, creators can freely paint a 3D canvas, even with headphones," said Tatsuya Maeda, President and CEO of Media Integration, Inc. "The ability to express music as a spatial scene at each stage of composition, arrangement, mixing, etc., is one of the goals of music production. MIL Studio is a cutting-edge studio capable of providing an omnidirectional sound field. We hope that creators will experience a new world of music together with the sound field4 of MIL Studio reproduced by 360VME."
4: 360VME reproduces a 16-channel sound field.
The Hit Factory
"The Hit Factory has been supporting the 360 Reality Audio production environment since 2019, as well as installing many of Sony's industry-leading digital audio equipment over the last 40 years," said Troy Germano, Owner and President of The Hit Factory. "360VME opens up endless possibilities for immersive music creation such as 360 Reality Audio. We are aligned with Sony in promoting this awesome, new mixing technology."
Gold Diggers Sound
"Since 2019 Studio 6 at Gold Diggers Sound has been equipped as a 360 Reality Audio immersive audio environment." said Simon Horrocks, Studio manager of Gold Diggers Sound. "We've mixed hundreds of records of 360 Reality Audio and have worked directly with Sony to help introduce spatial sound to the music industry. 360VME will allow more creators to benefit from our years of experience."
2. Provision of dedicated software
Dedicated software to render spatial sound content for headphones using 360VME profile data will be available5 expected in June. The software works in conjunction with the Digital Audio Workstation software and "360 WalkMix Creator6" to virtually reproduce the sound field environment of the studio with headphones.
5: Provided by each studio after the measurement service is implemented at the studio.
6: Plug-in software from Audio Futures, Inc. that enables the production of 360 Reality Audio content on major Digital Audio Workstations. Click here for details.
3. Monitor headphones "MDR-MV1" that can maximize the performance of 360VME
Along with the launch of 360VME service, Sony will release the "MDR-MV1" open-back monitor headphones for creators that can maximize the performance of 360VME. The MDR-MV1 is ideal for creators who pursue spatial expression and can accurately reproduce the sound field by its open-back structure.
Please see the product site for details on "MDR-MV1" https://www.sony.net/Products/proaudio/en/headphone/special/MDR-MV1/ and 360VME Official Site https://www.sony.net/Products/create360RA/360VME/