NZSO gives fans a rare chance to walk through the symphony orchestra with VR


Dance your way around the violinists and groove your way past the horns until you can stand next to the man guiding the entire orchestra.

It's all possible with cutting-edge 360-degree virtual reality technology and one of the first in the world in its format.

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra has released a fully immersive VR experience of the 90-member Orchestra performing at Wellington's Michael Fowler Centre.

The NZSO VR Experience was filmed in 360-degree video and sound and from five different camera positions.
FACEBOOK/NZSO

The NZSO VR Experience was filmed in 360-degree video and sound and from five different camera positions.

Viewers can stand on the conductor's podium next to NZSO Associate Conductor Hamish McKeich or move at any time among the different sections of the Orchestra as it plays, including first violins, cellos, horns and percussion.

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The NZSO VR Experience, made by New Zealand content creation company Wrestler, was filmed in 360-degree video and sound and from five different camera positions.

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra on VR
FACEBOOK/NZSO

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra on VR

A Holophone microphone was used to record the music in 360 degrees so that the sound of the performance also changes, depending on where the viewer places themselves.

It's one of the first of its kind in the world.

NZSO Marketing Manager Thomas Drent said it would revolutionise how New Zealanders can experience their national orchestra and entice more people to see the NZSO live.

"The NZSO is always exploring new ways to expand its audience and bring the Orchestra to all New Zealanders," says Drent.

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"This new VR experience allows people to immerse themselves in the Orchestra in a way that would normally only be possible if they were a player or conductor. It looks and sounds amazing and is incredibly realistic. You will believe you are actually standing among NZSO musicians as they play."

Drent says developments in VR may also mean that one day a viewer could conduct a virtual orchestra or play a virtual instrument in a VR performance.

The NZSO VR Experience can be downloaded from Google's Play Store for Android phones and Apple's App Store for iPhone.

For those without a smartphone or VR headset a version of the video will be placed on the NZSO's Facebook page and YouTube, allowing the viewer to use their mouse to pan in 360 degrees while the NZSO performs.

 - Stuff

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