Virtual Production has made life a lot simpler, allowing us to deliver a very high quality production for radio and online audiences in locations that have difficult OB VAN access.
Carmen Pérez Cernuda, Deputy Director Technology Innovation and Strategy
Sony’s Virtual Production service was central to the successful live transmission of a landmark literary event by Spanish public radio service RNE (Radio Nacional de España), part of national broadcaster RTVE. In October, 2020 RNE marked the 150th anniversary of the death of Spanish literary figure Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer with a live reading of his work ‘El Monte de las Ánimas’ (The Mountain of Souls).
Broadcast to radio listeners in 5.1 surround sound and simultaneously streamed live, the performance was captured in Aula Magna Tirso de Molina in Soria, northern Spain. Starring award winning actor Juan Echanove as narrator, the ‘sound fiction’ was directed by Benigno Moreno with production and sound design by Mayca Aguilera.
Ensuring the success of the broadcast while respecting social distancing was a priority for RNE. To minimise crewing levels at the venue, RNE used Virtual Production, Sony’s cloud-based service that allows video, audio and graphics to be mixed via an intuitive PC interface by an operator at a remote location. Using Virtual Production also simplifies logistics since less equipment needs to be transported to the venue.
Audio at the venue was captured with microphones for the performers combined with music, effects and incidental sound. These sources were mixed with video streams – shot on RNE crew members’ mobile phones – by a production engineer based at Aula Magna Tirso de Molina in Soria City, using a PC running Virtual Production software. The resulting 5.1 mix was broadcast live to radio listeners and simultaneously streamed live with video via the RTVE website, YouTube and Facebook.
“This is the first time we have had the opportunity to use Virtual Production for a live performance captured and transmitted in 5.1 surround sound” says Carmen Perez Cernuda. “Virtual Production has made life simpler, allowing us to deliver high quality content for radio and online audiences with fewer people at the venue. The flexibility of Virtual Production is impressive – it’s a powerful solution that doesn’t compromise your production values in any way.”