Virtual Production helps RNE broadcast literary event

Sony’s cloud-based Virtual Production service has allowed Spain’s public radio broadcaster to air a socially distanced performance celebrating 19th century author Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer.

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How we helped

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The Challenge

  • Spain’s public radio service needed to broadcast live literary performance
  • Required solution for socially-distanced live production with reduced on-site crew
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The Solution

  • Performance transmitted live via radio, web and social media using Sony’s Virtual Production service
  • Audio sources plus video from mobile phones mixed live by remote operator
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The Outcome

  • Successful live stream plus radio broadcast in high quality 5.1 surround sound
  • Ensured safe, socially distanced production with minimised contact between performers and crew

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

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Celebrating a Spanish literary landmark

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).

Simultaneous broadcast to radio and web audiences

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.

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Virtual Production cuts on-site crew and hardware requirements

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 and video sources mixed remotely

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.

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Production first for RNE

“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.”

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