Enjoy the first in a series of exclusive interviews by ARKAMYS with various people in the VR industry. Today's interview is with Andrew Collins of FirstCom Music.

Posted 02/06/2017 on The future of sound

ARKAMYS is excited to kick off its Thoughts on VR series with this exciting interview with Andrew Collins, a 25-year veteran of the multimedia industry.

ARKAMYS: Tells us about your involvement in the Virtual Reality industry.

ANDREW COLLINS: I handle Strategic Partnerships for FirstCom Music, a division of Universal Music Group. After meeting with VR producers at the 2016 NAB convention, and later discovering we had over 9,000 original tracks in STEMS format, with more added each month, I realized this was an area we could really help content creators with. We have been involved in Film/TV industry for years, I see the VR industry as the next step.

ARKAMYS: Why is audio so important for truly immersive VR?

AC: Truly immersive VR should be as realistic as possible, which means it involves sound and not just sound coming from two directions. The 360 audio takes VR to the next level.

ARKAMYS: How do you think George Lucas‘ famous quote “The sound and music are 50% of the entertainment in a movie. ​” applies to the VR world?

AC: We put together a demonstration of video of a lake after a flooding rain, first using music to make the video look beautiful, the action was nearly calming. We took the same video, and put it with different music, and now the scene was ominous, the swirling water seemed scary. Same video, different music, different feelings.

ARKAMYS: What do you think is next for VR, AR, and 360 sound?

AC: People are looking for something more than the ‘flat screen’ experience. Look at how much money was spent on 3D TV, and the experience wasn’t very good, in my opinion.

I see VR, with 360 audio, moving closer to being mainstream in the next 12 months to 18 months. You have your gamers and VR enthusiast experiencing VR now and the experience is great. The “early adopters” will be next, followed by the “regular” consumer.

I was involved in the early days of streaming audio over the internet. We started with people that were ‘hard core’ fans of a sports team or radio station that could suddenly listen from across the country. As technology advanced and was more user friendly and we added more and more content, users started listening to their ‘regular’ radio station over the internet, it started to become mainstream.

 ARKAMYS: If you’ve experienced the ARKAMYS VR 360 Audio Suite demo, either at CES 2017 or elsewhere, what did you find most enjoyable? ​

AC: I enjoyed the reality and the depth of the sound. It is amazing!

For more information on the ARKAMYS VR 360 Audio Suite or to be part of our Thoughts on VR series, contact us today.