Introduction To The Metaverse
The metaverse is something which has gained extensive media and online attention in recent months. If you’re not sure what it is, you’re certainly not alone, not least because definitions vary and are still changing. Make sure to read our article on The Opportunities Metaverse Brings To The Audio World.
Organisations from Nike to adidas and Facebook/Meta have already rushed to gain footholds in this brave new virtual world. And, so far, there has been considerable focus on the appearance of these realms. But what about the soundtrack to the metaverse?
The Importance of Audio in the Metaverse
In the real world, sound could hardly be more important when we’re communicating. Audio has a unique way of cutting through in a world which is overwhelmingly visual. And in these days of digital streaming, many people won’t leave home without their music, so they have a constant soundtrack to their lives.
There is therefore no reason why sound shouldn’t be equally crucial in the metaverse. Can you imagine how weird this space would be if it were totally silent? Audio will be as vital to navigation and communication in this virtual world as it is to the real one.
Equally, it will be critical to the creation of believability and an immersive experience, as is already the case with video gaming. Use sound to help transport people to incredible places without them leaving home. Essentially, the metaverse is an illusion and sound will be key to preserving that illusion, just as in theatre there is much talk of not breaking the invisible ‘fourth wall’ between performers and audience.
So whether or not the metaverse will reach its full potential will depend quite a lot on sound. People may also want background audio to go with their experiences in this space, to listen to while they are doing something else.
What’s more, the metaverse offers incredible capacity for new varieties of live radio, podcasts, broadcasts and more, including commentary on events as they unfold.
How Will The Metaverse Sound?
It’s increasingly common to hear binaural sound – with this method of recording, two mics are used to create 3D stereo sound giving the listener the impression that they are in the room with the performers or instruments or any other sonic source.
If this trend is carried over from the real world into the metaverse, we can expect a very natural, nuanced soundscape, with some great opportunities for communication, immersion and creative expression.
As with the real world, audio content is likely to be a powerful tool in helping a brand to stand out and connect with individual users.
Opportunities For Audio Creators
One possibility could be for an avatar to take on a voice they love, for example a celebrity’s, or a singer’s.
It’s also worth considering sonic logos however short – think of the sound of a GameBoy firing up or the few notes of the brief yet highly memorable Intel ditty or McDonald’s I’m Lovin’ It jingle and how they could translate to the metaverse.
Clearly, there are still no firm rules in place, but it’s not too early to consider the metaverse as somewhere non-intrusive, contextually relevant sounds will play a key role. Above all, sound will need to feel naturally integrated and an intrinsic part of the immersive experience.
In the real world, podcasts and audio advertising and so on are increasingly popular ways of drowning out visual ‘noise’. So, for a strong metaverse presence, the same principles will apply. Start thinking sound now – we can help.