Music Island News and Views

How does Second Life Music work?

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The performer or ensemble use microphones or instrument pickups to capture a live performance. Where more than one performer or sound source is used, it is advisable to have microphones & pickups attached to an external mixer and to send the combined signal to the computer. That performance is encoded as an MP3 stream and uploaded to a ShoutCast server on the Web.

Meanwhile in Second Life, a venue owner tunes the media channel available as an option for his/her land parcel to the URL for the streamed music. The result is a live webcast into the virtual world where a real-time audience sits and listens in a virtual concert hall environment.At the same time the performers, or in some special situations their helpers, are accessing their computers to position their Second Life avatars to “play” virtual instruments, in fact triggering animations.

Performers also can use the stream to introduce their works by speaking into a computer headset microphone or by using their avatars to text introductions. Some performers and ensembles have opted to use streaming video of real concerts within virtual reality, but this has proven to have less appeal when it is the only medium. (Detailed technical instructions in next post.)