We’ve discussed sound a bit previously — most notably when we launched spatial audio spatial audio compatibly in the Spring of this year. Too many users continue to publish apps with either no sound or poor sound captured by the embedded mic in their 60 cameras. VR is not just a visual experience though. You want to immerse your users completely in a .

Below, we’ll discuss a bit more about how VR voice-over and embedding works. As it’s included with our Free version, all users can try it now.

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Using VR Voice-over

What is It: Voice-over allows a human voice to be heard while viewing the 360 environment. The voice can be used to help educate the user, guide them towards viewing a certain area of the scene, or for entertainment purposes.

Required File Type: mp3

Example Use Cases:

VR for Education – Voice-over can add additional information or context to a scene. For example, one of Emporia State University’s use cases for VR is in their Forensic Science classes. After filming a staged “crime scene”, they used voice-over to have the perpetrator add context to the scene. This allows students watching the video, combined with the voice-over, to make better informed decisions on what can be learned from the crime scene.

VR for Training – Training applications are very popular. To add value to them, you can add voice-over to better explain what the viewer is seeing. Using voice-over to bring attention to certain areas of the VR application can help guide the viewer and educate them.

VR for Travel/Tourism/Real Estate – A VR tour can be a very powerful marketing tool. Adding voice-over allows real estate agents to “virtually” be alongside users as they view the property. This can add valuable context to the 360-degree tour, and in the process, make the property more appealing.

InstaVR Tip:

There’s a couple ways to get a user’s attention. One is hotspots.

But if you’re starting a scene with an initial viewpoint, and you want the user to look behind them, it might be wise to add voice-over to guide the viewer to look behind him. That’s because our heatmap data shows that users tend to disproportionately focus on the 180-degree field of vision in front of them. A subtle nudge via voice-over can be very powerful.

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Using VR Music

What is It: Music can be added to a scene to create a certain ambience or feeling to the scene. It will also liven up the VR experience. A soundless VR experience, though still visually stimulating, might not be as engaging. And for users of 360 cameras that lack good audio capture, you can post-production capture audio to dub over your video.

Required File Type: mp3

Example Use Cases:

VR for Entertainment – Our friends at New Zealand agency/production company Dusk are experts at adding audio to visual images to create an immersive experience. They just recently unveiled a new music video project with band Drax Project. Combining audio & 360 imagery is a great way to make for a cool entertaining experience for your VR headset wearers.

VR for Travel/Tourism – Sometimes you want a VR experience to be as “life-like” as possible. Other times you want it to be aspirational. Music will often make a location even more exciting. Adding some local music can definitely augment a VR journey.

InstaVR Tip:

After uploading music, you can select to Loop the music throughout the scene. If you’re not planning on Looping, you’ll definitely want to plan the music length accordingly. Because videos currently are only played linearly forward in InstaVR, you can sync the music timing to the 360 media offline before upload, to ensure there’s no audio downtime in your VR video experience.

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Conclusion

Adding VR voice-over and music to your scenes can add a lot of value to your overall application. Recording mp3 files for upload is easier than ever. Many advanced users will be utilizing our Spatial Audio feature. But even as a beginner, you should consider going beyond just ambient sound from your 360 camera in your final application. And as new VR headsets with built-in audio come out — such as the Oculus Go in Q1 of next year — you’ll have even more reason to focus on the audio component of your VR app.



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