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Articles September - October 2023

Capturing The True Essence Of Sound New!

From Lewitt Audio's Pure Tube Microphone to Sennheiser's Profile USB Microphone, these studio microphones offer precise audio quality to the users and deliver crisp, clear sound. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Photo Feature: Studio Showcase New!

From A.R. Rahman's studio in Mumbai to composer Raag Sethi's first Dolby-compliant studio in Gujarat, PALM Expo Magazine's Studio Showcase features the latest studios in India. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Mastering The Art Of Sound With Donal Whelan New!

Whelan talks to the PALM Expo Magazine Team and discusses his foray into the world of mastering, his unique experience at the PALM Conference 2023, and more. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Nx Audio Celebrates Two Decades Of Pro Audio Journey New!

Nx Audio completes 20 years of delivering pro audio products for the Indian pro sound industry. Read about Nx Audio's journey over the last two decades. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Mumbai Studio Explores New Verticals With Genelec Monitors New!

The combination of Genelec Smart Active Monitors and digital audio interface delivered an ideal monitoring solution for BOING Recording Studios. read more

Articles September - October 2023

IRAA Awards 2023: Jury Reflections New!

Read about IRAA Jury's perspective on the bigger questions in the music industry - AI for music production, the status of mega consoles, & emerging trends in sound recording & mixing. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Gray Spark Audio Opens New Studio For Academy Students New!

PALM Expo Magazine Team talks to Ronak Runwal to explore how the newly-designed Studio D is poised to become a recording haven for the academy students. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Firdaus Studio: Building A Sonic Paradise For Recording Artists New!

The Firdaus Studio by A.R. Rahman stands as a beacon of innovation in the music production industry. PALM Expo Magazine explores the making of the musical maestro's magnus opus in the recording landscape. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Naveen Deshpande Elevates Stand-Up Comedy with Bespoke Lighting Designs New!

Naveen Deshpande, a renowned lighting designer, made heads turn through his recent collaboration with India's leading stand-up comedian, Zakir Khan, during the latter's international tour. read more

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Music & E-Gaming Collide

by Abhimanyu Malhotra, The Sonic Arts Co.

It comes as no surprise that the impacts of COVID-19 have changed the industry over the last few months. The impact of this pandemic across all industries has been unparalleled, and we have never really been through such a period of time before. The music industry was definitely not prepared for the fallout, yet thanks to internet streaming and websites such as Twitch, the industry has adapted and transformed to a new avatar in this post-covid world. One of the biggest sources of revenue and platforms for musicians, the stage, has been on hiatus for months now and live music as we have known it will only return sometime in 2021. When worldwide lockdowns were first rolled out in March, countless booking agencies, studios, music venues, production companies, labels and more had their income streams blocked off overnight. To add to this, all investments made into live gigs, upcoming artist tours and festivals were simply vaporised. Artists, management & booking agencies and all erticals of the industry were left puzzled as to how to act in order to minimise loss and keep moving forward.The first couple of weeks of the global lockdown was definitely a period of confusion which left everyone scrambling and reassessing their entire 2020 strategies. Luckily, the industry’s free-falI was comparatively short lived (when compared to what it could have been) thanks to the innovation of gaming platforms.

The platform that lead the way, was Twitch. A massive component of the e-gaming industry, Twitch is an application that allows teams of users to broadcast or stream their live gaming sessions. Now the e-gaming sessions from the late 90s and early 2000s is not what the norm is anymore. Gone are the days when e-gaming meant a group of 4 teenagers huddled together in a small room playing counterstrike on their PCs. This multi billion dollar industry today is the new forefront in sport and entertainment. It has global tournaments and obscene amounts of money for the star athletes, as any other global sport. And since their “arena” is completed online and internet based, the infrastructure needs be robust and be able to handle hundreds of thousands of streams, group chats and share bandwidth with the actual game being played! The infrastructure here is mostly software, streaming solutions and cloud based computing. Now here is where the music industry and the e-gaming industry meet. The need of the hour was for a platform which would allow an artist to stream a performance from their own home, and possibly to an audience of hundreds if not thousands (depending on the artist of course) Enter Twitch, a streaming application which handles hundreds of thousands of streams, and has the ability to scale it’s bandwidth even when heavily congested. It became the perfect solution for artists of any calibre to reach their audiences, who were also stuck at home, eagerly looking for ways to adapt their lives to the new normal.

Musicians and audiences were ecstatic that they found a temporary home on the internet and many artists from DJs to bands started hosting shows, performances and even all out 2 day music festivals. The idea was simple, the DJ or performers would be broadcasted along with some creative visuals and live music stream. Users could also join in with their webcams (depending on the platform of course and the size of the event) allowing the formation of a ‘digital dancefloor’ where you get to interact with live 2D broadcasted audiences. Most of these online events started off free, where one could just click on a link and view their favourite artist preforming a song live.

However, the question to monetise was always looming, but this was a no-brainer once sponsors saw the numbers that were flocking to these online streams. Suddenly the same names that you would see sponsoring a Sunburn or NH7 weekender would pop up on your screen as the sponsors for an event you are “e-attending”. And once again, all seemed right in the world, with artists and audiences finding their place in the digital realm and adjusting to the new normal. That is until of course, users of apps such as Twitch, started getting hit with DMCA and copyright violation notices.

Now here is where the music industry and the e-gaming industry meet. The need of the hour was for a platform which would allow an artist to stream a performance from their own home, and possibly to an audience of hundreds if not thousands.

The DMCA or digital millennium copyright act is a law that “criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted works”, or in other words copyright infringement. Since the thousands of DJs that used to play in clubs were now streaming online, the copyright of tracks in their sets was put to question. Clubs and public venues have licenses that they can purchase that allow DJs to perform other’s music in those venues. However, what is the venue online? Who has the license? All these questions were being encountered for the first time by the industry. And since the “host” or “venue” essentially was the platform itself, the case for a copyright infringement seemed ripe since these platforms were not covered under the same license as a club or venue (even though they served a similar function). This DMCA violation was a result of the shift of the music industry to such streaming platforms, however it hit the e-gaming industry too! Thousands of players, e-gaming influencers and star accounts were hit with violations for even streaming music in the background of their gaming sessions! The day was definitely bound to come when such e-gaming and streaming platforms were hit with such notices, however the arrival of music live streaming definitely acted as a catalyst, and as a result affected not only DJs and musicians, but also a massive user base of e-gamers.

Another collision between gaming and music that was a result of this lockdown was on the online multiplayer game Fortnite (whose counterpart PUBG was recently banned in India). They organised digital concerts, which was like attending a concert, except with your third person avatar in a digital playground. Artists such as Travis Scott and Diplo had record shattering attendances.

And of course the performances themselves could defy the laws of physics since it was all digital.

You had instances of the artists just suddenly shooting up a 100 feet into the air, followed by you floating beside them in hyperspace. Oh the endless possibilities! Needless to say this requires a lot more work in setting up a digital concert as opposed to a live stream, but the experience is just something incredible. I had the opportunity to experience the Travis concert with VR glasses, and it was definitely something I would attend again. Oh the entry is free, you just need to have the game.

So as time progresses and we patiently await the day that venues will once again be open, audiences and musicians will always try and find a way to connect. Thanks to modern day technology and innovations there are plenty of solutions, however as we’ve seen the process of adapting does come with it’s own set of hurdles and fallouts.



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