2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) Reveals The Future Of Virtual Concert
The organizers of the 2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) concert have shown what the future of virtual concert is going to be like. The outbreak of the Coronavirus earlier this year has greatly affected the entertainment industry, especially shows, and concert. The pandemic was taking a toll on music-related and showbiz industries around the world.
This year’s edition of the 2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) recently held in South Korea has found ways to tackle the challenges of organizing a concert during the coronavirus pandemic. The virtual concert took place on Sunday and was live-streamed in around 200 countries, where more than 500 million fans voted for their favorite artists ahead of the ceremony.
The Asian Music Award (MAMA) which started in 1999 under a different name has gained popularity across Asia and the rest of the world. Although, most of the previous Asian Music Awards had been held in Hong Kong, in recent years other Asian countries have played host to the Award.
The organizers and production team of the virtual concert made use of different technologies to make the virtual concert more realistic and exciting. The production team for the 2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA), made up of hundreds of employees and contractors who had to brainstorm on how to put the concert together. To provide the best “in-venue” experience for the show’s virtual audience, the production team took a lot of things into consideration, dealing with numerous issues, including how to record an audience cheering in between performances.
According to the head organizers of the 2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA), Shin Jung-soo, Head of Mnet, CJ ENM, (South Korea’s entertainment conglomerate) reveals the trial and error of the production team went through while preparing for the K-pop virtual concert. “Our trial and error phase included not paying attention to audio during KCON (a virtual K-pop concert).
We thought we could fill up fans’ screens by using YouTube and different technologies and applying them to the show but (we didn’t realize) they don’t pick up sounds vividly. We realized there needs to be a technical intervention for these things (enhancing sound quality).” “We gathered the audience (for the show’s ‘Zoom tower’) by contacting them on fan and MAMA Websites.” The ‘Zoom tower’ is a way to visually connect with the audience”.
Kang Sang-won, Production manager of the 2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA)art creation, CJ ENM revealed how the cheering sound was created. “As regards the cheering sounds, we didn’t (record it by) asking them to scream individually. We rehearsed before doing live. When we rehearsed, we asked all of them to cheer at the same time and picked up that audio.” “Because the cheering was inevitably different, we have to fill the gap by adding other audio effects. We won’t use the raw sound like that and will mesh it up with different sounds to create a reaction sound.”
For the stage it had its limitations as a physical venue, we had to expand the space within the physical venue virtually, making it a different sphere like a universe, desert, or so on. We also used a virtual AR and graphics to create things we can’t install on the ceiling, and make them look real.”
To minimize any awkward pauses due to the lack of audience, the organizer lined up performance after performance of top K-pop acts including BTS and TWICE. The highlight of the 2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) came at the end when Suga, a member of top-selling K-pop act BTS, made a holographic appearance as the band performed “Life Goes on,” despite being physically absent due to a shoulder injury.
The 2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA), has truly shown what should be expected of future virtual shows.