A feast for the senses is probably no gamble at Sphere.
Don’t be distracted by the mesmerizing viral series of exteriors blasting out breathtaking, 360-degree high-resolution visuals — spanning solar scenes to a massive basketball, a disturbingly real eyeball and some patriotic themes, among many more. The 20,000-seat, reportedly $2.2 billion Las Vegas venue’s audio setup is just as captivating.
Essentially, each seat stands as the best in the house due to the ultraresolution audio flow pumped by Holoplot — a specialized sound system that aims to change the future of live performances.
This means standing next to the stage won’t blow out your eardrums and sitting high up feels like you’re next to the stage of the Vegas venue set to premiere with a residency by rock legends U2 starting Sept. 29. (The first four dates are already sold out at nearly $1,500 a head.)
When that sound is spliced in with some of the most high-def footage on Earth — ones tested by NASA in space just to be sure — that’s when Sphere hits the jackpot.
“Probably the most significant change is the addition of the visual component,” Madison Square Garden owner James Dolan exclusively told The Post following a private demonstration inside Sphere. “The challenge to the artist is to create visual environments that are intertwined with their musical performance.”
When asked about bringing a slice of the Big Apple to Sin City, Dolan said it’s an even bigger picture operation: “Obviously, we are bringing all the expertise we have from operating MSG. Still, we feel like we are bringing Vegas to the World.”
Not to mention, all seats have been fitted with vibrating technology to further encompass four out of the five senses (taste excluded) being tapped into during performances both musical and immersive — such as the Darren Aronofsky-directed film “Postcard from Earth,” which premieres October 6.
The seats are also specially designed to have the same vibrating properties of human skin from technicalized holes sculpted at their bottom, according to Sphere hype reps.
Take a sigh of relief knowing it’s anything but “Silence of the Lambs”-esque, as the seats instead simulate the aural sensation of a sold-out show when Sphere is not at capacity, MSG Ventures CEO David Dibble explained during the demo.
All-in on audio
While Sphere’s sound quality is a uniform standard from Holoplot, the overhead location of where audio is physically heard actually varies person to person.
It all comes down to unique acoustics married to the high-end system.
There’s no better example of this than tracks like Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” as guests would listen to each “Galileo!” lyric distinctly echo from a different region of Sphere — the person seated next to you would hear such chants in different spots than you detected.
It’s these type of special enhancements which wooed U2 into christening Sphere in two months. The band’s lead guitarist, the Edge, hailed the new venue as having “the world’s most advanced” sound system.
“In short, it’s a canvas of an unparalleled scale … and a once-in-a-generation opportunity,” he added. “We all thought about it and decided we’d be mad not to accept the invitation.”
The audio tech in Sphere, which has been instituted in the Beacon Theater atop Penn Station — Dibble said “they’re never going back” — also poses a potential game-changer in how artists tour in the years to come.
Holoplot’s breakthrough audio poses an elimination of the need for musicians like Taylor Swift to bring literal truckloads of specialized equipment to pair their show with each venue’s individual infrastructure.
With this system, fitted concert halls and arenas can initialize a performance’s individual aspects through the simplest form of data sharing.
It’s as easy as a “show on a USB stick,” Dibble said.
“This is done in advance and is stored on a server virtually eliminating the use of all of the gear a band travels with. All they will need are their instruments,” Dolan added.
Meanwhile, techies and audiophiles will appreciate the venue’s specs — including 167,000, AI-infused speakers pumping out 13 million cubic feet of volume while simultaneously eliminating clumsy reverb and vibrations through advanced wave field synthesis, just to name a few.
It’s especially noticeable with bass waves and kickdrums of music, as they feel closer to a clean pulsation than a messy shockwave that could be detected on the Richter Scale.
This all happens out of public eye from behind the scenes through a metal mesh interface, explained Holoplot CEO Roman Sick, who initially used the system for PA announcements inside of German train tunnels during “10 years of research and development.”
Sick’s state-of-the-art tech — which is in the process of being sold to other spaces — was initially recruited when Dolan and Dibble faced one of the larger challenges of creating a rounded venue.
In fact, it saved the day for Sphere.
“If you have a spherical structure and a performance bowl that is also spherical, that’s an audio person’s worst nightmare,” Dibble previously told The Post.
“We said, ‘we won’t be undone by this’ [and] we worked with [Holoplot] in collaboration to develop a concert-grade wavefield synthesis audio system and platform, the likes of which the world’s ever seen.”
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