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J-Pop
Recording & Mixing Engineer

Nakazaki Fumie

< 30, Nov, 2014 >


In 2014 January, a Japanese popular music producer Sakuma Masahide passed away of scirrhus stomach cancer. In 2013 October, I asked him “What is the best studio in Japan?” He kindly listed three studios like Yokohama Landmark Studio and then, said “Don’t forget the Kyoto Seika University’s studio which is going to be opened in 2014 spring. That could be the best in Japan since I am creating now as it will be so.”

The best studio was completed in peace, and has been used by the students of Kyoto Seika Univ. It was designed by Sakuma Masahide, Tanita Hideo, and Nakazaki Fumie who was apprenticed to Mr. Sakuma. Miss Nakazaki is a recording & mixing engineer who also teaches at the university as a part-time instructor. At the best studio “Magi Sound Studio,” looking for truth left by the late producer of popularity and hidden fruits of our popular music, I interviewed Nakazaki Fumie on a rainy day in October.




Nakazaki Fumie: I am originally from Fukui. I had worked at a picture management company in Tokyo and made friends with an engineer who worked with Sakuma Masahide at the time. My first experience in a real studio was in 2007 October, when I didn't know even what ProTools is. Then, I engineered on the recording of unsuspected monogram Sakuma was in. I thereabouts went away from society out of losing my health. Taking it back, I got to work with Sakuma.


Fumie said “I was afraid of touching the console at the first time.” Sakuma Masahide tried her character and sense, then, Nakazaki Fumie gradually built up her engineering career as his right hand. She has been in charge of a stage manager for a concert by a rock band Sakuma Masahide belonged to, because Nakazaki had worked at a picture management company. When Sakuma got to the project to build the Magi Sound Studio, he often asked her opinions.

N: I often commented on from the side LOL. I named it “Magi Sound Studio” since he Sakuma Masahide had no idea about the name. Magi, it means Three Wise Men, doesn’t it? Sakuma said the best in Japan repeatedly and it is inclusive of the representative studio of Japan. I longed to give it his initials S and M because the point of the studio was nothing but Sakuma Masahide.


“Magi” means pastors among the ancient Persians, and it is the derivation of the word “Magic.” An old popular song has given us commenting on magic of pop music. Is it also coming from this studio, too?

N: There is really magic. It is important to believe that. We have just music or weather, as something like magic today, you know.



Fumie played piano just a little at the acoustic booth and it sounded so good for the space, not her skill. She said “I have never seen the inverted pyramid celling made of Poal and Plywood at other studios in Japan.” Why do the students, not professional players, need the best studio in Japan?

N: It is supposed that most of the students would never have experienced the real studios before they entered the university, although some might have on recording their own bands at small studios of private enterprises. This project originally started for giving them real experiences, because there was no reason to make the young students have false one. The first experience becomes his or her standard. Knowing only bad things, they cannot judge what is truly good. And in order to judge rightly, you have to somehow get what somebody very skilled admires. Sakuma Masahide strongly managed to give his experiences to the next generation, then.


I believe I feel comfortable at the Magi Sound Studio because there is surely Sakuma Masahide at the basis of the magical place, besides material reasons. All of his musical experiences run through the walls, the machines and the floors. In other words, Sakuma Masahide is always watching over you here at the Magi Sound Studio.

N: In real lessons, they are so happily learning at this home studio. I guess it seems like a festival or so. They are enjoying also their composing before the rec. Today, I saw a student try to write a moderate ballad song though he had never composed such a ballad number.






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