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■ We are featuring Boys Comics from Jan. 31 to Feb. 28.







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■ Next, let us talk about a musical transition in Japanese pops. You became a mastering engineer and soon, 90s began and a pop music bubble started. At that time, they steadily did raise the sound pressure level, didn’t they?

K: Yes, we’ve called it “Level War.” That starter was, although some say it was Metallica, Radiohead in Western music. Their album sounded very loud, which had us Japanese engineers make a disturbance. Playing several CDs, it will be the most impressive when it sounds louder than others. In contrast, the faintest must sound shabby and gloomy even if it is musically so fine. Therefore, I heard a danger call that said it was about to raise the level more and more.


■ I have an impression what sounds loud is often distorted. Loudness can sound good?

K: It is up to the contents. In classical music, it cannot be because you lose all musical notes as pianissimos if the sound pressure level overworks. It cannot be absolutely in classical music, but we had to do it in pop music. Modulated songs sound strange when it is monotonous before and after the peak, as you understand. If the mixer deals with that nicely, we will hear a superb one when completed. Let me say, by way of precaution, all engineers don’t long to make anything disgusting.


■ I see. When did the war come to end, ma’am?

K: 2011, about three years ago.


■ How had you done in that level war?

K: Besides the music to enjoy a roar, it is kind of ridiculous that it sounds no deep and makes a wall of sound pressure. Don’t you feel nonsense when a sweet ballad sounds highhandedly? Therefore I made efforts to let the songs have wabi-sabi but sound as loud as possible, because it is also a mastering technique. Of course, it was within the scope established by the artists and the record companies.


■ Meeting the expectation, you spared the musical space. In your mastering career, are there any dramatic changes of the way and the process?

K: Let me see… Today we deliver music to factories in electronic files though we used to do in tapes old days. Look, we had used this monster of video tape LOL. When CDs appeared, we were at a loss for storage of enormous digital data a CD had and this tape was singled out. Factories accept no more today.




■ It is time of electronic files. Most have music in files now. They say Wav files give us sound of the same quality as CDs.

K: Basically not. CDs use Pulse-code modulation. The process is different, too when the format is different. There are some formats like WAV and AIF. Try to record a CD on the two formats. It sounds a little different in the sound balance. When you buy a CD, in my real intention, I would like you to listen to nothing but the CD.


■ Since you make it for CD listening, I know. In the recent musical culture, high-resolution audio has become conspicuous…

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