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







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K: I agree. CD-quality audio is 44.1 kHz, 16-bit; therefore, 44.1 kHz, 24-bit can be high-resolution audio. There are several high-resolution standards as DSD, 192 kHz, 24-bit and so on. No low-resolution audio like AAC and MP3, maybe no high-resolution audio. Makers were truly disappointed because they mostly downgraded CDs to hear. Low-resolution audio uses masking effect, as they cut off the back because it amounts to silence when the front cries loud in a line. However, there might be depth and something touching in the back. No matter how hard we created, they cut it down for a listen. Then, we were sad.



Koizumi Yuka
Mastering Engineer

Starting her career in 1989,
she has mastered a lot of kinds
of music like rock, jazz and so on.
Her idol is an old master in
American mastering; Bob Ludwig.

■ Coo. It is just like a cook, who guesses needless are the secret ingredients because they are so subtle, cut down on expenses of materials. When we used cassette tapes…

K: Cassette tapes are not. Analog keeps contents of CDs as they are, and so no information to lose. Tapes don’t jilt anything although they sometimes shave a part for the specific character. In movies, they have rapidly upgraded like LD to DVD or Blu-ray. But they have downgraded in audio. We makers have been unsatisfied. Therefore, high-resolution audio appeared for more enjoying something spatial and modulation in audio.


■ On carrying music, consumers have preferred quantity or easiness to quality, ma’am.

K: Innovation's dilemma! People, who spend money on their headphones, have recently been on increase. Using a good headset, you can find difference between low-resolution and high or CDs even if you were a layman. It seems that mixed are the formats and the users.


■ I can seldom deny it. We still have CDs although they have said “CDs are going to disappear.” Records are still, too.

K: Records are making a comeback by not only the middle ages however also the young. Like this year, HMV opened a shop whose leading figure was records in Shibuya. We used to be able to pay about 900 yen and get an imported LP record though we have to pay over 3,000 yen today. I guess older ones can sound better.


■ Since 1989, Koizumi Yuka, you have mastered thousands of disks across borderlines of kinds. How has pop music changed itself?

K: In old days, we usually listened to the songs performed with real musical instruments. We hardly have ones which use no programming like MIDI, sampling, drum machines etc. Today, we are losing mortal sound. I reckon the rock bands that make the songs with only real instruments, are on the decrease in Japan.


■ By progress of digital technology?

K: Yes, and for production cost lol. You can freely listen to music as much as you want and everybody follows the wind. But it makes the makers poorer to create no songs, which has them get for a lower price. I am sorry listeners have not seen. No money, no creating music. I wish we could build some good relation like paying rightly for production that makes proper music.


■ How about future J-pop?

K: I am not pessimistic, by the skin of my teeth. It is true that I had worked on thinking it was going wrong. But I have lately felt signs of something new. I believe it is all down to how we are after all. Then, it is not finished yet and a new hope may come, I suppose.



Interview & Text by Misaka Youhei

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