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GLAY's 43rd Single "everKrack" recorded & mixed by Nakazaki Fumie & Sakuma Masahide



Now, they often say it sounds nice or bad. I asked her what that meant. In an audio, you can somehow get it only by paying money. Not only the environment as the structures and the machinery, what defines good sound at the studios?

N: I am sorry I can’t explain so well because it is neither visual nor verbal. You must have been excited, have shed tears somehow or have got gooseflesh for hearing some music. I have wept without intention when I was recording the vocal. Then, I thought I recorded the nice one. I believe nobody will be excited at the songs which no one was worked up over at the recording. My experiences say the standard of the good is much the same unless you have sort of fetishism. That is very profound, you know.



It is considered that she means pops can be when good sound was played and recorded, and then it was spread wide. The standard hardly shows difference. Hereupon it had me desire to know about her standard. They say your musical liking is defined by what you have listened to until the middle of your teen.

N: I’m 29 years old this year. So I belonged to elementary school and junior high school in1990s when digital and analog; the two were intermixed. I used cassette tapes in order to record anime songs when I was in childhood, and had MDs in the latter of 1990s. Differently from the recent years, it was so natural hearing pop music at the time and so I used to listen to all of vogue songs. I was originally fond of rock band music, but naturally heard other kinds.


In 1990s, J-Pop reached its peak in the sales. Many CD albums sold over a million or more. We got a lot of Japanese music programs like “Hey! Hey! Hey!” and “Countdown TV.” Then, pop music had truly taken root in our life and consumption culture. She grew and spent her adolescence in the Golden Age. I asked Miss Nakazaki her opinion about how Japanese pop music has changed.

N: I guess old pop songs sound dreamier though recent ones hear more and more realistic as a whole. They are getting closer and closer to real sound out of recording environment’s improvement. Whereas it is becoming realistic, it sounds inhuman.



Over the end of 20th century, it has digitalized in the recording machinery across the board. Magnetic tapes changed into hard discs. Though we can do it by clicking several times, we used to cut tapes with razors for shortening the length of songs. So pop music has been more inhuman? She reacted against my imagination.

N: Digital and analog; both are just shifts although some deplore digital when they are familiar with analog. Whether we are going to be seized or we will use well, that is all. In the real scenes, I reckon increased are engineers who have been digitalized. Look, there is a fader here on the console and it has figures. Some recent engineers cannot go without them, although old masters had decided the loudness and the positions with their original sense besides numerals. Me? My engineering is based on sense since I ain't a deep thinker.


There must be bipolarization in the recorded sound. But originally, what is pop music? It is extremely difficult to define. Perhaps it is a general term of music of no definition. What is an answer from Nakazaki Fumie who has taken part in creating pop music as a sound engineer?

N: What a difficulty at the end of my 20s! Umm… I have no idea. It must be beyond reasons. Basically, I don’t get who has defined.


Good. It must be beyond reasons and words, because it is intuitively judged with what has been piled up for a long time. Let me introduce her statement that could be the cue, finally.

N: It is very hard to go as a recording engineer, for example, we have to keep listening to uninterested music, can have few of intervals, must engineer till midnights or dawns, and the like. I long for feeling with the artists at the studios and so I have to love them even if I don’t like. Not the humanity, their sounds are important for making popular music. But the sound is based on the personal nature. In that case, it means he or she must have something good behind my sight then.


Pop music can be when it is shared among the general public. I appreciate it a kind of communication. Needless to mention, you will find no communication with somebody to dislike or whom you are no interested in. Namely, we could be connected for something tiny. Also on making pop songs, important are the vibes that exist at the bottom of the “something.” Studios can be the beginning place.

Nakazaki Fumie is 29 years old in 2014. She will be more skilled and also her sense is going to be reformed many times as J-Pop moves forward. Then, in the course of time, it may change into her unique theory.




Interview & Text by Misaka Youhei
Thanks to Ikeda Kazumasa (Kyoto Seika Univ.)


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