Photography in Nagano, Japan (2019)

IMG_1773.JPG Kirigamine Highland

 

IMG_1784Kurumayama-kogen Ski Resort

 

IMG_1806Lake Shirakaba

p.s. Visiting Nagano during a Tour on August 14, 2019.

 

 

 

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Paradigm shift of music business

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Business done through the Internet can achieve significant cost reductions by eliminating intermediaries. In the flow, it is said that the phenomenon that the copyright which was protected before was pressed down, the unit price falls, or it approaches to free as much as possible.

What matters about the music business is the question of how the copyright fee, which is the reward for creative activities, can be secured in the current situation where it will be as free as possible. There are also many things that I can think of as a musician.

Up until now, we had been doing live activities to sell music CDs explosively, but after 10 years, the value of live activities jumped up to 10 times, and music CDs and online distribution itself approached as free of charge as possible , May take on the role of promotion.

Digitized music is copied from anywhere, regardless of how strict it is managed, and spreads all over the world in no time.

Until now, it has been profitable to contain, package and sell digital information in concrete “things” such as music CDs. The benefit was turning to copyright holders and artists who write and compose songs.

However, in the age of online distribution, a copy that does not differ slightly from the master by the artist will be delivered to the users’ hands. The master is a clone and splatters all over the world.

In the digital world, the value of something that can be replicated is as close to zero as possible. It is very difficult to stop it. There, we need to go back to the origin of the music business. In the first place, music was not what was stored on a digitized music CD.

The origin of music is to enjoy yourself, but the origin of music appreciation is to live activities. The raw voice, the live instrument, the passion of the artist in real time, the emotion of emotions, the place of the live activity where it was directly transmitted was the origin of music.

Yes, the artist’s value returns to its origin as it would be born again in live activities. As the priming for live activities, a master disc of music that makes the best sound and invites to live is born.

Streaming is a guiding tool

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In Japan, the music CD specialty store survived and the business style of rental was established, so Apple’s iTunes Store, which has spread worldwide, did not spread as expected. What will happen in the future?

In Japan, CD rental stores can be rented for ¥ 300 for albums and ¥ 200 for singles, so they are cheaper than downloading on iTunes. From now on, with the spread of streaming, the music CD rental business will be forced to change the business format, but unlike the US, its speed is slow, and I think the conversion will proceed slowly to around 2025 years.

In the meantime, the music business will definitely go live, but the form of the live will change as well. The music business in the streaming age has a strong relationship with SNS, and its taste changes from the live before digitization. Streaming will be used as a tool to easily obtain “music information” rather than enjoying music itself. Then, when you found the music you liked by streaming, you buy a music CD to support the artist, or go to “mini live”. By reporting the situation via SNS, users will face music.

Once the media of television became popular, programs of the world travel were hit and images from around the world were introduced on television. At that time, people were told that “You can not go on a trip because you can watch a picture on TV”. Of course, the result is the opposite. We have learned that there is a wonderful world on TV, we went on a trip to compete, see, and experience the “real thing”.

Both large star artists and indie artists who are supported by a few special fans in the niche market are different in shape, but for “you who are fans, within reach of you, “Singing close to voice” will be mainstream. In other words, all artists will be converted from “all artists” to “your artists”. Why is it inevitable? That is because in the age of AI (Artificial Intelligence), there is an iron rule that values ​​human beings as important.

Similarly, users who are attracted by streaming will want to cheer up artists in a realistic setting. It is important to have a place where live is at hand.

Basics of overseas market capture

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From now on, it should not be closed only to the Japanese market. Overseas should also be active at the same time. I would like to organize the way of thinking about music activities overseas.

Create “Tribe”.

It is natural, but overseas activities have disadvantages compared to activities in Japan. Even if you do a live, you won’t be able to sell it because there are no artists’ friends. The weak point is that there is not enough information to choose what to do, such as media choice and live house selection.

How do you grab a certain number of early fans and how do you access users ? The initial task is to create the first “Tribe” that supports the artist and the song.

Fortunately, Japanese artists have a context of cool Japan. It is a fact that the word “Cool Japan” is attached to the word, so if you hate it, you don’t have to use it. In short, quite a few users like Japanese pop culture represented by animation, comics, games etc. It means that you are in the world. There is no way not to use this context.

People who do not know the circumstances of foreign countries argue that “I do not want to be confined to Japan.” “Well, what do you start out and get interested?” I think. The world of international competition is not as easy as Japan. There is exactly a fight. It is true that the power of the Japanese government is weaker than in other countries, but the idea of ​​“it does not require because it is cool” is just like Japan’s island nationality. If you are confident in your artist or work, you should use all that is available and increase your exposure opportunities.

What I want you to know is that niche genres have networks globally. For example, metal rock, dance music such as house etc… has connections all over the world. There are many active visuals bands in overseas because the combination of warp and weft of otaku culture and rock scene is easy to build.

Global niche and Japanese pop culture. Let’s make a tribe and be conscious of these two things.

Mastering basics

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The basic goal of mastering is to make the mastered sound feel as the artist or mix-down engineer listens think “It sounds better than the mix, although it is not much different from the mix.” Of course, if the mix itself sounds awful, this is not the case.

So, the most important of the basic techniques of mastering is listening to the mix you receive to determine what is extra and what is missing. Specifically, the following points are carefully judged while listening to the sound source.

・ Aren’t there any frequencies that jumped out somewhere?
・ Does unnecessary frequency do not pile up and muddy the whole?
・ Is the high end and the low end sufficient or not too high?
・ Is the presence of main vocals and instruments enough?
・ Is the spread of sound enough?
・ Is it necessary to apply a compressor all over?
・ Is the volume sufficient compared to commercial CDs?

At this time, the criteria for judgment also change depending on the direction of the song or artist, so it is necessary to closely check with the artist or producer about the target sound. In the case of an artist who is new to mastering, I always try to listen to a song that the artist likes and wants to make this sound.

What is an effector?

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Without fear of misunderstanding, an effector is a tool for spoofing sounds. Dynamics / filter effectors such as limiters and equalizers were invented to avoid the limitations of the sound quality of early radios and records, and spatial effectors such as reverbs and delays were recorded in small studios. It can be said that the color of a sound is an illusionary tool as if you are playing in a large church or concert hall. In this way, the effector is something that is somewhat trickery in the first place.

However, the image of a cheating tool for cheating is always intriguing, like the mysterious tools lined up in the old science fiction movie lab. The mysterious attraction of such an effector, like a magician or a street performer, was to inspire curiosity of musicians and engineers to create a variety of new sounds.

In technical terms, an effector is a “box that changes sound”. And it’s not just “changing”, it’s a box that “simulates” something. The reverb simulates a variety of sounds, the delay simulates a maverick, and the distortion simulates the distortion of an amplifier. And as long as it is a simulation, an effector has the limit of “It can not exceed the real thing”. In that sense, most of the effectors are incomplete, according to the producer’s intention for perfect simulation. Many of the effectors created in the late 60’s and 70’s, especially the golden age, were far from unfinished due to the technological limitations of the time. However, only the unfinished part has been supported by musicians and engineers as “a sound different from the real thing,” a sound that can only be produced by the effector.

The fuzz that tried to create amp distortion was eventually used by lead guitarists as an effector that creates much more aggressive distortion than the amp. Even for the producers, even the small boxes that have not been completed yet, the transformation of the musicians and engineers’ ideas has transformed the new sound into a magic box to create.

The rapid development of effectors since the 60’s is closely related to the change of popular music from live music to record. In particular, rock musicians considered the record to be a new art form created by studio recording, unlike traditional music. So they went to the studio day and night and repeated various experiments using effectors. As a result of such trial and error, the setting and usage of the effector that they came up with did not necessarily correspond to the correct usage that the producer of the effector intended. There were a lot of uses that the producers would use to scream when they heard it, such as “kick the spring reverb with feet”, “pass vocals through distortion” and “turn the reverb with noise gates”. In other words, with regard to effectors, the correct usage is not very meaningful. Rather, it may be the only one who seems to be the royal road of the effector-master to create a sound that the producer could not even predict, in a beating setting.

By the middle of the 90’s, a new generation of digital technologies called plug-in effects and modeling came into play, and the world of effectors has undergone considerable change. A plug-in effect is an effect that reproduces computer software and can be used in hard disk recording software on a computer. Although this changed the way the effector was used in the studio in some ways, it did not change the essence of the effector. The biggest impact on the world of effectors is modeling technology.

Modeling is a technology that attempts to reproduce musical instruments and effectors from the characteristics of materials, structures, circuits, and parts using the processing power of high-speed computers, which is like CG in the world of video It may be better if you think.

With this new technology, the difference between the sound of “real” and digital effector simulation has become inaudible even for professional musicians. As a result, anyone can easily try the sounds of vintage expensive and rare effectors and guitar amps that were not easily obtained before. This looks like something to be welcomed by musicians in a way.

But one thing I want you to keep in mind is that what is being reproduced by modeling is just the sounds and settings that someone has already used. If you’re looking for an original sound that no one else has ever tried, first messing around with the crap magic box you have before you consider replacing it with the latest modeling effects. It may be better to start by defeating and creating an original sound that you have never heard of. Then one day when you become a famous player, that sound may become a preset for your next modeling effector.

The attitude during playing also affects the quolity of the sound

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When you play an instrument, one of the things you need to be especially careful about is attitude.

Because the performer’s body is also a part of the instrument to make it sound, the posture also has a great influence on the sound.

There is a traditionally correct attitude for playing the piano when playing the piano and for playing the violin when playing the violin. The attitude is not for the good looks and the ease of playing from the audience, but all for the better sounding.

If it compares, it is the same thing as the “type” of traditional Japanese performing arts such as Noh and Kabuki. All traditionally inherited types have meaning and are passed from parent to child, from child to grandchild. The basic theory to convey the mind to the audience for more advanced performance is inlaid. Even if you do something new that will open up the times, you need to learn the basic types first.

The attitude in classical music is also a type, and it is something that must be worn by the eyes of each instrument / song.

Technology is essential for playing an instrument. However, even if you improve only the technology, you will never be able to perform wonderfully to impress the audience.

What does playing a musical instrument mean playing music? Is it an act with a purpose?

I think that “exchange of life energy”.

When people who are physically and physically fulfilling and very energetic play the piano, those who are listening will also become well. That is because the performers’ mind is transmitted to the listener through music.

The music contains the composer’s energy. It is the mission of the performer to capture the energy of the composer and play the instrument to transfer the energy to the space and the audience.

When you touch true art, you can be struck by lightning and feel happy as if it were rising to the heavens through the works of art such as music and painting, by composers and painters It is because you receive energy. The bodies of composers and painters do not already exist in this world, but they can provide many people with their life energy. That is true art. That’s why art is great and wonderful.

So, when you play an instrument, you want to be aware of “your own mind” and how to convey the mind of the composer who made the music, not just looking at technology alone. Then, you will know how to play the music by yourself.

The number of followers does not guarantee credit.

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When the net increased in strength, a new phenomenon occurred again. The former mass media began to choose “people who are focused on the net” as the sender. Televisions, newspapers, books, and etc… are now used as speakers for people who earn “interest” on the net, such as “number of page views on blog”, “number of followers on Twitter”, and “number of friends on Facebook”. When the old media were eaten by the Internet at the time, profitability was deteriorating. The numbers that show net interest have come to be used as a forecast indicator of how much “selling” (viewing rates, number of purchases, and etc…) you can earn. Specifically, in the publishers’ meeting, which determines the availability of the plan, numbers on the net such as “the number of page views on blog” and “the number of followers on Twitter” are often emphasized as “reference figures for forecasting sales”. In other words, online value judgment has flowed into old media.

However, as a matter of fact, numbers do not guarantee quality. It is not always the case that the sender with high net interest index emits “high quality speech”. There is no correlation between the two, as high net-interested senders send more accurate facts. Rather, some of the sendors say, “ flaming (internet) marketing “, “We’re going to show off arrogant distractions and complaints that are likely to cause repulsion, and contents that are contrary to the facts, and draw attention and earn numbers.”

In this way, as the index of “net attention” spreads to the old media side, the senders of the old media side are also mixed with boulders. The classification of “professional speechist from high literacy class” or “popular person” as in the pre-Internet era disappeared. You can see the phenomenon that “experts” say something out of the question, that “journalist” is not the fact, and just say the opinion instead of the fact, etc. on a daily basis.

The standards are confused as to how much the sender should be trusted. The confusion is not only the Internet. The same is true for the old media side, where the Internet’s value standard has flowed in principle. Whether you are a real speaker or a message on the old media, you do not know whether you can trust it as a fact unless you scrutinize what you say. It was such a bothersome time.

A way to suspect information senders

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There are too many information senders. If it is the exact fact, anyone can say.

On the other hand, the confusing thing is that the number of “senders” has exploded in the age of the Internet. In addition, they claim that they have “predominance” that many say. In some cases, “parties” and “witnesses” may claim to be sending information directly. Some have argued that literacy is high, such as “experts” and “researchers”. However, many of them are “self-proclaimed”, so we don’t know what to trust. We have to check it ourselves. How should this problem be solved?

In the old media era, the number of people who can transmit information in mass media was limited. A company employee based on a lifetime employment system that belongs to a mass media company such as newspaper, television, radio, and publishing company. Scholars, researchers, lawyers, critics, novelists, etc. who are given a chance to speak to such mass media. It was “professional speechist” who is a profession to say in mass media in all. Mainly “high literacy layer”. On the other hand, there were actors, singers, musicians, talents, and etc. who can appear in mass media by “popularity” and “notice”.

Mass media companies acted as gatekeepers to select “senders”. “You can trust this person on the premise that it is a fact,” they promised to readers and viewers. They screened the credibility. As expected, publishers and newspapers have secured the credibility of senders as “organizations”. So, even now, when a weekly magazine article or TV show is accused of defamation, publishers and television stations will be sued with the author. The responsibility of such mass media companies and organizations is called “editing responsibility”.

In addition, human resources (actors, singers, musicians, talents, and etc.) who say, “This person is a popular person but not a person who expects the accuracy of facts” have revealed such attributes. The media and fields to be posted were divided and packaged for the reader. For example, in critics of politics and economics, readers demand accuracy. We do not ask for nude photos at the beginning of the weekly photos and sports newspaper. There was such “indication of the credibility level by a package”. Readers and viewers also understood such “display” in a long time.

If readers and viewers see that “a mass media company guarantees the sender’s credit” from the viewpoint of readers and viewers, it will be recognized that people whose speech is posted in mass media are considered to be highly trusted. Therefore, it was a privilege to be chosen by mass media. It was also the privilege of mass media companies to decide “who should be the sender.”

However, no one on the Internet needs to be “chosen.” If you decide that you want to “speak publicly”, you can just upload your own blog, SNS, or YouTube and write your own statement or expression. That’s it. Thus, the mass media’s “privilege of choosing a sender” has disappeared. At the same time, the “privileges that are selected” for the sender also disappeared.

Conversely, “organizations and gatekeepers that secure credit” and “packages that display credit level” have disappeared.