June 12th, 2012 No comments
Eight months after the disaster of March 11, 2011, we visited Ishinomaki and interviewed survivors rebuilding their lives. We condensed these interviews into a 15 minute
film, Then and Now, and posted it online. As a direct result, over 20,000 US dollars in funds and supplies have been delivered to Tohoku. But we’re not done yet.
Then and Now is one of 50 semi-finalists in the Youtube, Your Film Festival competition, and you can help us get to the next round.
Please follow the link above and vote for our film: Then and Now.
The top 10 films will be screened at the Venice Film Festival and even more people around the world will have a chance to hear everyone’s stories. Please visit this site and place a vote!
Help us support our friends in Ishinomaki and all over Tohoku!
Help us get our film in the top 10. You can vote once a day so please vote every day!
November 23rd, 2011 No comments
On November 24th and December 1st, we are going to have two nights of
amazing music for Tohoku relief at What The Dickens in Ebisu.
The Heart & Soul – Benefit Concerts
Nov. 24 (Ethnic Night): Featuring Rain in Eden / The Annubhava Orchestra /
Sag Chana / Rolling Hill / Bellydancers: Suiren, Nao, Lily
Time: 7 PM
Place: What The Dickens in Ebisu http://www.whatthedickens.jp/
Charge: 2,000 yen
Dec. 1 (Rock Night): Featuring The Eric Jacobsen Band / Samm Bennett /
Squeaky Brakes / Pre-Emptive Peace
Time: 7 PM
Place: What The Dickens in Ebisu http://www.whatthedickens.jp/
Charge: 2,000 yen
The proceeds from these two concerts will also go to aid relief in the
In between performances, we will be playing songs from Heart & Soul -
Silk Road Relief for Japan a 2 album compilation of music generously
donated by artists from all across the silk road to support the ongoing
effort to rebuild Tohoku. It is available for digital download at
http://www.h-arts.net/silk-road-relief/ and all proceeds from sales are
being donated to Tohoku.
The Human Arts Experience
May 12th, 2011 No comments
This Saturday, May 14th at 5 PM, Sag Chana is going to be performing live from Studio J and streaming on Ustream.
They are an amazing band with a very original sound. You can download their tune Silent River (recorded at Studio J) at http://www.studio-j.jp/en/free-music-downloads/
You can also hear more on MySpace
and buy their album on iTunes
March 29th, 2011 No comments
April 2 (Sat) at Tokyo Women Plaza Hall
OPEN 4:00PM START 4:30PM
FEE: Adv. 3,500JPY Door 4,000JPY
*Children age 6 to 12: Adv. 2,000JPY/Door 2,500JPY
Studio ritam E-MAIL or 03-3408-0527
Sasurai Events E-MAIL or 080-6689-9966
Studio ritam & Sasurai Events proudly present music and dance from the Silk Road.
Mongol, Kyrgyz, Uzbekistan, Iran, Kurdish, Turkey, India…
13+ amazing ethnic musicians and dancers present a magical evening with fascinating music and dance from the Silk Road.
Let us take you on a journey to the exotic Silk Road!!
・Koji Kijima (Mongolian/Tuvan music)
・Yuzo Hisada (Frame drum)
・Megumi (Hulusi, Uzbek tanbur, daf)
・Kelly Williams (Afghan rubab, Persian setar, tanbur)
・Sana & Shyrien (ritam dancers)
・MADOKA (Persian rubab, Oud)
・Umetbaeva Kalyiman (Kyrgyz music)
・Maysoon & Ayumi (ritam dancers)
March 19th, 2011 No comments
Studio J will be having a Earthquake/Tsunami Relief BBQ party and live Internet broadcast this Sunday March 20th from 1 PM till 6PM.
I thought it would be nice to have a place to meet people and talk about everything that has happened and continues to happen. We will have a BBQ burning in the yard and we have a whole bunch of plastic cups and plates and chopsticks.
So please bring food, whatever you like to drink and an optional donation for the earthquake victims. (All the money we collect will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross). We have a big yard so children are also welcome to come and play. Also, if you play a musical instrument please bring it along, there should be lots of music happening.
We will be broadcasting live during the party (starting around 2 PM) and anyone who is interested can go on the air and tell their personal Earthquake story or send out a message to family and friends overseas. You can also sing a song, read a poem or do anything that you would like to share. If you can’t make it to the party and would like to share something, please send me an email and we will have it read on the air. You can also send a video message. email@example.com
We will also have a page set up for viewers to make donations by credit card or paypal.
Here is the link to the stream.
We are about 1 km from the Kenkyu Gakuen Station. We have parking on the street but in the interests of saving resources, please try to come by train or bicycle.
Here is a map.
Send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or need directions.
Hope to see you on Sunday.
March 17th, 2011 2 comments
I wrote this song for my friend’s baby to help her fall asleep. It is a calm and soothing song that I thought would be appropriate for everyone affected by the Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Japan. Please feel free to download and share this song with anyone who could use some rest and relaxation. If you read this, please send generous donations to the Red Cross or other groups working to help the victims.
March 5th, 2011 No comments
On December 6th, 2010 we recorded our second Microphone Preamp Comparison Test. We were joined by Mayumi Sano on her cello, playing Pauly J’s original song “Maybe Sometimes“. We recorded through a Chandler Limited TG2, a Chandler Limited Germanium, a Chameleon Labs 7602, a Focusrite Red 6, a Grace Design 201, a Sound Devices MP-1 and the onboard preamps on the TC Electronics Konnekt 24D and the Yamaha 02R. It was an interesting selection of preamp types and price ranges. Watch the video below to hear the differences and what we thought about each of the preamps. We welcome feedback and comments.
Download the original recordings as wav files at 24bit/96khz, 16bit/44.1khz using the player below. Listen on your own system and see which microphone preamp you prefer. You can also listen to the full song recorded through our 2 favorite preamps and mixed by Paul Johannesson.
Listen to the full version of ”Maybe Sometimes” by Pauly J.
March 1st, 2011 No comments
Twenty six years in the making, I first wrote “You’re There” when I was going to college at UMass Amherst in 1985. It started with the current guitar riff but with a completely different chorus. I used to play it with my band “Closing Time” on electric guitar. The new chorus came to me one day during a practice session with my band “Dr. J and the Elements” in Tokyo about 7 years ago. It was transformed into a bilingual song 2 years ago when I asked Jun Hayasaka to write some Japanese lyrics for it when we performed it at a session open mic at East of Eden in Tsukuba. We laid down initial tracks in October 2009 with Hayasaka on Guitar and Vocals, Jeffrey on Bass and Vocals and Shintaro Inada on Drums. Jeffrey later added piano, acoustic guitars and strings and it sat on the hard disk for a year or so. We re-recorded vocals in December of 2010 and Mark Donaldson added electric guitars all the way from Ireland. Mark’s playful guitars were the missing element that brought “You’re There” alive. Now, after Twenty six years, it’s ready for the world. We hope you enjoy it!
Listen to a sample below and get the full version on CDBaby or iTunes.
February 15th, 2011 No comments
We received another package from the Audio Angel today. A firewire cable specially designed for audio applications. If you remember from the Angels first visit, he wrapped the special white shielding material around the standard issue firewire cable that connected the Mac to the Konnect 24 audio interface. It made a substantial difference in the sound quality and opened my eyes to the fact that data cables also have an affect on the sound.
I first listened to a new song that I recorded last night so it was still fresh in my mind. I was literally shocked by the difference. It was like everything suddenly opened up. Like a veil had been lifted from the speakers and the ceiling on the high-end had been raised out of site. The sound was incredibly realistic and natural. Just replacing the firewire cable made it sound like a new and improved system.
I then listened to the playlist. The tracks sounded much more open but not as strikingly different as the recording I made yesterday. Perhaps, my ears were already acclimated to the improved quality. However, there were some very major differences in the sound. The tracks seemed less compressed, as if the attacks where being effortlessly transmitted through the system and into my ears. Most noticeable on female vocals, it was almost as if the singers stopped pushing their voices, the sound seemed to just smoothly slide out of the speakers and into my ears. So this is how Sarah McLachlan really sounds. Beautiful! It was like her voice was floating effortlessly on the song. More aggressive sounds like drums, percussion, guitars and bass sounded clearer with “uncompressed” attacks. Almost as if someone took a compressor out of the stereo bus.
For comparison, I listened to the playlist with the old firewire cable. Up until 30 minutes ago, this was the ultimate firewire cable, wrapped in the magic white material. No longer so. The clear wide open sound that I was so happy with, now sounded comparatively dark and compressed. To clarify, it still sounded great, just not quite as great.
So, if the firewire cable makes a difference on the output, my guess is that it will have a profound effect on the input as well. Next step is to try a recording. The mics and preamps have not been moved since last night. Time for another take of the same song.
The lullabye song, guitar and vocals. My voice is rough but the playback noticeably different. The vocals are much clearer and the guitar more defined, with strong base that isn’t boomy. We generally associate clarity with a boost in the treble. The interesting thing about the enhanced clarity is that the treble is not being boosted, the noise and distortion in the high end go away and leave room for the high end to come out.
The final test was to record “Sarah Maria” through both firewire cables. First through the new cable then through the old one. Listened to playback through the old cable and the difference was very clear. Much higher definition and clarity with the new cable. Being able hear the difference through the old cable means that the difference in quality will be noticeable on lower end systems.
Here at the 5th Audio Angel article, with each one getting harder to write, I think it is time to share my personal experience of the effects of the Audio Angel. Every article, I am talking about how the sound has improved. And…each time it has. Before his first visit, I was confident that the sound was excellent. And it was…. we made some amazing recordings and everyone who came was more than happy with the sound. Already great sound.
The audio angel taught me and continues to teach me that the sound can get better, and once you experience “better”, the previous amazing sound no longer sounds as good. It’s a very strange experience to hear the new, clearer sound and then listen back to the previous sound, that was once the clearest sound you had ever heard, and think that it nows sounds dark and even distorted. I am just realizing now that the audio angel is not just upgrading my system, he is upgrading my ears and expanding my consciousness.
Once you take a step into a larger world, you will never see the world you used to see, in the same way.
February 1st, 2011 1 comment
On December 5th, 2010 we recorded our first Microphone Preamp Comparison Test. We were joined by Okayan on his acoustic guitar, playing his original song “Rainbow Dew”. We recorded through a Chandler Limited TG2, a Chandler Limited Germanium, a Chameleon Labs 7602, a Focusrite Red 6, a Grace Design 201, a Sound Devices MP-1 and the onboard preamps on the TC Electronics Konnekt 24D and the Yamaha 02R. It was an interesting selection of preamp types and price ranges. Watch the video below to hear the differences and what we thought about each of the preamps. We welcome feedback and comments.
Download the original recordings as wav files at 24bit/96khz, 16bit/44.1khz using the player below. Listen on your own system and see which microphone preamp you prefer. You can also listen to and download the full song recorded through our 2 favorite preamps and mixed by Jeffrey Jousan.