Japanese and or Anime music?
Sep 11, 2009 at 12:58 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

Carceroth

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well this is an interesting thing I have always listened to a lot of different genres of music. and have recently discovered anime and Japanese music (Jrock Jpop whatever you call it). So I downloaded a couple of albums from my favorite anime and they were high quality 320 kbps files so they sounded pretty good with my um3x's.

But when I put the pop EQ setting on my iPod touch the singer suddenly gained a strange crackle and its still barely there without the EQ. Now I don't know if it was the headphones or the mp3 or the iPod. or maybe its just that anime/Japanese music doesn't have much effort put into the mastering and recording as american artists/studios do?
I wonder because I like a lot of this kind of music but would be saddened if the recordings just sucked

BTW the song in question was a character image song from an anime called K-ON!
Jajauma Way To Go-Taketatsu Ayana
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 1:02 AM Post #2 of 17

Scott_Tarlow

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buy FLCL volume 1(soundtrack).
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 1:55 AM Post #3 of 17

fuseboxx

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I've noticed that most Japanese albums I've heard sound really loud compared to the other music I listen to.

When I pass most of these through ReplayGain, it usually results in -10db AT LEAST while most of the other stuff I listen to gets normalized by -5db AT MOST

I'm not sure how that contributes to the discussion, tbh... but I'm just throwing it out there
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 2:01 AM Post #4 of 17

Head Injury

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Hi. I'm new here. I've been lurking for a month and never registered. But for some reason your thread convinced me to! I think it's because I had a similar experience.

I went on an anime music kick one time, and had the K-On opening and ending song because I thought they were great the first time I heard them (and they ended up being the highlight of the show, in the end). This was with my old headphones. They sounded great.

Then I got my current Grado SR60i and fixed my bad habit of listening with X-Fi's surround sound stuff, and I now find them unlistenable, the ending in particular. Tons of clipping, perfectly even loudness with no dynamic, the worst victim of the Loudness War that I've heard. That's when I kind of cursed my newfound interest in audiophilism, then promptly deleted the files.

Your thread (and the fact that your songs are K-On-related specifically) got me interested in looking up exactly HOW clipped and loud they were. So I downloaded a temporary copy of the ending song real quick and threw it into Audacity along with another J-Rock song (Rolling Star by Yui. If you like J-Rock look her up. Seriously). Then for comparison I tossed in one of the songs from one of the jazz CDs I picked up in a garage sale last weekend, expecting it to be as well-mastered as to be expected. Here's what I got:

dynamics.jpg


So, to answer your question of whether or not all J-Rock sucks, or if it's just the production geniuses behind K-On, the answer is:

BOTH!

Seems like the Japanese producers of modern music are just as obsessed, or even more so, with the Loudness War than American producers. Looking at the Yui song, you get the loudest dB possible and a relatively even sound, although there are some dynamics in certain parts. I don't think it clips much, though, as it sounds okay to me. With the K-On song you get a total brickwall of sound, the worst I've seen in Audacity (although I don't have Metallica's Death Magnetic to compare it to
biggrin.gif
). And when you listen to it, there's noticeable clipping and lots of mess caused by complex instrumentation all leveled off at the same volume. It almost LOOKS painful, let alone SOUNDS so. I can't imagine the rest of the K-On songs are leaps and bounds better, plus (this being totally my opinion) I can't imagine a lot of effort goes into a Character CD song at any stage of production. Then there's the jazz piece, which is far below the 100dB mark, and both looks and sounds dynamic as jazz and classical should.

And as much as I love The Pillows Scott_Tarlow (which is a lot, as they're one of my favorite bands), they're no better. I don't have a picture of it, but I threw their song Instant Music into Audacity and was met with a wall the likes of K-On. Only it doesn't sound like it when played because it probably evades clipping every other note. I've found after getting the SR60i that Pillows songs have what sounds like a thick haze over them, like they're muted, which is a lot like how K-On sounded. Probably the mushy blending of instruments all set to the same volume? Still good music though.

Now to go post somewhere else maybe?
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 2:26 AM Post #5 of 17

Carceroth

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sad cause I have over 5 gigs of anime music that I used to absolutely LOVE when I listened to it on my old super.fi 4's and its one of the only types of music besides jazz that I listen to anymore. I only recently got my um3x's and am regretting it only because it makes me realize that they are too good for my terrible music collection and I only have a scattered few other types of music...

maybe its not all that bad compared to the Jonas brothers or lady gaga I will keep listening to it I just need to branch out some more
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 4:38 AM Post #6 of 17

RedSky0

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There's a bunch of really well recorded anime music that isn't really jpop/rock styled at all. Basically anything by Yoko Kanno and a bunch of other albums.

Check out the OSTs for:

Ghost in the Shell
Cowboy Bebop
The Place Promised in Our Early Days
Grave of the Fireflies
Samurai Champaloo
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 4:57 AM Post #7 of 17

Mystere9

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I've been suspecting for a while that this might be the case, from the characteristic veiled sound that I could hear on Japanese rock with my MS1s, but your post did make me sad, Head Injury. Maybe I'll keep my Zen V/Sound Magic combo and load that up with all my Japanese rock.

Redsky: 2 of those are Anime from Shinichiro Watanabe, and the other three are generally considered anime masterpieces. I'm glad that at least THEIR soundtracks are fine.
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 5:32 AM Post #8 of 17

DeusEx

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Well, the only thing I listen to that's barely related to anime is Younha (she did one of the bleach endings, so I've heard..)
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 5:35 AM Post #9 of 17

Laokid18

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The Pillows and Asian kung fu generation.
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 6:05 AM Post #10 of 17

Carceroth

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well after listening to the song without the pop EQ the crackle vanished completely. I think that somehow the EQ may have overextended the highs of an already high pitched singer so as to cause the crackle. K-ON may be a brickwall of sound but I can think of quite a few metal bands and even some others that would end up like that if you put it in audacity. I guess what i'm saying is it's all a matter of opinion what a good song is and what a bad song is. You cannot tell how good a song is just by looking a it in a program.
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 7:01 PM Post #11 of 17

Head Injury

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Quote:

Originally Posted by RedSky0
There's a bunch of really well recorded anime music that isn't really jpop/rock styled at all. Basically anything by Yoko Kanno and a bunch of other albums.

Check out the OSTs for:

Ghost in the Shell
Cowboy Bebop
The Place Promised in Our Early Days
Grave of the Fireflies
Samurai Champaloo



Yoko Kanno soundtracks are great. Also, anything by Joe Hisaishi (I think he scores ALL of Miyazaki's movies, plus some series) is great, but that's heading into Classical and less Rock. The Zetsubou Sensei soundtracks are also awesome.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mystere9
I've been suspecting for a while that this might be the case, from the characteristic veiled sound that I could hear on Japanese rock with my MS1s, but your post did make me sad, Head Injury. Maybe I'll keep my Zen V/Sound Magic combo and load that up with all my Japanese rock.


If it's still good music, it doesn't matter. Like Carceroth says:
Quote:

Originally Posted by Carceroth /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I guess what i'm saying is it's all a matter of opinion what a good song is and what a bad song is. You cannot tell how good a song is just by looking a it in a program.


You can't even let a PERSON tell you a song is bad. Loudness be damned, if it's a good song it's still a good song. As long as it doesn't bloody our headphone pads. The mushy quality does make gains in headphone and source quality seem less worthwhile, though. But hey, I'm still playing it out of my X-Fi card. Maybe a better source will clear it up some. Regardless, I can still enjoy my mushy songs.
 
Sep 12, 2009 at 7:21 AM Post #12 of 17

Seamless Sounds

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I extract the vocals from the track and remix with it. Remixing is great
smily_headphones1.gif
Don't have to worry about brickwalls or loudness wars. As soon as I have the funds I'll be building a small home studio where I can make my music the way I want it.

Sad to say almost all the jpop/jrock songs I've heard are brickwalled.
 
Sep 12, 2009 at 9:07 AM Post #13 of 17

yukihiro

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I've noticed that a lot of The Pillows' songs crackle. I've been trying to figure out if that's considered clipping. It really bugs me though. I love their music.

edit: So I just opened some Pillows songs in Audacity and I'm pretty sure it's clipping that I hear... How disappointing. It always annoys me when I hear a bunch of crackling in their songs.
 
Sep 12, 2009 at 5:14 PM Post #14 of 17

Mystere9

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Head Injury /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If it's still good music, it doesn't matter.

You can't even let a PERSON tell you a song is bad. Loudness be damned, if it's a good song it's still a good song. As long as it doesn't bloody our headphone pads. The mushy quality does make gains in headphone and source quality seem less worthwhile, though. But hey, I'm still playing it out of my X-Fi card. Maybe a better source will clear it up some. Regardless, I can still enjoy my mushy songs.



It's precisely because I love them that I was talking about keeping a lo-fi system to play them off of, and I totally agree with you. Still makes me a little sad because I love the melodies themselves, but nothing I can do about recording/mastering quality.
 

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