December 21, 2017

Taketomi IslandDSD 11.2 / PCM 192 - 24 Field Surround Recording and Music Production

The Sound of Taketomi Island Okinawa
DSD 11.2 / PCM 192 - 24 Field Surround Recording and Music Production

Mick Sawaguchi C. E. O UNAMAS-Label


In the high-res music production UNAMAS-Label, we have produced 5 albums so far with the concept of "surround scape" which collaborated with music surround and field recording which is my author's life work. 
This album is the sixth album, and the recording was done at "Taketomi-Island" on part of Yaeyama Islands OKINAWA from February 13 to 16, 2017. This island is also famous as an island that carefully inherits the traditional culture of the Yaeyama region, such as many folk songs, old songs, performing arts, traditions and customs. In this album, we planned the recording of roots music  that paerforme with San-shin and Vocal mainly about Taketomi Island and spent all the day we performed field recordings at midnight when we finish music recording at day time since became quiet. 
Recording is aimed at ecological music production and it is compact, but since it did PCM-192-24 surround and DSD 11.2 direct 2CH recording for the first time as practical use, we will introduce a backstage behind it.

1 Geography and culture of Taketomi-Island

Taketomi island is the small island on the left of Ishigaki-jima Island.

As you can see from the map, it is located in the Yaeyama Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, and from Ishigakijima, the center of the Yaeyama region, a population of 365 people (about 6 km) on a high speed ship with a speedboat (about 6 km). The flat island made from raised coral reefs leaves the original landscape of Okinawa like the red tile in the flat shop, the stone wall in the coral, the white sandy road that crushed the coral, and now it is said that it came to "Ryukyu-Landscape" anywhere in Okinawa It is a scenery that makes me realize that. The whole is designated as Iri-omote Ishigaki National Park as "an island of cultural landscape fostered by the natural environment", and the largest coral reef in Japan, stone reef lake, spreads to the west. 
In 1986, the "Taketomi-Charter" based on the conscience of the residents was enacted and the five principles for protecting the landscape and nature of the island were stated as "not selling", "not soiling", "not disturbing", "not breaking", "living" It is an island where local governance by residents is established.

 2 field recording  

2-1 Recent Trends 
Field recording is not limited to 2CH stereo recording such as stereo and dummy head recording, and recording in various surrounds is also done. The big chance is mainly a system using a one-point surround microphone and a portable recorder compatible with 4CH ~ 8CH from the needs of 3D sound such as VR AR. In 3D surround field recording, there is no decision as to what kind of miking is effective, but everyone who is doing 3D field recording devises themselves and combines 4 recorders with 2CH built-in microphones in upper and lower arrays 8CH recording .Or We can see examples of real 4CH ~ 8CH microphone arrays assembled from upper and lower.

A one-point surround microphone corresponding to a new AMBISONIC has appeared, as this trend of 3D sound boosted also to the one point surround microphone applying the AMBISONIC coding technology that was used mainly in Europe. In the United States, a brisk manufacturer called Eigenmik has released a 32-channel one-point microphone, and a well-established Sennheiser also released a new product of a one-point surround microphone too.

2-2 Field recording in Taketomi Island 

The authors' field recording system does not record natural sounds as ambience, but from the feeling that we want to record surround sound as a realistic sound image, the main microphone is based on 4CH which used the Sanken CUW-180 XY one-point microphone for the front and rear I am doing it. CUW - 180 has exclusive basket - type windshield + windjammer, so it is safe even at the beach and so on. Since products of other companies do not have heavey duty windshield accessories that have kept their attention to it, we must search for a draft shield that conforms to the specifications separately. The recorder is a 4CH recorder called SONOSAX SX - R4 based on the recording in 192 - 24. Late night recording scenery is like this.

 In the recent ZOOM F - 8CH recorder etc, the internal memory is up to 512 GB and its capacity is large and safe for long - term field recording, but the SX - R 4 is a type that mirrors the 60 GB memory with HD and CF so long - range location It is necessary to bring a PC separately and back up the data and empty the memory.

In field recording in surround, we have to find a point where it is likely to be able to record a uniform sound field at 360 degrees, not only in the front, so we did a location scouting in Taketomi Island during the day to find out where the sound is Keep on going to the site late at night I recorded.  where the traffic (from the high speed boat using Ishigaki Island as a hub flies to the Yaeyama Islands every 30 minutes so that the engine sound roars throughout the island and you can not record during the day!) Since it is flatland coral reef raised island, I fixed 2 deferent locationpoints.

● Beach of coral reef rocky beach and sandy beach behind a tree.
● Tree trees and winds they were deco, banyan mullet, banana field is.

Surround miking at the beach How to capture the sound of the beach is the person who records. The author prefers a sound field that brings out equipment up to the offshore a little bit if it is a shallow beach and like a sound field where the waves expand at 360 degrees, but the coast of Taketomi Island has many coarse rocks of coral reefs I installed a microphone on the edge and lowered the front toward the waves and the rear microphone aimed at the reflected sound of the waves facing upward. In another place, the back of the sand beach was trees with trees, so the front and rear were same level with the front, the front was a wave sound, and the rear recorded the contrast such as the wind sound of the trees and the voice of the local owl.

A tree roaring In the trees with thick leaves of Deago and mangroves, we found equipment surrounded by trees, set up the equipment at the point where you can hear the wind and trees roaring at 360 degrees, and both the front and rear It is installed upward. In the banana field and prairie, etc, I recorded with aiming at the sound the leaves shake. With a combination of independent microphones that are not a one-point microphone, it is advantageous to have a change degree of freedom from horizontal installation to upward, downward, or a combination of these depending on the situation of such a recording location. The photos to introduce are mostly photographs taken during the day's location hall, but please refer to it.

 3DSD 11.2 Direct 2 CH and PCM 4 CH Music Recording 

Roots music of Taketomi Island has a simple composition of basic Three lines San-Shin and songs, but this time, Mr. Maki and Yamazaki of the line producer have changed Ocarina, Flute, Ohayashi and Taiko We recorded a total of 11 songs at the public hall . In addition to the 192-24 PCM recording by Pyramix DAW which I constantly use, this time, the system prepared by music recording is DSD 11.2 direct 2CH recording by RME's new product ADI - 2 Pro I did it in parallel. The recording system diagram is shown below.

 My Miking of PCM recording is the main Sanken CO - 100 KX 2 CH + Ambience Sanken CUW - 180 X 1 2 CH This is eventually records a lot of air feeling like natural sound surround . One DSD 11.2 is a simple configuration of direct DSD recording from the interface of RME ADI - 2 PRO using unidirectional A - B pair BLUE Bottle Rocketx 2 so as to be established only by music. Especially regarding Asadoya-Yunta , listening to the story of Mr. Maki that all songs have not been recorded due to time limitation so far, let's record all the songs I made a complete recording up to the 23rd peace.

Music by
Shinobu Maki (Vocal, Sanshin, Dora)

Yukie (Flute, Ocarina, Hayashi)

Tadashi Nehara (Taiko, Hayashi)

01 Asadoya-Yunta
02 Toebalerma
03 Takidun-Watashi

04 Michi-Uta
05 Densa-Fushi
06 Syonkane-Guwa

07 Medetai-Fushi
08 Akatasundunchi
09 Nuchigafununigai

10 Tukinukaisya
11 Asadoya-Yunta with Ohayashi

4 From the one stop editing in the same DAW of the DSD file to MIX 

There was not a standard work flow which can produce one stop from the recording to the final master so far for the DSD recorded sound source. (If you record with DXD from the beginning, you can complete it with a one stop.) Therefore, experienced people also give various wisdom in how to compromise with sound tracks recorded by multitrack, editing OK take of music, reverb addition and processing It is the present situation that it is. Since it was upgraded to Pyramix ver-10, it became possible to create a DSD master with a one-stop workflow with the following two types.

Proposed-01 All done with PCM DXD converted final data, converted to DSD by DSD converter 

Proposal-02 At the stage of MIX DOWN, use the "CD- SA. CD data creation" function, create the required file format at a stroke by using the function "Album Publishing" in Generate CD Image . 

In the case of original recording with DSD, we used the plan -02 to create DSD data in one stroke using "album publishing" function, 


In accordance with the diversifying listening style, the distribution master provides files using 2H and MQA coding files as well as binaural coding technology HPL for headphone audiences, in addition to surround . 

In Japan, from e-onkyo music also,worldwide, 
https: // 
furthermore DSD 2CH master will be released from RME Premium Record and MQA-CD as OTTAVA so please enjoy in various formats . 

Contigo en La Distancia " 192-24 9ch Immersive Surround Production BTS

"Contigo en La Distancia ~ even if far away ~"
192-24 9ch Immersive Surround Production BTS

By Mick Sawaguchi C.E.O UNAMAS Label. Mick Sound Lab

"Contigo en La Distancia ~ even if far away ~" of the Hi-Res music production label
RME Premium Recordings operated by Synthax Japan was released on June 20, 2017.
In this work, recording with the violin and Apf 's duo formation album using Gut strings was done at the Mitaka Art and Cultural Center "Wind Hall" on November 29 - 30, 2016.
I participated as an engineer in the production of RME Premium Recordings,
so I will introduce behind the scenes of 9CH Surround Production in "Wind Hall".

This Album has awarded The 24th JAPAN MUSIC RECORDING AWARD as Grand Prize and Best Mastering Studio by Hi-Res Surround category on 6th December TOKYO JAPAN.


1-2 Naoki Kita Profile 

After graduating from Kunitachi College of Music,
Then studied under tango violinist Fernando Suarez Paz in Argentina.
After that, joined Kirin Tsunodetsu [gt], Yuji Tsuyoshi (oud), Keigo Minigawa (Vc) and so on.
Starting from 2011, He will start Kita Naoki Kita Quartet as the main project.
The unique world created by the fusion of tango and various music is highly appreciated by its deep spirituality. Majority also participated in the project of Toru Saito (Cb) focusing on improvisation. Collaboration with dancer and Asian traditional music player, there are many performances activities in Europe.

1-3 Nobumasa Tanaka Profile 

Starting at the age of 4, he changed to a classical piano at the age of 16, including an electronic organ.
Department of Music, Kunitachi College of Music. Studied classical piano with Yuko Odan, jazz piano with Eiichi Fujii, Kazuko Hashimoto, Masahiko Sato.
1993 Yokohama Jazz Promenade was awarded the Grand Prix and Individual Prize Best Player Award at the first competition. The freedom and improvised performances that we create with co-stars are not only in Jazz format but also in various ways. The solo piano by original and original arrangement is highly evaluated as unparalleled one and only performance. Beginning in 2014.

2 Production Concept
2-1 ART
Leader Naoki Kita is a person who is approaching taking Jazz's improvisation in mind while tango as a base and spreading free image. Tanaka Nobumasa is a Jazz pianist and has a reputation for accompaniment of songs. In this work, it is a Duo album that supports the supple music of Latin American tango and bossa nova with free improvisation like Kita style.

The balance is determined depending on what kind of dialogue the two people will talk about how to understand the performance of the duet. Are they bumping energy with each other equally? Or are you expressing yourself by point while sustaining the reed instruments? This time, I chose the latter relationship. How can I express these two people in the hall? 

I participated in a rehearsal held before recording and examined the design drawing of the sound field. "Noble Son Whistling a Flute on a Single Boat on the Lake Surface in the early morning" That was the image of this time. In other words, it is a composition called Vn as a spot on a slightly larger Apf that incorporates a lot of sounding of the hall. Based on this, we set up the placement of the stage and the miking.


The RME - MICPRE - MADI transmission, which is familiar even in UNAMAS production as a
classical hall recordings. The main digital microphone KM - 133D this time, 3 Apf L - R - C, 2 Gut string Vn close pairs, Ls - Rs and top height microphones are CO-100K and CUW-180. Also EMC noise treatments and equipments of the stage and monitor room supply from the all battery.

If it is just a normal stereo recording, arrange such that the main microphone is installed slightly from the somewhat downward to the center position, with the arrangement of Apf slightly badly behind the stage, adhering to the general concert format and pointing towards the stage Vn It will be considered.
However, since the whole sound field in this work is based on 2CH - 5CH - 9CH,
I thought that I wanted to establish the line of L - C - R in parallel with the stage, not diagonally.
This work is an improvisation incorporating the Jazz essence, I thought that arranging the breaths in the same way, looking at each other's eyes, so I thought that it would be nice to arrange the breath so I put it somewhat before the usual concert stage arrangement Let Vn be the place where the pianist and the line of sight oppose behind Apf. This was also asked to Mr.Kita of Vn who participated in the preliminary inspection at the venue beforehand, and Vn also performed the test at the place, so it would be fine. It was confirmed that I was able to implement it.

The Vn of Gut strings is very delicate, and in ordinary live recording etc.,
With a contact microphone attached. However, because it is a session recording at the precious hall, I will set up a digital mic to capture the detail of the Gut string.

How do you realize 9CH height surround with duet? The "wind hall" had the reverberation time of 1.8 seconds at the time of vacancy, and had the same characteristics as Karuizawa Ohga Hall, which are the fixed point of UNAMAS label recordings. When I rehearsed I tried to listen to the sound by moving the audience seat but it was a very uniform spreading characteristic. I planned to install a microphone for the height at the second floor, but I heard the rehearsal and the volume of the Gat string was so soft, that I could not record S / N well in the reverberation, I changed point that the stage end Height mics which aims at audience seats. 
Ls-Rs is Sanken CO-100 K x 2, Top Front-L.R Top Rear Ls.Rs is CUW-180 x 2.

We used Apf diffusion panel this time. Because I wanted to fly Apf's extended sound to the hall. I used it also in the Ohga Hall where I recorded the previous work "Dimensions" but I installed a silk diffuser made by Acoustic Revive under the piano. Mr. Yasushi Yasuda, who was in charge of tuning, was also interested in "I'd like to use it at a concert."

3 2CH / 5CH / HPL-9 / MQA production
The number of recording channels this time is 12CH. Since MIX independently according to each format,
so-called DOWN MIX is not done. Especially 2CH MIX uses only the minimum necessary microphone, because phase interference will occur when all microphones are used and the sound becomes muddy.
Then 9CH MIX follows 5CH MIX and MIX is done with less CH number. Some people do 9CH and 5CH first and then 2CH MIX in the last, I think that which one is not the correct answer, I am starting from 2CH MIX, because It is easy to check the balance of each CH collectively, so I started with 2CH MIX.

Since surround MIX produces sounds from all CHs, it may be misunderstood to balance the channel's satisfaction by itself. The localization of this duet is only ambience of the hall because the real sound is only at the front, so surround will be. Vn recorded with a narrow A - B pair, so I stereo a little inside with L - C - R pan and spill a little real sound to the hard center. Vn can be localized to the hard center with a real sound monaural if recording a monaural of Vn with a single monaural, but in this work I recorded it with an A - B pair in order to capture the detail of the Gut string.

We will create an HPL format for binaural rendering when the master of 5CH and 9CH is completed, but this time we will verify which one of 5CH master and 9CH master is binary rendered and effective for headphone playback We asked RME Premium Recordings to listen to the sound source that was test rendered in two types and we got opinions and finally we made binaural rendering from 9CH master and made it HPL-9.

As for MQA coding, this work was also released as MQA-CD from OTTAVA Records 192-24 2CH master converted to 176.4-24 of the CD family on the Pyramix, which sent data converted to MQA 44.1-16 Flac.
After receiving the data, after that, it creates a DDP file, which is an ordinary routine and becomes a CD press. The point to note is that once MQA Flac has become data it will not do any process afterwards. Be sure to do everything before MQA encoding and once you have MQA data, do not do anything! It is a point to note.

4 DSD 11.2 /PCM 768 KHz direct recording by first trial ADI - 2 PRO

In this recording, recording was performed at DSD11.2 and PCM 768 kHz as test operation using the ADI - 2 Pro that was compatible with DSD 's recording and playback for the first time as RME,
and was done by Syntax Japan. Stereo one point microphone (Blue Microphones) standing on the stage is transmitted to the control room as it is, recorded by two ADI - 2 Pro.
It was recorded as a document to verify the difference in sound quality between DSD and PCM.
The results of these tests are realized in the form of releasing from RME Premium Recordings as the
DSD 11.2 first album in roots music recording in Okinawa Taketomijima half a year later.

There are also three PVs on YouTube, so please have a look.

Production staff
Recording Date 29th-30th November 2016 at Mitaka KAZE-Hall
Producer Naoki Kita
A&R Michiko Mikata
Venue Organizer Seiji Murai
Recording Engineer: Mick Sawaguchi
Assistant Engineer Tomomi Aibara
Mix/Mastering Mick Sawaguchi

Recording Equipment:
Digital Mic KM-133D as MainMic (Sennheiser JAPAN K.K) Sanken CO-100KX2 Sanken CUW-180X2
MADI Rec by RME DMC 842/Micstasy M/MAD face XT/Fireface UFX+/MADI Router (Synthax Japan Inc)
DAW: Pyramix V-10 192-24 Rec-Master. Magix Sequoia V-13

Peripheral Facility: Kiyotaka Miyashita (JINON)
Battery Power Supply: PowerYIILE PLUS (ELIIYPower
Cover Photographer: Toru Tsuji Photographer: Tadao Hosomi
Art director: Nao Masaki (Lifedeco)
Designer: Koichi Fujimoto (fujimotogumi)
Special Thanks: Ryuichi Sasaki (OTTAVA) Norman Renger (Pixel Arranger)

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