This is again late report.
In advance of the Charity Live for West Japan Torrent Disaster, ‘For You’, Nami Nakagawa started to produce Charity CD ‘AI (Love)’ for West Japan torrent Disaster and I delivered two songs as composer. The songs are ‘Chikyu-no-Kodomo (Children of the Earth)’ which many artists joined to and ‘Hitori-ja-Nai (Not Alone)’ sung by Nami.
First I composed ‘Hitori-ja-Nai’. Charity song should not be so cool and cutting-edge, so the song is ‘high-road’ ballad. Nami is a really good singer, so I didn’t mind if the melody line can be sung or not. As expected, the song became excellent. And we recorded Nami’s lead vocal in Studio Clef at Tokyo on same day with the recording of ‘Chikyu-no-Kodomo’.
I played the piano, electric bass and electric guitar on ‘Hitori-ja-Nai’ and Yuri Endoh (Twitter: @YuriEndoViolin) played the solo violin in Studio Clef. I used ’90’s Valley Arts guitar, Mesa Boogie Road King amplifier and buzz feiten design Ultralight 212S Cabinet. The purpose is to get clear wide range sound from the guitar. Recorded directly from mic. No stomp boxes. Just audio processing in mix stage. The bass is 5 stringed Crews Maniac Sound Be Bottom ’21L and the bass amplifier is ’66 Ampeg B-15N. Bass was recorded through Radial JDI Passive Direct Box and the dry sound via DI and this dry sound sent to B-15N via Radial Reamp is mixed. In addition, I played LP511 bell tree with LP236D adapter as same as ‘Chikyu-no-Kodomo’. It sounds much, much better than using sampled sound library. This time I used Focusrite ISA One for all recordings as mic amplifier. Royer R-122 was used for guitar and bass recordings. For percussions, including tambourine and shaker, I used AKG C451B.
In the song, Nami recorded many vocalists as back ground chorus in her house and sent the datas to me. Several dozens of the audio tracks with 24bit/96kHz environment and I was afraid the ProTools session might not be working, but ProTools HDX worked fine.
As for ‘Chikyu-no-Kodomo’, Nami requested me to write a song such as ‘We’re the World’ and according to her suggestion I wrote this song. But that song is for Africa and I thought I should write more fitting song for the Japanese and the main part is written with minor key which is more familiar with the Japanese. Many artists sang lead and harmony melody part. Background chorus is sung by Nami.
We spent two days in Studio Clef to record main part. I enjoyed to work with various styled artists. From me, the request is just one. ‘Anyway, please sing as you like’. Japanese singers are good at singing similar with other persons and often when mixing each sounds too similar and cannot distinguish who is the person. This time I don’t want to do that. They understood and sang as they like, as a result, I feel each artist’s personality could be expressive.
This song aligns to the direction of ‘We’re the World’ and gets similar with 80’s sound. FM electric piano and synth strings is added to the piano and it sounds classic. Mini Moog is in charge of synth bass. Juno-6 is in charge of additional synth pads, D-50 is used for synth bell, EIIIxp is used for synth strings, TR-08 ran 808 sequence. This time I used the vintage hardware so much. I played tambourine and shaker and recorded them as well. Guitar is as same as ‘Hitori-ja-Nai’, Valley Arts set. Yuri Endoh plays solo violin as well. The violin in outro part was excellent.
As a result of artists’ efforts and Yuri’s violin play, both songs sound fantastic. Unfortunately now not available for online sales. CD only available in Japan. But many interesting pop songs inside. If you have a chance to see the CD in Japanese CD shop, please take a look.
Finally below is the snapshot of the recording in Studio Clef. 3 shots of Nami and Mayumi Sudo, singing in ‘Chikyu-no-Kodomo’ and me.