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  • 75 Hours in Tokyo!

    Sometimes I really like my life

    Last week, over a dozen journalists made a trip to Japan that was put on by Korg, and I was lucky enough to be one of them. The object was two-fold: To give us a heads-up on what was going to be introduced at NAMM (as well as explain a little more about their 1-bit technology shown at AES), and to see Korg's headquarters and meet some of the people behind the products.

    It was quite the schedule. I got on a plane on the 10th at 7:30 AM, and arrived in Tokyo at about 4 PM on Monday the 11th -- just enough time to clear customs, get to the hotel (a 1.5 hour plus ride), have a nice dinner with Keyboard head honcho Ernie Rideout, go online for a bit, then go to sleep.

    Tuesday and Wednesday started at 8 o'clock with breakfast, a bus trip to Korg, then checking out products. I got to hang with some friends from mags in other countries, like Joerg Sunderkotter from Sound+Recording in Germany, and Gordon Reid from Sound on Sound. We'd head back to the hotel, then meet again at 7 PM for dinner, which usually got us back to the hotel at 10 PM. And yes, I LOVE Japanese food!

    Thursday I got a chance to check out the electronics stores and such, then it was back to the airport and time to come home.

    Unfortunately, I'm under NDA on the new stuff, but I certainly understand why Korg thought it justified bringing us all over. In particular, I'm chomping at the bit to check out the-main-thing-I-can't-talk-about as well as the other main-things-I-can't-talk-about. Korg was very low-key about all of this -- it didn't feel like a hypefest, more like a check-this-out, what-do-you-think? sorta deal. A lot of times these kind of press events are very high pressure, with an undercurrent of "write nice things about us or else," but it really seemed like Korg was mostly interested in treating us like a bit of a focus group.

    Anyway, I have plenty of other comments if people are interested...I don't want this to sound like "what I did on Winter break" but I do have a bunch of pix of Tokyo and of Korg, and if y'all are interested, just say the word and I'll post some more.
    CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

    Subscribe, like, and share the links!

  • #2
    I am hearing very good things about the new PA800 keyboard arranger and can't wait to try one. I have a Yamaha psr2000, circa seven years old. But I got hold of some PA80 (not PA800) styles that have been converted to Yamaha and they are excellent. I could be tempted to go Korg, for sure.
    :::

    Bill

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    • #3
      Craig, I was in Tokyo two weeks ago.
      Where'd ya stay?

      Did you make it to Shibuya?
      That's the section of the city where many of the big music gear dealers are. Its Tokyo's version of NYC's 46-47 street. IF you didnt catch it this time around you should try and check it out the next time you get the chance.
      Psst... Wanna check out some free tunes?
      http://www.broadjam.com/artists/home.php?artistID=3448

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      • #4
        Awesome Craig,
        I can't wait to hear about the "secret thing". I went to Japan five times during time with Yamaha. I loved every trip, it was really incredible. Did you get down to Hamamatsu?
        -Mike Martin
        Casio America, Inc.

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        • #5
          I love Japan. It makes me feel like when I was a kid at Disneyland. That feeling that everything is just a little different and you're not sure what to expect. That's Japan.

          And yes Craig, the food is awesome. Girls aren't bad either.


          Craig: Pictures of Japan are always welcome!
          __________
          Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
          Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
          Jesus

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          • #6
            Was it Chanko Nabe season in Tokyo?

            Any food pictures or strange gear pictures would be delightful. heck, any kind of pictures would be great. I have wished that I had carried a small recorder for all of the strange announcements.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Anderton
              Sometimes I really like my life
              if y'all are interested, just say the word and I'll post some more.


              We're all ears!
              MySpace
              Blog

              Blatant advertizing for one of my latest "one man band" productions.
              http://www.gymusic.com/audio/ItFeelsLIkeHome_Mix1.mp3

              “I believe that working with limited tracks in those days made us better arrangers. Having to do reductions made us better mixers. Having limited equipment made us better engineers.” - 2008 GY

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              • #8
                Man, it's totally cool that Tokyo isn't in ruins. I was watching the news on TV the other night and some huge lizard was stomping the city to smithereens.

                Oh. I think that was a movie.

                Never mind.
                My Space

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                • #9
                  I once spent about 18 hours in Hong Kong, after a month touring Europe, we board a plane in London, fly 1/2 way cross the world, clear customs, go straight to the venue, do a show, hotel for a shower and some shuteye, then back to the airport to complete the trip around the world (almost) back to the east coast.

                  I definitely do not miss those days!!!!!!

                  Tokyo makes NYC look like a sleepy midwest town. Traffic jams at 3am, sidewalks always bussling. The Japanese are so weird, I never knew if they were serious, joking or making fun of us.

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                  • #10
                    I love everything about Japan, it's people and it's culture. But if you hear them snicker and say "Baka Gaijin", then yes...they're making fun of you.
                    Bear
                    BLAbla

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by where02190
                      The Japanese are so weird, I never knew if they were serious, joking or making fun of us.


                      Best I could tell, it was all three at once. They're fasinated by the American... and think he's fool all at once.
                      __________
                      Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
                      Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
                      Jesus

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LiveMusic
                        I am hearing very good things about the new PA800 keyboard arranger and can't wait to try one. I have a Yamaha psr2000, circa seven years old. But I got hold of some PA80 (not PA800) styles that have been converted to Yamaha and they are excellent. I could be tempted to go Korg, for sure.


                        From what I've heard the PA800 is a great board. The local dealer is going to call me to demo one when it's delivered to his store. I'm using a PSR3000 and I may jump ship to Korg as well.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Anderton

                          ...and to see Korg's headquarters and meet some of the people behind the products.





                          I would like to meet these people in japanese companies.
                          I think can be very interesting to know the people, seat in the garden for a cup of tea, listen and learn how they think.
                          Their products are the result of japanese culture, their understanding of arts and how this interact with our (their) daily life.
                          I found interesting how the kind of music we do can be widely aproved there, while in this planet side, I can be sound as strange or too specific.
                          This is one reason I like that people, they are looking inside, since childhood, in some meditative or respectful aproach.
                          And, of course, the women are so cute.


                          P.S. My first post in CASSS forum, I
                          http://jd800center.blogspot.com
                          http://gilbertostrapazon.blogspot.com

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                          • #14
                            <<I think can be very interesting to know the people, seat in the garden for a cup of tea, listen and learn how they think.
                            Their products are the result of japanese culture, their understanding of arts and how this interact with our (their) daily life.>>

                            You are so very, very right. One thing I noticed about the new products (I don't think I've given anything away) is that they are extremely cool from a visual standpoint. I asked a serious question, although it sounded tongue-in-cheek so they didn't have to answer if they didn't want to, "So who's head of the Department of Cuteness?" The answer was very revealing: The look is very much a process of group think, and back-and-forth between the engineers, industrial designers, and even the head of the company. My impression is that there is less of a hierarchy in the company than we find in many Western companies, where there are the "executives" and the "managers" and the "workers."

                            I was both surprised and delighted when the journalists were taken on a short bus tour, and Korg's Founder, Tsutomu Katoh, sat right on the bus with the rest of us. He had ZERO "attitude," and was unfailingly courteous and attentive; I would think that if one worked for Korg, Mr. Katoh would be receptive to any ideas. I also know he can indeed be very decisive and "managerial," but from everything I understand, a lot of deliberation and mutual respect goes into those kinds of decisions.

                            I would really, really like to have been able to spend a month there and really get inside their heads. I think it would make a fascinating documentary.
                            CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

                            Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                            • #15
                              Here' an interesting photo of the "Korg workspace." There are a few floors like this; note that there are no cubicles or walls, the whole thing is one big, open space that is designed to encourage interactivity.

                              Another interesting thing is that the environment is EXTREMELY quiet. Not quite "library quiet," but very conducive to a more "meditative" frame of mind. Although the people at Korg were good sports about it, I felt as if we were intruding on a sort of personal, shared space.
                              CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

                              Subscribe, like, and share the links!

                              Comment

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