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75 Hours in Tokyo!

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  • #31
    Okay, let's get back to Korg, and to the "virtual museum" part of our slide show...

    This is the 800DV synthesizer from 1974.
    The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!

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    • #32
      Here's the miniKorg700S, also from 1974. All these keyboards are in really good shape, and still playable.
      The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!

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      • #33
        Here's the Korgue keyboard, from 1972...more of an organ-ish kinda deal.
        The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!

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        • #34
          I'm going to stop for now, before I accidentally post a new product shot and get into trouble

          But I figured it was fitting to close with this shot of the OASYS display in their showroom. I was able to climb up to the next story and get a shot down on the showroom floor, and it conveys some of the drama of the display. I don't think I'm telling any secrets when I say that Korg is continuing to work on updates for the OASYS; the new products we were shown were not designed to replace or obsolete the OASYS.
          The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!

          Comment


          • #35
            If you've had enough of this let me know, but I do have some more pictures...mostly of a travelog nature, like of one of the temples in Tokyo...the majority of the remaining Korg shots are embargoed for now.

            Anyway, I hope you're enjoying this thread. I'll be able to tell you much more after NAMM starts.
            The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!

            Comment


            • #36
              Actually, there's just one more thing I've been debating about whether to add or not...but I'll do it anyway...

              I had a chance to see Mr. Katoh's office in the Korg building. On one hand I felt like I was possibly invading his privacy, but on the other hand, it was vital in getting a fuller picture of what Korg is all about and I believe that's why I was shown it.

              If you're used to the ostentatious offices of American company head honchos, Mr. Katoh's office was the exact opposite: very tasteful, almost like a shrine rather than an office. He had some personal items as decorations, but no huge space with corner views designed to intimidate others. Although some people find the Japanese arrogant, in many cases what seems like arrogance has much more to do with shyness. I believe that part of Korg's success is because there is a lot of humility there; the "we can make some better and cooler if we try hard enough" vibe is almost palpable.

              As a group, they seem never satisfied with what they've done; one thing about the product presentation was that it was clear this company is thinking about what it's going to be doing well into the future. A lot of what I'm describing is not just a Korg thing, but a Japanese thing; for example, the equality/humility thing...at a Yamaha factory I visited, management spends time on the assembly lines so they can understand the process and what needs to be improved. This isn't like the deal where politicians roll up their sleeves to do a photo op, it's just part of their gig.

              And after being so involved with American companies that don't care about next month, let alone the next decade, that long-term view is one aspect of Japanese culture that I feel we should emulate here in the west. It's something I find very attractive about HC, for example; the people in charge here are thinking long-term rather than short-term. But that kind of mentality is, sadly, an exception...

              Anyway, I'm rambling now and it's getting late

              See ya later....
              The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!

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              • #37
                Thanks for the pictures! I stayed in Shinjuku once and it is full of contradictions. City Hall and an adult entertainment district within walking distance. The busiest subway station and streets of homeless foreigners when I was there. A bunch of senior citizens would gather for morning exercises at 7am in that park you can see from the hotel.

                I have seen showroom/museums like the Korg space in other Tokyo businesses. In my experience, they keep them pretty warm in the wintertime.

                ...or maybe the exercises were at 6AM. I am pretty fuzzy about time once I cross a large body of water.

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                • #38
                  Interesting, interesting...

                  Japan seems to be the next best thing we have to visiting
                  another planet without actually leaving it.

                  I wish I could go there one day. It's always been a fascinating thing, but now I've blended in the William Gibson-jin aspect of it and it's enthralling.

                  ... and I had an epiphany a few days ago about their culture, and why it seems so different to westerners:

                  in the west, language and culture is about specifics of labels. Everything we do is categorized in labels from a hierarchy standpoint. So we do "music", subdivided into "rock and roll", subdivided into "emo", subdivided into "post-hardcore" or whatever...

                  The labels provide the context.

                  The nihonjin way is all about memes. There's labels, but they (this sounds ironic) don't have a top-down hierarchy. They have specific concepts, and then names that generalize aspects of the concept in an attempt to grok the gestalt. In the process what survives are memes.

                  Everything they're about is a meme: the samurai code pervasive in a modern society, Hello Kitty crossing into adult appeal, anti-xenophobia regarding pop culture from a distance, but insular at close range... Their way seems counter-intuitive to us because we always try to label things "warriors, cartoons, foreign-culture worship" or some such... when to them it's all about how the idea sustains itself. The samurai attitude in some parts/aspects wouldn't still be around except for the memetic manner in which the gestalt of the "samurai code of conduct" wasn't, for lack of a better term, "neat". It seems anachronistic to us because it appears to be an "old outdated warrior ethic" - labels - but as a *meme*, it's still a "great" one... so it's there.

                  The guy/s that run Korg, they're no doubt concerned about not just the bottom line, but the way Korg plays out as a meme: how Craig Anderton, music journo/raconteur perceives Korg, and also how the area musicians perceive Korg - which gets boosted by turning the old HQ into a practice facility. The gestalt of "Korg" is expanded by doing that. From their point of view, it's not just the product itself, and it's not even the feel of the product - but the entire thing.

                  It may not even be the product itself. It's like a Steven Jobs attitude, but even less product specific. Which is why they probably lose focus and seem to do crazy things now and then, put out bogus products or include some aspect that doesn't make any apparently useful sense. Likewise, it explains why some of the funnier "engrish" translations of product ads in Japan come off as they do; most of them seem to be trying to convey a *vibe* - the gestalt of an experience, that may not have anything directly to do with what a westerner would describe with a *label*.

                  All based around a fundamentally different approach to language. To me it's remarkable how their language almost resembles a computer mark-up/scripting language... It's like you have commands, desu, masu, ami etc., that each have their own "switches"/modifiers. In that respect it functions as a way to convey aspects of a big concept, as opposed to discretely labeling everything, regardless if the labeling conveys anything about the whole.


                  / thrilled by YouTube Japan walk-throughs
                  // read too much William Gibson
                  /// Japanese friends have moved away, now that I'm casually trying to pick some Japanese language
                  //// looks forward to having time to read "Japanese History in Art" book I got for Christmas
                  ]] message board @ www.chipmcdonald.com [[
                  "big assed windbag" - Bruce Swedien
                  "People are not only strange, but stranger than you can imagine" - Jim C. Morrison-Clarke

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                  • #39
                    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.

                    Can't wait!

                    Cool pics Craig, and it looks like you had a great time.
                    **********

                    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                    - George Carlin

                    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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                    • #40
                      Yeah, I really did. But you know I like to travel

                      Too bad I can't tell you about the...uh...never mind.
                      The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        BTW -- I did get to go shopping for some CDs over there, my daughter is a huge J-pop fan. It seems CDs are still very valued over there, there isn't the same kind of "Death of the CD" vibe you get over here.
                        The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!

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                        • #42
                          Thanks for sharing the photos and commentary Craig. I enjoyed both.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Anderton
                            I'm going to stop for now, before I accidentally post a new product shot and get into trouble

                            But I figured it was fitting to close with this shot of the OASYS display in their showroom. I was able to climb up to the next story and get a shot down on the showroom floor, and it conveys some of the drama of the display. I don't think I'm telling any secrets when I say that Korg is continuing to work on updates for the OASYS; the new products we were shown were not designed to replace or obsolete the OASYS.


                            Anyone else ready to sign up for Korg Oasys floor mats? Pimp my ride, indeed.

                            BTW, please tell the nice Korg people to invent the telepathic firewall before releasing the telepathic sequencer. I've been hearing those demo tracks for months.

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                            • #44
                              Thanks for the interesting trip report.

                              Brings back some memories; I lived in Japan for four years ('62-'66).
                              Sometimes the answer is in the clue.

                              There are two ways to argue with a woman. Neither one works.

                              University of Florida, BSBA, 1976.

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                              • #45
                                Looks like an awesome time Craig! Thanks for sharing!

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