Hi, everybody. Thank you so much for your support for my new CD, Heart’s Calling since the release date, June 17. After receiving critique’s reviews and your warm, supportive feedback, I finally started to feel the realty: my baby is out in the world! I sincerely thank each one of you who picked up my album!
Heart’s Calling X AUMEO
Hunting Gadgets in Crowdfunding Websites
Crowdfung is becoming an useful business matchmaking platform between inventors/business developers and investors in various level from individual to institutional. It’s getting popular in Japan lately, and is something familiar among musicians, too. I personally enjoy looking at new tech gadgets through sites like INDIEGOGO or KICKSTARTER as shopping sites.
The other day, I was browsing the INDIEGOGO site, and by accident (or by fate?) I found this thing called AUMEO, a portable headphone amplifier. AUMEO is being used paired up with an audio application called AUMEO PLAYER which does a quick ear test to find the most comfortable listening condition based on our hearing sensitivities through checking each ear. Not like existing application that works as equalizer, AUMEO goes one step deeper – optimizing our hearing sound based what each ear can hear. I was totally knocked out by this idea on hearing optimization (or personalization) , and decided to support this AUMEO project as one of funders. Then, an interesting thing came along: Paul Lee, CEO of Aumeo Audio, and I were connected. (How amazing is that?)
Listening to “Heart’s Calling” with AUMEO PLAYER
Because of participating to AUMEO campaign, I was lucky enough to virtually meet Paul Lee of Aumeo Audio. He was kind enough to offer me and one of my fellow bandmate, Miki Hirose to try out AUMEO PLAYER beta. So we have decided to listen to my new album, Heart’s Calling on AUMEO PLAYER and talk about the first impression of this application!
MAMIKO TAIRA (VOCAL)
Mamiko is a New York based Japanese jazz vocalist who’s often referred as “she’s the kind musicians love to play with and audiences love to appreciate” (James McBride, writer). Her voice lingers, and her distinctive musical style reaches beyond jazz listeners. Her 2nd album, “Heart’s Calling” was released on June 17, 2015 from D-neo (Daikimusica) and is available worldwide. She kicks off Japan Tour Fall 2015 from Tokyo stating on October 9.
Mamiko Taira’s “Heart’s Calling” is now available through Amazon Japan and PND Records (ships worldwide).
Amazon Japan http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B00XBEV6TG/
PND Records http://ow.ly/OSgvx
MIKI HIROSE (TRUMPETER, COMPOSER, ARRANGER)
Miki is a young, talented Japanese trumpeter from Kobe who plays a key role in Mamiko’s music. In a recent release, “Heart’s Calling,” he has done fantastic arrangements on Detour Ahead, Suddenly It’s Spring, Falling In Love With Love. His leader album, “SCRATCH” is an another great jazz CD to enjoy his wonderful music. Please check out.
Taira (“T”): Hi, Miki. Thank you so much for all of your hard work at the recording back in December.
Hirose (“H”): Thank you for the great experience and opportunity! Lake Yamanaka was something, wasn’t it?
T: It was! Air was clean, and…
H: Mt. Fuji in the morning!
T: Mt Fuji right by the window!
H: It was “WOW.”
T: OK. Let’s get to AUMEO. Have you tried it? What do you think of the idea to optimize the sound based on your own ear’s audibility and listening environment?
H: I think it is worthy and appreciative to be able to adjust the sound by each listening environment.
T: Do you have anything specific to talk about?
H: While traveling by train, for example, bass frequencies get cut. This may be a good, potential solution to fill in that “cut frequency.”
T: Indeed. The noise level at NYC subways is undeniably loud, and the bass sounds are sacrificed significantly. I tend to pump up the volume when I ride subways or even just waiting for the subway to come. Suppose my average volume setting while in subways is level 8, I can be OK with level 5 or lower* when the music is played on AUMEO PLAYER. I feel so sorry for my ears! (*vary bet. individuals)
T: Anyhow… which tracks did you listen to?
H: Two albums. One is “Heart’s Calling,” and the other is “Milestones” by Miles Davis.
T: I also have listened to my “Heart’s Calling,” and I picked your “SCRATCH” CD. Maybe it’s a good time to ask since we are talking about my album…. You have done arrangements on 3 songs on this recording. Do you have any story to share?
H: It was a good opportunity to reexamine the relation between the lyric and melody. The drama within the melodies used to be a major focus when I work on arranging, but this project made me aware of the drama driven by melodies and lyrics. That was a new discovery to me.
T: That sounds fantastic and positive.
H: For example, Detour Ahead. That song is one of my favorite song, and I am familiar through listening to some vocalist’s track. It was pretty natural to me to depict the drama through lyrics and melody. That song was finished pretty quick.
T: I think Detour Ahead was tastefully done, and am hoping our listeners like it, too. OK. Let’s go back to AUMEO. So do you find any difference between AUMEO PLAYER and a default audio player on your iPhone when you listened to Detour Ahead and other tracks?
H: I felt each instrument sounded clear and increased the sense of depth. Like…. I can hear the note that I want to hear effortlessly.
T: I felt that I can feel ambiance and depth better with AUMEO PLAYER, and pretty impressed about it.
H: I had tried some other high-res audio player in the past, and it made me tired because I can hear too much. It was weird feel.
T: I think I know what you mean. To hear clear crisp sound isn’t necessarily always the best in terms of listening to the music. Analog applications like good old-fashioned records sound better – particularly when we seek warmer sounds – as an example.
H: It’s only one day since I started to use AUMEO PLAYER. I would love to continue using it to check how that affects my listening (and find if this makes me tired or not.)
T: By the way, I’m purely excited about just thinking of using AUMEO amp and AUMEO PLAYER together. It doesn’t directly relate to the sound, but I also like the sleek design of casing. (see the picture. Can’t help it… It’s really simple and sophisticated!)
H: My current pair of ear buds is not a top notch pair (compared to those high-end ear buds or a headphone), so definitely I’m interested in trying out AUMEO. By the way, it was a pure surprise how much this AUMEO PLAYER alone can change the sound of my OK-quality ear buds!
T: Once you said that it is eye-opening observing today’s technology and its advancement in general. Do you see any impact on us, who create music?
H: Ever since iPod, iPhone and all other MP3 players became the main stream of audio equipment, some people are mourning about the compressed sound of MP3. However, witnessing how much the audio technologies are advancing everyday by people in the field, we, musicians have to keep up with making a good music!
T: I agree. If people can listen to the music in better listening environment, that alone can help, for example, to convey what our engineers have done on mixes and master tracks. That definitely encourages me to make music with love, care, and respect!
T: Miki, thank you so much for taking your time to try out AUMEO. Lastly but not least…. I am not sure the actual timing of it, but I am already thinking of my third album…. and will ask you to be part of it for sure. Yoroshiku Onegai Itashimasu!
H: That is flattering. I will try my best again for the next album!
It’s a well-known fact that everybody hears differently. So why not have your favorite tunes custom-fitted to your ears’ unique hearing? Aumeo, the world’s first tailored audio device, unlocks your best hearing potential by taking audio personalization to a whole new level. By tuning music to your audio profile, this portable device lets you enjoy fuller, richer sound while protecting your ears. Its stylish aluminum chassis designed by Italian design Andrea Ponti is a great plus as well. Check it out today!