My God, What Did They Do to this Beautiful Music?

Mark (Basspig) Weiss

Well-Known Member
Aug 3, 2010
657
10
370
New Milford, CT
www.basspig.com
Recently, I discovered some amazing music. It was part of a TV series soundtrack. I first heard the isolated soundtrack on Youtube and came to really appreciate the music. However, the audio sounded "grungy" and I figured that whomever uploaded it dirtied it up to try to fool the copyright algorithms.
I looked all over for the CD. Could not find it. Talked with the folks at CD Japan and learned that it was only sold as part of the Bluray package, containing a bluray with the first 6 episodes and a CD. It was priced ¥160,000. Add to that, proxy buyer fees, Fedex shipping, broker fees, etc. and it's darned near $200. Okay, if that's the only way to really hear this music unblemished.. so the box arrives.
Fumetsu no Anata e Bluray set.jpg
and I anxiously open the package and find the CD. I played it, and what do I hear? The same grunge and the same zero attack limiting/compression that is so fast that it alters the waveform and creates dissonant sounds.

I wanted the Japanese producers of this wonderful music to find out that someone out there has noticed a problem, in the hopes that they correct it in future releases as the series gets published periodically onto discs.

I created the review/critique in Japanese language but added English captions, so turn on CC when watching the review. It explains what I observed and that this high handed processing is unusual for Japanese recordings of this sort, and completely unacceptable for symphonic music.

Fumetsu no Anata e Audio Quality Critique


I recently received the second volume and a second CD containing more music. This one's not as badly mutilated as the first. In fact, it's much better. The music often overshadows the technical problems, and there is also a very present lower register which makes me happy. Some of the music is so beautiful and classically-inspired that it brings tears to my eyes. The first disc is beautiful in its main theme and brings back memories of the sad events in the first episode of this amazing series (if you only dare to watch one anime TV series in your life, this one, Fumetsu no Anata e (To Your Eternity) should be the One. The music is emotionally compelling, powerful, epic and original. I only wish that the recording engineer had maintained the standards that Japan always excelled at in years prior to 2010.

It's becoming epidemic now in a lot of pop music, where outright clipping so severe that it sounds like someone turned up a consumer stereo to 11 where the last 10dB or bass percussion is clipped by the amplifier. I heard another pop tune where I'd estimate 50% THD--it literally sounded like someone had plugged a line level output into a microphone preamp and overloaded it. Things like that just leave me scratching my head and wondering what the recording engineer was thinking.

I've talked about it in anime forums and it went over everyone's head. Surely I'm not the only one who can hear this grunge?
 
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Addicted to hifi

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Recently, I discovered some amazing music. It was part of a TV series soundtrack. I first heard the isolated soundtrack on Youtube and came to really appreciate the music. However, the audio sounded "grungy" and I figured that whomever uploaded it dirtied it up to try to fool the copyright algorithms.
I looked all over for the CD. Could not find it. Talked with the folks at CD Japan and learned that it was only sold as part of the Bluray package, containing a bluray with the first 6 episodes and a CD. It was priced ¥160,000. Add to that, proxy buyer fees, Fedex shipping, broker fees, etc. and it's darned near $200. Okay, if that's the only way to really hear this music unblemished.. so the box arrives.
View attachment 83677
and I anxiously open the package and find the CD. I played it, and what do I hear? The same grunge and the same zero attack limiting/compression that is so fast that it alters the waveform and creates dissonant sounds.

I wanted the Japanese producers of this wonderful music to find out that someone out there has noticed a problem, in the hopes that they correct it in future releases as the series gets published periodically onto discs.

I created the review/critique in Japanese language but added English captions, so turn on CC when watching the review. It explains what I observed and that this high handed processing is unusual for Japanese recordings of this sort, and completely unacceptable for symphonic music.

Fumetsu no Anata e Audio Quality Critique


I recently received the second volume and a second CD containing more music. This one's not as badly mutilated as the first. In fact, it's much better. The music often overshadows the technical problems, and there is also a very present lower register which makes me happy. Some of the music is so beautiful and classically-inspired that it brings tears to my eyes. The first disc is beautiful in its main theme and brings back memories of the sad events in the first episode of this amazing series (if you only dare to watch one anime TV series in your life, this one, Fumetsu no Anata e (To Your Eternity) should be the One. The music is emotionally compelling, powerful, epic and original. I only wish that the recording engineer had maintained the standards that Japan always excelled at in years prior to 2010.

It's becoming epidemic now in a lot of pop music, where outright clipping so severe that it sounds like someone turned up a consumer stereo to 11 where the last 10dB or bass percussion is clipped by the amplifier. I heard another pop tune where I'd estimate 50% THD--it literally sounded like someone had plugged a line level output into a microphone preamp and overloaded it. Things like that just leave me scratching my head and wondering what the recording engineer was thinking.

I've talked about it in anime forums and it went over everyone's head. Surely I'm not the only one who can hear this grunge?
Great series and music.my wife is a fan.
 

Mark (Basspig) Weiss

Well-Known Member
Aug 3, 2010
657
10
370
New Milford, CT
www.basspig.com
Great series and music.my wife is a fan.
Wow! I really didn't expect anyone here actually HEARD of this series, much less has my tastes in anime!
This thing totally rocked my world when I saw it in August. The first episode broke my heart. But the ending had a kind of karmic payback.
I've been reading the manga up to chapter 151. Waiting for Oima-sama to write the next one.
Season two of the anime has been announced. It should cover the next six volumes of manga.
I am really hoping there will be a third season, because at the current pacing, that will cover the "modern world" arc. Fushi, the main character, a resurrection of the boy that the Orb encountered around the 12th century, wakes up in the modern world and has to contend with modern technology. It's like time travel, uniting my favorite characters with a modern day slice of life Japan.
This series is so original, endearing, wholesome and amazing. It's sci-fi, religion, death and transfiguration all in one. The voice actors in Japanese are perfect. It's so natural and just like life. You may notice that when Fushi is transformed into someone else's body, and someone else's voice, that his inflections and manner of speaking are still the same. That is some great acting on the part of all the actors who do the various voices. This is a well thought out series. It's brilliant. And I love the esthetics/design. The boy we meet in the first episode is so pure and optimistic, despite being abandoned for the past 5 years to survive on his own in a harsh climate. What an amazing character!
Funny thing is, I didn't really notice the music the first time I watched this series. Wasn't until I heard the isolated soundtrack that I realized the genius of the scoring and orchestral cues, and also the thematic development of the music. I was listening to volume 2 of the CD this evening (fortunately it sounds much better, audio-wise) and there are some tracks on it that are just so beautiful. Some of the music causes such a rush of dopamine that I have out of body experiences. I realized that the music fit so perfectly to the action on screen and the visuals were taking up all of my mental bandwidth that I could not really process the music I was hearing at the time!
I shared some of the tracks with a friend of mine now living in another part of the country, so I put the flac files on my dropbox account. I realize how hard it is to get the CDs. Last week, I had the first CD playing when a customer arrived. He was a retired professor at Julliard School of Music in NYC. He commented right away about how beautiful the music was. And I ended up giving him the link to the files I put on dropbox. A day later, he thanked me profusely for the music and he watched the first episode and told me "it was intense."
Yoshitoki Oima's first famous work was "A Silent Voice" which I saw the movie to a couple years back. It was good, but the characters didn't overwhelm me like they do in To Your Eternity.
 

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