(EN) e-Onkyo Music Interview @ Fabrizio Salvatore (Hi-Jazz Manager)
1) Please tell us "history of ALFA MUSIC" shortly.
1989: Design, construction and implementation of AlfaMusic Studio – Rome (Italy)
1990: Opening of AlfaMusic Studio (Recording & Mix studio)
1996: AlfaMusic extends the activities on the publishing field (Copyright - Siae Italy)
1998: Beginning of the discography production (release of the Album “Spezie” (Indaco band, feat. several special guests: Lester Bowie was one of them and we had the honour to record his fantastic Music).
2000: AlfaMusic Label starts its musical catalogue.
The awareness of "independent label" took shape between 2000 and 2001 by Alessandro Guardia and Fabrizio Salvatore giving a defined identity to a productive and expanding reality.
The strong correlation between production choices and the cultural and social aspects, the pleasure of producing high quality music and the innate passion of "recording the sound", has determined a keen guideline towards Ethno-World and Jazz productions.
2004: great works of restoration of the recording studio.
2005: AlfaMusic won the Critics' Prize awarded to the jazz singer Nicola Arigliano at the Festival of San Remo.
2005-2011: AlfaMusic strongly improves its Jazz catalogue with international artists.
2013-2014: AlfaMusic starts a new important artistic cooperation with Enrico Pieranunzi (borns the series “The early years” with the release of the first number “The day after the silence” – piano solo (1976) - remastered in HQ over the project Hi-Jazz.
2) Please tell us "Policy of ALFA MUSIC" (about music or philosophy, mind.)
The constant and ambitious artistic direction, always conducted in order to generate excellent productions of Italian Jazz internationally recognized, together with the idea of producing High
Quality music from the technological point of view, and the innate passion of "recording the Sound".
The Italian Jazz of AlfaMusic.
The encounter with the American, European, African and Far-East cultures has been and continues to be very important for us. The result of this fascinating cultural development is the creation of an Italian jazz that is now recognized abroad as a beautiful musical reality, almost at the same level of Italian musical genre best known in the world that is the “Opera”.
AlfaMusic is nowadays very proud of representing in its catalog many of the best italian jazz musicians. For this reason we’ve named the section of our catalog dedicated to Jazz music "Il Jazz italiano di AlfaMusic" (English: The Italian Jazz of AlfaMusic).
3) Please tell us "concept of sound making" (purpose or directionality)
As we already mentioned on the previous interview we sent to Mr. Tomoyuki Takemura
A stunning new production centre designed for the most advanced needs of professionals in the sector of Italian and international jazz.
AlfaMusic and Forward Studios have made four Recording Studios available to producers and artists, as well as a Mastering studio that is fully equipped with the most avant-garde technology, and a team of highly qualified technicians with twenty years of experience in producing music.
In the relaxed setting of the Castelli Romani, just a few minutes from Rome, a new and unique experience has begun.
Nowadays, given the wide availability of instrumentation available for home-studios, it is always easier to perform a "Mastering" process, thanks to the growing use of plugins and digital products on the market, making everyone an "expert" engineer. Actually, the discipline of "Mastering" is very complex and delicate, and most of the time, entrust your sound to a real mastering studio is revealed as the turning point, especially for a product not recorded and mixed in a professional studio.
In "Hi- Jazz" we know how difficult it is to create an audio product that meets at the same time producers, musicians, and last but not least, the music market.
For these reasons, we have invested a lot of energy to study the best way of "sound-making",carefully testing the equipment over time that formed our outboard, developing the techniques of "dithering" and comparing the sequences of "wiring" in relation to the equipment available inside our studios .
Our idea of sound making is: maximum definition with maximum dynamic! ...but always in respect of the Mix.
Therefore, we like to define our concept of Mastering as: "Mix Respect".
4) In case of recording and mastering, do you have specific engineer?
Yes we have specific engineers; we have several sound engineers specialized in Recordings & Mixing and Mastering.
Of course, our sound engineers are very eclectic and they often find themselves to work together throughout the production process (recording - mixing - mastering) sharing with their colleagues their own personal experience.
If yes, please tell us each person's character or feature of sound making.
The philosophy of Hi-Jazz is common to all our sound engineers engaged in the early stages of recording/mixing and mastering. Basically there is always a common "mutual respect" of the work done by other colleagues.
This also happens when we receive sound material produced by other studies, provided that the work has been carried out in order to achieve the highest possible sound quality.
5) In this 10 titles, How was the process of sound making? (For examples, from analogue master to digital remastering, or DSD mastering.)
We can talk of a mastering process from analogue master to digital remastering.
Our parameters for the Recording & Mix were had already been set as follows: 96Khz - 24 bit.
In this case we would have easily been able to move towards a complete mastering in the digital domain, but our philosophy of sound-making puts his strength into a type of “analog” mastering thanks to the use of analogue outboard of high quality and excellent converters.
The AlfaMusic releases for HQ lovers have been produced in the same format as above:
96Khz - 24-bit; nowadays we believe that is the best solution for listening to music in High-Definition (HQ).
Please allow me to put in evidence the following notes:
Mastering process for Compact Disc (44.100 - 16 bit)
We have the habit of making a Mastering specifically to be used for duplication of CDs.
In that mastering process the EQ, dynamics, and othe technical parameters are different from the Mastering done for the HQ market.
As described above highlights our choice to produce two different MASTERING (one for the HQ and the other for replication of CD audio) in order to avoid a damaging process of “downsampling” from the HQ mastering.
6) In case of producing HQ sound, do you have any consciousness point? (sound concept)
What has always interested us is the production of a “natural sound", in accordance with the original sound and the dynamics produced by the musicians themself.
Then, during the years we have developed our "idea of sound concept" which I think is recognizable listening to AlfaMusic releases and that today, supported by the high level of technical equipment we dispose and by the expertise of our team, we want to offer to producers and musicians from all over the world by putting at their service the full knowledge of Hi-Jazz.
Working on location acoustically well soundproofed, with the support of high-quality machines certainly leads to a good result. Therefore, first of all we've taken care the acoustic characteristics of the environments in which we carry out the "sound recordings", a very important step in any musical genre. The expertise of our sound engineers, the choice of a state of the art equipment and the excellence of the musicians with whom we collaborate, enrich the various stages of processing, creating unique musical productions of which we are very proud.
7) Please tell us your "equipment of HQ sound making".
Sound Blade HD - ProTools 10 - Weiss Saragon - Peak Pro 7
Mixer Summing Livio Argentini 8 Channel
Proac Response Four (Customized by Forward Studios)
Chris Pelonis Model 42
Audio Research VT200 Vacuum Tube
Krell 700CX Class A
Antelope Atomic Clock - Antelope Isochrone Trinity
Antelope Eclipse - Apogee PSX 100 Special Edition - Prism Sound ADA-8 - Lavry Engineering AD122-96
TC Electronic System 6000 - Weiss DS1-MK3 - Lavry Engineering 3000 S
Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor - Vertigo VSC-2 - API 2500 - Pendulum Audio PL-2
Maselec MPL-2 - George Massenburg 8900 - The Phoenix Thermionic Culture
Dangerous S&M - Vertigo Mix Satellite VSM-2 - Kush Audio Clariphonic - De-Esser Valley Audio
Livio Argentini Monster MSAL-118 - DBX 120A
George Massenburg 9500 - ITI Equalizer - Dangerous BAX EQ - Pultec EQP-1 (2 x)
Lange Electronics PEQ-2 - API 550 A
CD Player Studer D731
8) HQ market is very hot in Japan. How about your country?
In Italy the HQ market is fastly growing up and is beginning to be considered even by the younger
generation, but in fact the Jazz music (like Classical music) is a genre of music best suited to fully enjoy HQ.
We really hope that the bad habit of converting music in low quality MP3s will soon be reduced, this also depends by the business goals and marketing of multinationals producing music devices.
In the meantime, our mission will always goes to support and promote the best sound quality possible with the development of technology.
9) What do you expect about "the culture of enjoy sound by HQ"?
We're pretty sure that only an excellent sound quality can reward good Music!
Jazz is a genre of music that creates strong emotions ... only a production that since the recording of the first note puts at its base the right sound quality will continue to generate the same emotions. All this for the benefit of the same music, those who produce it and those who listen to warm his soul.
With the HQ everything is no longer a dream but a reality.
10) Finally , please give message to Japanese fans.