In October, I was invited by NOE to attend a demonstration at their engineering studio in Chiba, where they would be introducing their Acoustic Grove System (AGS), a sound filtering system now used by various recording studios.A small group including journalists, DJs, an astronomer(!As they explain on their website: At Nihon Onkyo Engineering, our interest in the mysterious sound environment of forests has led us to research focusing on the special behavior of sound waves diffused using mechanisms similar to the trees of a forest.
The presentation explained a bit on the history of NOE and their work with various acoustic systems, then went into the background of the AGS.
The AGS system is the result of ten years research, with each individual wooden post requiring precise measuring and placement.
The track "Radiation Ruling The Nation" builds slowly and methodically, until you feel as you're inside it; hearing it on the ASG I feel I know what the inside of a computer would sound like if you could shrink yourself and wander around in one.
For my selection I brought along a copy of Mc Coy Tyner's album 'Time For Tyner', featuring Bobby Hutcherson on vibraphones and marimba.
I was eager to hear the tone of those two instruments in particular on the tune 'African Village'.they were astounding, far beyond what I had even imagined. And the drums were incredible, the high-hat and bass drum came at you from different directions, making it seem like there were two drummers in the room.
Fantastic, propulsive tune on the most common headphones but with the AGS it was truly alive.
Our development of the Acoustic Grove System was a result of our exploration of the connection between the acoustic mechanisms of the forest and this comfortableness.
In conventional acoustic designs for narrow rooms that do not have a particularly large space (such as with concert halls), the combination of reflective surfaces and sound-absorbing surfaces result in unnatural and peculiar characteristics in sound reflections.
A Jakarta-based journalist who was in town doing some music research offered up a track from the album Mad Professor Meets Massive Attack.inspired choice.
The best dub music often sounds like something from another planet; hearing the Mad Professor's imagination via the AGS was intense, beautiful and somewhat frightening.
(It wouldn't be Japan without an appearance by the Carpenters.)I couldn't hear anything particularly different with the orchestral piece, but the choir music was immediately striking. I'll avoid going into my view on them and why they are deities in Japan, and will just say that Karen's voice was lovely, and the production on a song like 'We've Only Just Begun' is revealed in a whole new way via the AGS.