Rock In Japan Festival 2007.
Just three hours north east of Tokyo, the Hitachi seaside National Park is home to Japan's most popular three-day festival event. The secret to Rock In Japan Festival (RIJF) is arguably its insistence on Japanese artists only; that and an idyllic location on the site of this former air force base in the Ibaraki prefecture.
Organised by Rockin'on, a famous Japanese music magazine, the festival has grown since its inauguration in August 2000 from one stage over two days, to four stages and three days, this year pulling in an audience of over 147,000. Editor in Chief Mr. Yoichi Shibuya is the Event Producer and he also manages Countdown Japan, another popular festival staged at the end of year. It was here, in 2006, that his audience first got to hear the new J-Series from d&b audiotechnik.
"We first heard the new system in 2006," explained Mr. Shuzo Fujii, head of MSI, the sound contractor for RIJF since its inception. "Tom Arko from Eighth Day Sound was visiting Japan and he recommended the J-Series to us. After many meetings and discussions we decided to add it to our inventory and premiered it at Countdown 06. Mr. Shibuya immediately praised the sound of the J-Series highly."
With such a warm reception and with Mr. Shibuya producing both shows, it was natural that MSI would use the J-Series for RIJF the following summer. "Although a lot of the guest engineers are not our regular clients, many of them reported how easy it was to get a good sounding mix," explained Mr. Fujii. "They said even when they increased volume the balance remained good and the mix did not break down. Several commented on the strength of the system in the acoustic domain, placing guitars and vocals in the mix, and not losing touch or control of them when levels were raised."
Mr Takahiro Ueno of MSI designed the system installation for two stages, Lake and Forest. His team rigged combinations of J8s and J12s in stereo hangs, with stacked cardioid J-SUBs for both. While Mr Ueno had attended J training in December of 06, d&b flew in members of their Applications Support team to Japan to assist Shinichiro 'Yone' Yonekura who heads d&b's Japanese Office. "Mr Ueno found the J-Series very flexible," said Yone. "The J8 and J12 have plenty of SPL; we measured 120dB peak at the FoH position, 40m out from the Lake stage. The performance in the low mids is really exceptional, particularly as this an area where Mr. Ueno finds other systems need a lot of EQ to achieve something like a good result."
The RIJF event has proved a turning point for MSI, "We can definitely say the investment has proved a good one for us," said Mr Fujii. "We have received many new orders from freelance engineers and our bookings have increased very well"