Multi-Instrumentalist with extensive formal training in both performance and orchestration/arrangement. I've performed with some of the best musicians in the Tokyo and Boston scene. I've composed/arranged for orchestras, big bands, etc. for movies, video games and corporate projects. I've also been remotely mixing for other people since 2020.
Hello, my name is Sadao.
I am a gigging Jazz Pianist, as well as Composer/Multi-Instrumentalist currently based in Tokyo.
I mainly specialize in Arrangement and Orchestration, and have written for numerous orchestras, big bands and large ensembles.
I am very comfortable with both Electronic and Acoustic composition, having produced numerous tracks for festivals, video games, feature films and podcasts. I am also currently working for an Ableton Certified Trainer status, which I aim to apply for as soon as a Certification Event occurs in Japan or Korea.
Being able to perform at a high level, as well as extensively study composition and arrangement, I can bring almost anything to the table.
I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.
Interview with Sadao
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital, mostly due to the editing and because I love how KOAN, Skrillex, tennyson, dwilly sound, with their super modern production.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That I will bring my best to the job, and that I understand that my best isn't enough at times, and that all I can do is improve.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Definitely the part where I get to make music.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I don't know to be honest, if it's about engineering then it would be that you need expensive equipment to get a good sound, since it really is all about how well you can level, and how dynamic the source audio is. If it's about performance/arranging, then it would be that we come up with the material on the spot/are creative. I trained myself to quickly cycle through a multitude of ideas by doing what I call association games, where I find musical synonyms/similarities and go through in order of importance. But in the end it's not really creative, and it's just having a wide musical vocabulary.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I usually ask for references, ideal length of the track, deadline, and anything about the project other than the music.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Definitely to talk a lot, since I do love knowing everything about the project.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My laptop, my DT990s, my MOTU interface, my harddrive with all my KONTAKT libraries, and probably my phone.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: My career started with my professors at Kunitachi recommending me to their peers. I started with a lot of VGM music, and created music for a number of titles while also pursuing a career in Jazz Piano performance. I've been performing on a stage since I was 12, when I began attending piano competitions, and I've been creating music for projects for more than 8 years now.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: A mix of electronic and acoustic, an amalgamation I'm still trying to hone.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would love to work with both Blue Note and ECM, as well as work as an engineer at Capitol Records some day. In terms of individual artists, I would love to work with Shai Maestro, Nitai Hershkovits, and Eldar Djangirov, all of whom are pianists that I respect very much. I would also love to co-produce music with Luke Pretty of tennyson, Sonny John Moore of Skrillex, and KOAN Sounds.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Definitely ear training and learning to listen in an honest manner. When I hear something I like, I go back and repeat that section as many times until I know exactly why I liked it (dynamics, arrangement, effects, etc.)
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I usually work on orchestral, or modern pop music. My main area of expertise is in modern jazz orchestral music, in the veins of Maria Schneider, Snarky Puppy's collaboration with Metropole Orkest, etc.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill is definitely my ears. I am ear trained to distinguish individual notes out of a cluster chord, can respond with lightning quick speed to a fast passage in a live musical setting, and can immediately tell what areas would empowered within a frequency range for mixing.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring my musical taste, and formal training to the song. Both in the forms of arrangement/orchestration, as in I can create any form of ensemble from a simple audio file of someone humming a tune, and in the form of production, as in I am well versed in modern music production, and can record, edit, mix, and render a tune out within Ableton Live, Cubase, and ProTools.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I recieve references from the client, I draft up 3 short demos each with something done differently. Depending on what the client liked/disliked, I narrow down what sounds the best to them, and then work on the full production. Typically the revision rounds last about 3 or 4 back and forths, before we get the product done. If the project required vocals, then I would create demo vocals either with my own singing, or with Dreamtonics SynthV.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I mainly use a pair of Mackie CR-3s, and augment that with both my HD280s and my DT990s. I use a MOTU M2 interface, and do all my work on an ROG Strix G15.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I am infinitely inspired by the works of Al Schmitt, and I really enjoy how Julian Lage's "Room with a View" sounds, Mark Goodell is immensely talented. Manfred Eicher is also a personal hero of mine, and I look up to a lot of his records. In terms of songwriting, Stevie Wonder, The Carpenters, Billy Joel are all names that immediately pop up for me. I also have been really digging Pale Waves, The Marias, tennyson, dwilly. I very much enjoy a mix of both acoustic and electronic music.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I mainly do full production work, so I do the songwriting, arrangement, music production and mixing for a project. I usually send off the audio to a mastering engineer I regularly work with.