A recording of music composed by the late Argentine tango master Astor Piazzolla is the first MQA recording to be released on compact disc in Japan. The album, titled A. Piazzolla by Strings and Oboe, was recorded by the UNAMAS Piazzolla Septet and mastered by respected producer and mastering engineer Mick Sawaguchi. It was released by the Ottava label on March 17, 2017.
After attending a JAS (Japan Audio Society) seminar on MQA technology that was presented by MQA founder Bob Stuart in late 2016, Mick Sawaguchi and Synthax Japan’s managing director, Seiji Murai, realized that MQA could enable not only 48/24 coding but also 44.1/16 coding. “We were both excited by the prospect that CD, combined with MQA technology, could herald a new era of hi-res audio,” says Sawaguchi.
MQA technology captures and reproduces original sound quality using less data, and the MQA CD works in exactly the same way as an MQA digital file. With a conventional CD player connected to an MQA-enabled device – such as those from Meridian, Mytek, Brinkmann, and Technics – the MQA CD will “unwrap” to the original sample rate.
Sawaguchi compared a test MQA CD with a normal CD of the same recording at SONA Studio, played back on a CD player with a Meridian amplifier and speaker system. “Listening to the MQA CD was a great moment in my life, as it no longer sounded like music from a CD,” Sawaguchi observes.
Adds Bob Stuart, MQA founder and CTO, “This exciting release demonstrates that innovative music creators, like Mick Sawaguchi, are embracing MQA as the best way to master and deliver their recordings. While MQA is ideal for streaming services like TIDAL, where studio quality sound can be streamed in smaller file sizes, we also appreciate the importance of the CD format in the Japanese market.”
Using pioneering scientific research into how people hear, the MQA team created a technology that captures the sound of the original studio performance. The master MQA file is fully authenticated and is small enough to stream, while also being backward compatible, so you can play MQA music on any device. MQA’s award-winning technology is licensed by labels, music services, and hardware manufacturers worldwide, and is certified by the RIAA. Recently, MQA technology launched on TIDAL’s streaming service as “TIDAL Master Audio.”
For more information, visit www.mqa.co.uk.
A. Piazzolla by Strings and Oboe track listing:
M-02 Adios Nonio
M-03 Premavera Portena
M-04 Liber Tango