There are many creators that bring the world of KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS to life.
In our seventh installment, we sat down with a Recording Engineer and a Music Composer from the Sound team. 
From behind-the-scenes episodes about the construction of the new studio to how the two of them live with music in their daily lives, we focus on professionals in the field of "sound," which is also an important element in games. 

Name: Masaya Nagai   
Role: Recording Engineer 

Pictured left. Joined the KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS mid-career from a post-production studio. Because of his work, he is always interested in audio mixing of movies and music. Recently, he has found an interest in the fact that the way he feels about audio mixes is completely different from others around him.  

Name: Ayako Higuchi 
Role: Music Composer 

Pictured right. Joined KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS mid-career after working as a freelancer in the U.S. She is a mom of one and loves jazz and minimalist music. Her recent interests include figuring out which meal kit (cooking time of less than 20 minutes) is the perfect balance of taste, price, and variety for her daughter.     

※Audio Mixing: balancing volume, frequency, position, etc. 
※Post-production: refers to the post-production stage that comes after filming and companies in charge of such work 


Q. What kind of work do you normally do? 

Nagai: I am a recording engineer. My main job is to record the voice actors' voices in the studio and also prepare the sound by removing noise and adjusting the volume so that it can be used in the game. I am also in charge of studio management and operation, as well as sound work for projects other than games. 

Higuchi: My usual job is as music composer in charge of music production. There are several music composers in the studio, but in my case, I am also in charge of English audio-related work. I attend PCAP and voice recordings and handle organizing and managing the recorded data. I am in charge of coordinating these tasks from a creative standpoint, making use of my English skills and knowledge as a composer. 

※Pcap (Performance Capture): recording body movement, voice, and facial expressions simultaneously. 


Q. What is your team atmosphere like? 

Nagai: There’s a nice balance, and the atmosphere is very good. For the most part, I am allowed to work freely on my own. During internal meetings, while we talk about things that are useful or educational for work, we also have random and casual conversations too, which is a good balance of distance and close communication. 

Higuchi: The sound team members are like craftsmen and many have their own unique worldviews, so while respecting their individuality, we are all conscious of maintaining a good distance from each other. In that respect, the atmosphere might be similar to the Art team! 

Interview 1: Artist Team: https://www.kojimaproductions,jp/en/Staff-interview-01 
Interview 6: Artist Team:


ーーーIt sounds like a great team! What is your team leader like? 

Nagai: He is very easygoing. He gives me serious advice in a respectful manner and is also casual and conversational at other times. Maybe it’s because he balances work and private life really well. 

Higuchi: We talk about music software plug-ins and other trivial things (laughs). He’s a really caring leader. But sometimes, I think he works a little too hard... (laughs). 


Q. Why did you decide to join KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS? 

Nagai: I originally worked for a post-production company for about seven years. As I pursued post-production work, I began to feel that I wanted to challenge myself in a different world in order to grow, so I started considering a career change. Just at that time, I received a notice from LinkedIn that KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS had started recruiting for a recording engineer. It is very rare for a game company to be looking for a recording engineer. So I applied for the position, thinking that I wanted to be involved with KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS in some way. 

Higuchi: Like Nagai san, I also applied for the position through a LinkedIn notification. You can register the type of job you want and get notifications when openings start. Before joining KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS, I lived in the U.S. for a while and did freelance music work. When I returned to Japan, I realized once again that I wanted to do work related to music. Rather than just music though, I wanted to work on movies, games, and other content where music and something else are combined to create a synergistic effect. Another reason was that I was returning to Japan from the U.S., so I wanted to be involved in an industry that Japan can be proud of. The fact that games are an industry that Japan is proud of was a reason I wanted to join KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS. 

ーーーKOJIMA PRODUCTIONS updates employment information on LinkedIn from time to time, so if you follow us on LinkedIn, you can keep up to date on the latest news


Q. We heard that you were also involved in the building of the new studio, Nagai san. 

Nagai: I took on the new studio project using my experience working in the post-production industry and in other studios; I thought about what was missing in the other studios and what would make things more convenient. The most difficult part of the project was that the building itself had quite a few restrictions. The building had ducts running in all directions, and each area had rules about specific weight restrictions, so building the studio was like putting together a puzzle. 

※KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS New Studio Introduction article: 


Q. What are the special features of the new studio? 

Nagai: In order to properly check not only the sound but also video, we installed a short-throw projector that supports 4K/60FPS so that video can be checked on a large screen without losing quality. We also rearranged the console layout to make it easier to use. We added custom analog faders, too. Foley sound effects can also be recorded in the voice recording booth. We have Foley materials hidden underneath the flooring, and footsteps and other sounds can be recorded.  

ーーーDid the studio turn out the way you imagined? 

Nagai: It did. We were able to make something we can be proud of, which is typical of KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS as a studio that creates works for the world. This studio is my pride. 

For a more detailed interview about the studio, please visit ROCK ON PRO's website: 


Q. What’s the best thing about joining KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS? 

Nagai: I think the biggest thing is the freedom that I have. Of course, there is pressure and responsibility that comes with it, but despite my inexperience in the industry, I am entrusted with a lot of things, and that’s been the best thing about joining this company. 

Higuchi: For me, I think it was being able to take part in PCAP, which is a rare opportunity for people doing sound-related work. It was wonderful to be in the same space with the Hollywood actors and Mr. Kojima and the staff as they were creating the atmosphere of the work. The same goes for the voice recording sessions. I was really impressed by how natural Mr. Kojima’s directions were. I believe these are all valuable experiences that can only be had at KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS. 


Q. Changing the topic here, tell us about how you spend your days off. 

Nagai: On my days off, I usually spend time with my wife by taking walks, going to the movies, and other relaxing activities. I also play games. Other than that, I spend my time studying music mixing or writing programming codes. I really enjoy the moment when something I imagined in my head comes to life and fits perfectly. 

Higuchi: On days off, I like to sleep in a little more than usual, but I have a 5-year-old daughter who knocks me awake (laughs). Typically, I spend most of my time with my daughter. I take her to her ballet lessons and practice riding her bicycle. Every time I put her on the bike, I wonder, “Is today the day? Should I take off her training wheels?” I haven't been able to take them off yet, though. I wonder if it will be soon. 


Q. Both of you are involved with work in music: could you tell us about how you interact with music on the daily? 

Nagai: I mainly listen to music while traveling or commuting, but I tend to focus on the mix part because of my work and end up going home to listen to it in a more appropriate environment. Recently, I have been listening to a musician named Haruka Nakamura. 

Higuchi: I want to make time to listen to music properly. I enjoy music so much that I end up neglecting other tasks. So, I make time to listen to music and just sit back and do nothing. Recently, I have been listening to a friend’s recommendation, Steve Reich, who is an artist representing minimal music. I like music that is not too ornate and has fewer notes. 


Q. Tell us about your future plans. 

Nagai: In the future, I hope to control the mix portion of the overall sound. When we talk about sound, the first things that come to mind are the literal sound elements, such as music and sound effects, but it is very important to know how to present these elements through the process of audio mixing. Using various mixing techniques, I would like to master audio mixing that is appealing and can control the emotions of many users! 

Higuchi: I want to be more involved in the music part of the work, while also continuing to dedicate my time to the voiceover work. I hope to keep progressing every day as I cherish all the exciting projects, intense moments, and joy of working with wonderful creators. 


For more insight into other creative disciplines, be sure to check out our other interviews:   


KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS respects each employee's unique work style.    
For more information, please check out our HR interview: 

As we grow our team, we have opened several new positions.   
Fore more details on our open positions, please visit our CAREERS page on our website:

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