Sammy Merayah has enjoyed major collaborations and remix work with high profile DJs and artists
Belgium - Initially aimed at the post-production market, Yamaha's Nuage system is also being adopted by music recording studios and composers, thanks to its fast, intuitive workflow and powerful features. Leading dance music producer Sammy Merayah is one of the latest to invest.

Sammy's Yamaha legacy goes back well over a decade. Starting with an 02R digital mixer, he later upgraded to a DM2000, but has recently made a major investment in a Nuage system for his studio near the Belgian city of Aalst, near Brussels.

Sammy works as a composer, producer, remixer and arranger and has enjoyed major collaborations and remix work with high profile DJs and artists like Wolfpack, Flo Rida, Katy B, Akon, Coolio, Jason Derulo, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, Jetlag, T-Pain, Missy Elliott, Timbaland, Ginuwine, Chris Brown, Hooverphonic and others.

Having worked with Steinberg's Cubase DAW for many years, he was looking for new hardware to control Cubase as easily as possible.

"I'm very interested in the technology - I have kept every keyboard I have ever purchased - but in the end it's all about the music," he says. "I wanted to find a system which allowed me to work quickly and intuitively as a musician, so I didn't have to think about every step of the recording and production process in a technical way."

Sammy took a keen interest in Nuage as soon as it was introduced, immediately seeing its potential for use in recording studios. Extensive research and then trialling the system made investing in Nuage - and switching from Cubase to Nuendo 6.5 - a very logical step.

Purchased through Belgian Yamaha dealer Amptec, the Nuage system includes three fader units, because Sammy likes to be instantly 'hands on' with mixes - a high number of faders allowing adjustments to be made very quickly and at the optimum moment of inspiration.

"Nuage delivers perfect integration between hardware and software. It feels like an analogue mixer and is very intuitive to use," he says. "I can do many things at the same time and really work with the music, without having to stop and think."

Most of the audio sources he uses are from a huge array of keyboards, sound modules and samplers. Despite the large number, he knows them all off by heart and so can very quickly locate exactly what sound he needs. An eight-channel pre-amplifier feeds all the audio into the Nuage system, including other sources - such as guitar and vocals - when required.

"I am no longer a technician operating a mouse of a computer, working with Nuage has brought production and mixing back to being a very instinctive process. It has undoubtedly increased my creativity, it has brought me back to working as a real musician again," he says.

(Jim Evans)

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