When you’re an award-winning music agency with a worldwide hit television show on your hands, you need the best equipment to ensure composers can work quickly and without the technology getting in the way of their creativity. For this reason, SMP Amsterdam recently invested in four new Yamaha Nuage systems.
SMP Amsterdam was founded 20 years ago by composer Martijn Schimmer. The company produces music for broadcast, channel branding, commercials and movies. Currently Schimmer's music for televised singing competition The Voice is heard in around 160 countries, as well as being a familiar part of many Dutch TV series and adverts. Its premises include seven studios, six for individual engineers and a master studio with a large live room. Four of them, including the master studio, have been refurbished with brand new Nuage systems.
“When I started as a composer, I was using Steinberg Cubase – firstly with MIDI only, then increasingly using it to record audio as well,” says Schimmer. “Cubase got so good with audio that I crossgraded to Nuendo and now I couldn’t live without it.”
One of the biggest challenges the company faces is time, says Schimmer.
“Clients can call in the morning and want ideas or changes within a few hours. The longest deadline we usually get is a few days. When you are recording live performers, you also need to keep the process moving,” he comments.
Installed by studio and broadcast integrator Maartens Sound & Vision, the Nuage system in the main studio features a master unit and three fader units, with systems comprising a master unit and single fader unit in two of the smaller studios.
The fourth Nuage system is installed in a basement studio at Schimmer's home, with a master and two fader units. It is directly connected to the studio, allowing him to work on any project at any time, from either location.
Explains Schimmer: “One of the many great things about Nuage is how much you can do with the jog wheel. It is so intuitive, I do hardly anything on mouse and keyboard any more. I really like way the physical channel strip runs up into the screen. You don’t have to stray from where you are sitting or keep looking at the main screen - you can stay in the sweet spot, which is really important.”
SMP usually has 20-30 projects running at the same time.
A video of the installation can be seen on YouTube.