Plug-ins I Actually Use: Maxi Meraki

The Belgian producer and Ibiza resident lets us peek into his projects to learn what it is he loves about Dada Life's Endless Smile and reFX Nexus 2.

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Ibiza resident Maxi Meraki has gained support on his upbeat house and techno beats from dance music pioneers such as Annie Mac, Roger Sanchez, Gene Farris, and Paco Osuna. The Belgian producer’s latest EP To The Top, released on Future Disco, boasts deep house piano stabs, groovy guitar licks and catchy vocal hooks, giving us an early, sumptuous taste of summer.

We open his plug-in folder to see what software is powering his productions and learn about his secret sauce and guilty pleasures.

What’s your latest plug-in purchase, Maxi?

The wonderful iZotope Nectar 3. It’s actually a plug-in I’ve used on most of my releases. It’s the greatest plug-in for me because of its power on vocal recordings. Nectar 3 has an analyser that automatically fixes problems concerning vocals. It’s a comprehensive and modern toolkit to improve all my vocal mixing projects.

What’s the best value plug-in you own?

Immediately, I think of Endless Smile from Dada Life. I’m using this on almost every track. The ‘Meraki Secret’ might be this fabulous plug-in. Endless Smile is designed to turn any input signal into a rising build-up with its one-knob intensity. With some tinkering, Endless Smile can turn anything into a wonderful build-up.

Maxi Meraki Plug-ins
Dada Life’s Endless Smile.

What’s a DAW stock plug-in you use all the time?

My favourite is the Retro Synth in Logic Pro. It has this vintage feeling as a flexible 16-voice synthesizer, and can produce a wide variety of sounds. Also, it’s easy to use thanks to lots of identical parameters found in each synthesizer engine.

Maxi Meraki Plug-ins

In your new track, To The Top, which plug-in would it not be complete without?

The classic Nexus 2 by reFX. There’s a sparkling part in the instrumental and the dreamy lead I made sits nicely. It’s one of the most popular and widely used ROMplers available in music production. With a simple, adjustable interface, Nexus2 makes it easy for me to choose my settings with just a few turns on the knob.

Nexus

Any plug-ins that are vital for sample processing?

I use iZotope RX 8 to easily divide all the elements from the sample. This means taking out the vocals, drums, bass, and so on, and using these stems in a new context. RX 8 also helps eliminate harsh frequency content and repairs audio problems. It really speeds up my workflow.

What plug-in is your secret sauce?

I tend to use FabFilter’s Pro Q a lot, it’s my workhorse EQ plug-in. It gives me a superb workflow, allowing me to achieve a supreme sound quality with its extensive feature set. It has an intuitive interface that helps me get the sound I’m looking for quickly and easily.

What’s your guilty pleasure plug-in?

Sick Individuals’ Focus One, undoubtedly. If my sound is not powerful enough, it has this one-click service button to a bigger sound. This plug-in has five effects engines that provide me with everything I need to make my synths sound big, cut through the mix and work together perfectly with my beats.

Maxi Meraki’s new EP, To The Top, is available now at beatport.com.

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