For George Seara, receiving a nomination in the 2012 Recording Engineer of the Year JUNO Award category is a singular honour. “It’s always wonderful to receive acknowledgement for your work, but especially in the country you’re from.”
This is the Toronto-based mixer/recording engineer and longtime Tannoy user’s second nomination in the category – His first was in 2008, for Holly Cole’s self-titled 2007 release. This year Seara is under consideration for two releases, Michael Kaeshammer’s ‘KAESHAMMER’ and Laila Biali’s ‘Tracing Light’.
Over time, Seara has adopted a variety of new technologies for his recording and mixing process, but his preference for Tannoy Ellipse 8s as his ‘go to’, near field monitors remains constant. “The Dual Concentric drivers offer a rock solid centre image and the speakers have a very wide sweet spot,” he says, “which makes it much easier when I’m moving back and forth across the console. Also – turn them up or down – they remain balanced in terms of frequency response. I often mix multiple days in a row, so if a speaker is fatiguing it becomes a problem fast. The Ellipse 8s are easy to listen to for long periods of time.”
The artist’s comfort is also a factor in his choice. “The response to the Ellipse has always been great. In pop, R&B and jazz there are a lot of vocal subtleties and artists need to be comfortable with what they’re hearing.” While the loudspeaker’s signature oval design often draws attention initially, he adds, the Ellipse’s natural vocal reproduction makes the biggest impression, occasionally prompting Seara’s clients to invest in Tannoy technology themselves.
Seara has also stocked up on Tannoy over time, on both their Ellipse 8s and TS12 subs, which he pairs with the Tannoy near fields in his downtown Toronto mix room. “I have nine Ellipse 8s and two TS12s,” he says, laughing. “I actually leave some at other studios, so they’re waiting for me when I work elsewhere – Filling out the low range is tough for any near field alone and the TS12s integrate very well with the Ellipse. When I do go to new studios I’m happy to A/B my speakers against whatever they have in house, but I keep coming back to Tannoy. They’re tried and true, and I’ve never had a problem with them.”
Seara has had many highlights over the course of his career thus far. Among them working closely with Rihanna, Drake, Keshia Chanté, Herbie Hancock, Sting, and Finger Eleven, but he ranks the recognition he’s received from The Canadian Academy of Arts and Sciences (CARAS) with this 2012 JUNO nomination as one of the greatest. “”I’m honoured to have shared in receiving awards for my work over the years, both Grammy and JUNO Awards, for artists I”ve worked with, but this one is special,” Seara says. “It”s my second time being nominated in a category that specifically celebrates music mixing and recording engineering accomplishments. I’m thrilled.”