DECEMBER 6, 2010

George Seara Hits the Sweet Spot with Avid Artist Series


George Seara

Mixer, Recording Engineer
Toronto, ON Canada

George Seara is one of Toronto’s leading mixers and recording engineers. A musician and lifelong recording enthusiast, he is known for his great musical ear and astute attention to detail. George works in all genres of music and his recent clients include Jacksoul, Rihanna, Drake, Mos Def, Holly Cole, Ludacris, 50 Cent, Sting, Herbie Hancock and Finger Eleven. He recently completed mixing an album project with Sierra Leone born/Canadian-based singer Sy’rai with various producers and featuring Wyclef Jean, Sly & Robbie and Beenie Man. He also mixed material with Sy’rai feat A.U.C.A.Y.D. (Artists United for Children and Youth Development) which was released as part of Universal’s War Child 10, a ten-year anniversary compilation that also features tracks by Coldplay, Radiohead and Wolfmother.


Hybrid approach

I’m using the Artist Mix and Artist Control to enhance my Pro Tools mixing experience and they keep me using faders and controls versus keyboard and mouse. I recently set up a new mix room and opted to set things up predominantly as a hybrid of both in-the-box processing as well as Dangerous Music summing. I do still patch some analogue outboard gear and the fader control from the Artist stuff really feels just like sitting at a large format analogue mixer, except that you’re always in the sweet spot. It’s really a fantastic setup—it sounds awesome, I can move between projects quickly, recall is a snap and I still have hands-on control using the Artist series controllers. I’m most impressed with how well and seamless the controllers work with Pro Tools. For example, pressing Control + Shift and clicking on any Pro Tools track instantly assigns that track to my leftmost fader—this is the clincher for me. I can really fly around and have fader control instantly at my fingertips—perfect for rides and automation as well.


Ergonomic workflow

I do a large amount of mixing, so speed and ergonomics are very important to me. I actually developed a bit of tendinitis in my right arm a few years ago from long hours of mousing and basically repetitive stress. I’ve since made some changes to my workflow ergonomics and the Artist series controllers are amazing—right at the top of my must-have list when it comes to mixing in my room. I mix just as I would when mixing on a large format SSL desk—the difference being that I’m always in the sweet spot with fader to track control at a short arm’s distance away. I set up my Artist Series controllers so that I have the Artist Mix on my left and the Artist Control on my right. This gives me twelve assignable faders in a row, which is perfect for me. Once I set up a nice initial balance of things I tend to assign things to VCAs in Pro Tools. From there I can really hone in on things and get my balance feeling just right. Having fader control, panning, track mutes and solos at my finger tips, just as I would with any analogue desk is perfect—all while sitting front and center.

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