On his recent West Coast tour, Seal used the Sennheiser/Neumann combination wireless system with G2 personal monitors.
For the past few months, Seal and band have been working at a residence that he rented to work on tracks for a possible upcoming album. Seal also brought in his two-year live monitor engineer, Marty Strayer. "Seal is really great to me," explains Strayer. "And the fact is, we're friends."
"Artists generally don't write and create in front of many people," Strayer continues, "but Seal is not afraid to do that; he likes to hear your opinions and see your reactions about his music. He's really open and is an amazing songwriter with an amazing style on the guitar that many people don't realize. It's been a thrill to be around so much to help him out."
Marty Strayer functions as both recording and monitoring engineer for Seal
Seal's home workspace includes a full-band rehearsal setup, monitored and documented via a Yamaha PM5D digital console and several digital audio workstations, respectively. The band listen via Sennheiser G2 in-ear wireless monitoring systems and recorded to both Pro Tools and Apple Logic DAW platforms. Seal—who performs live using a Neumann/Sennheiser hybrid microphone, a combination of the KK 105-S capsule head and Sennheiser's 5000 Series wireless transmitter—wielded the Neumann KMS 105 supercardioid condenser microphone during his home sessions. "It was a perfect setup for Seal to have access to everything the band has been using for the past two years," explains Strayer. "And he's always writing; it's non-stop."
Now back on the road, Strayer, Seal and the rest of the artist's band and production team are currently touring venues on the West Coast. The dates, which are using house P.A. systems with returning front-of-house engineer Stewart Bennett, are simpler affairs from the perspective of load-in/load-out. "Even I have a nice, small footprint," explains Strayer of his rig. "It's great. In advancing these gigs, there are no racks of gear I have to get. It's just my PM5D, my power supply and my IEM system. I couldn't ask for anything better or easier."
This ease is also encouraged by Seal's propensity to use IEM monitoring onstage, courtesy of a Sennheiser G2 wireless monitoring system. "Along with other benefits, the quality of the Sennheiser systems is great," Strayer insists. "I've used their gear for 14 years now and can say that company support has been awesome. I closely watched the development of in-ear monitors, and these make me feel particularly confident about my work. To be honest, if someone called me in to mix anyone and I could use my Sennheiser G2 personal monitors, I would be confident that I could."