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Seal 6: Commitment Audio Interfaces
Old 19th December 2010
  #1
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D K's Avatar
Seal 6: Commitment

May have missed it..Have not seen much talk...

been a fan all the guy's carreer and he's a major influence..

I think this is his best by far since SEAL II

Anybody around here involved in the production? Beautiful sound...thumbsup


I don't really know how to post these correctly..I know.. dum**** - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgPk-kyOfG8
Old 19th December 2010
  #2
byk
Gear Maniac
I bet TTF will comment on this matter....
Old 19th December 2010
  #3
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studiostuff's Avatar
 

That's a rockin' tune...
Old 19th December 2010
  #4
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Mark D.'s Avatar
 

His most consistent album, by far. Not one song on it is less than stellar. Trevor Horn is one of
my favorite producers, so his not working with him anymore was a reason for concern. Working
on his own ("System") wasn't bad, but not many great songs. His last album of covers sounded
great but I wasn't crazy about the song choices. But I liked that he was with David Foster and
felt the potential for an album of orginals was there...and this is proof of that. David has a way
of bringing the best out of artists. In sonics and sound crafting. Seal's latest, song-for-song, is
possibly the best of 2010, for mainstream Pop and Rock. Songs DO matter. Hopefully, there are
at least a few more albums of great original songs that would arise from their working together.
Old 19th December 2010
  #5
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Fantastic album! I would like to hear a bit about the strings on this record. They sound like the real thing to me.
Old 19th December 2010
  #6
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feck's Avatar
Agreed, this is a fantastic album. Surprises around every corner. I will say this, though - what is up with the drum sounds? I personally think they are really sub-par overall given the rest of the album's production quality. And I have $20 riding on the fact that on at least one of the songs, stock v-drum brain sounds are being used (I could swear it's the same kit I used on a bunch of songs 10 years ago when I had the TD-20). Eek. But even with that, there is no denying Seal's amazing talent. Some production insights would be awesome.
Old 19th December 2010
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by byk View Post
I bet TTF will comment on this matter....
Haven't heard it or paid attention to it actually, but did see Seal perform "Secret" on TV somewhere. To be honest i am not a big fan of the David Foster/Seal productions songs or sounds.

Its a different sound than the Trevor Horn/Jamie Muhoberac/Wendy and Lisa/Guy Sigsworth/Anne Dudley no expense type of sound.
Old 19th December 2010
  #8
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I love Seal too but honestly, IMO David Foster should be reserved for Michael Bolton and Celine Dion. This record has some really strong tunes on it but I just cannot listen to Fosters production completely castrate Seal.

Last edited by Ernest Buckley; 3rd January 2011 at 08:14 PM.. Reason: still learning how to spell
Old 20th December 2010
  #9
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D K's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Buckley View Post
I love Seal too but honestly, IMO David Foster should be reserved for Michael Bolton and Celine Dion. This record has some really strong tunes on it but I just cannot listen to Fosters production complete castrate Seal.

Interesting..not familiar with David Foster's work but this record has some killer tunes on it - Big Time blows my head off...cause I keep turning it up!
Old 20th December 2010
  #10
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Ernest Buckley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by D K View Post
Interesting..not familiar with David Foster's work but this record has some killer tumes on it - Big Time blows my head off...cause I keep turning it up!
Yes, like I said, this record has some strong tunes. But Fosters overly polished productions just take the edge off of Seal whereas a Trevor Horn for example, would give it a little more attitude and at least for me, thats the Seal I know and love. Either way, its a good collection of songs and its a decent sounding record. I agree with musical5 that the strings sound fantastic!
Old 20th December 2010
  #11
It sounds completely over-produced to me. The best song
is Big Time . and even still .. the orchestration hits don't match
the song.

The whole time i was listening to this album, I wanted the vocal much closer
and wanted a "Mute Lush" button.

jeff
Old 20th December 2010
  #12
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doug hazelrigg's Avatar
I haven't heard the album, but David Foster? I respect what Foster does, but it doesn't seem at first glance to be a good fit. I didn't hear the Covers album, but I did see the TV special based on it. Seal is so talented he can rise above any material or producer, but whenever I see a great artist putting out a "covers" album, I think "desperation move." Honestly, I think the words "David Foster" and "over-production" are pretty synonymous
Old 20th December 2010
  #13
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Ernest Buckley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by doug hazelrigg View Post
I haven't heard the album, but David Foster? I respect what Foster does, but it doesn't seem at first glance to be a good fit. I didn't hear the Covers album, but I did see the TV special based on it. Seal is so talented he can rise above any material or producer, but whenever I see a great artist putting out a "covers" album, I think "desperation move." Honestly, I think the words "David Foster" and "over-production" are pretty synonymous
You`re absolutely right, Seal and Foster is not a good fit. And thankfully Seal does rise above the over production of Foster. I actually went to Seals site about two weeks ago and posted to him that he should never ever again have Foster produce him.

What do I know? Seals incredible... mean, I`m just a fan.

My wife also loves Seal but she cannot listen to this record because of Foster. At least I can hear past the production.
Old 20th December 2010
  #14
I think everyone has to keep in mind that if you are used to the Trevor Horn production style, then anything compared to it will either:

1) Seem not good enough
2) Different
3) Or sounds too much like Trevor

So who ever will work with Seal after Trevor will have a tough pair of shoes to fill or follow. I heard the same thing over the years when it came to MJ and Quincy Jones. To this day its "Michael should have never left Quincy's camp" and "MJ's records after just weren't the same or as good". Again a tough act to follow. The pairing of the superstar producer with a superstar talented artist can make or break any A&R in this biz.

If you get it right you'll have hits to come by. If you hit it wrong you can and will probably get fired.

Even though some people lamented the pairing back in the early 80's, i actually liked the David Foster/Chicago productions. To some of their loyal fans they thought it was a sell out and left, but for a whole new generation who grew up in the 80's with this pairing they thought it was the coolest thing since slice bread. I happened to love old Chicago, but i liked the songs that David Foster was able to foster with them. Not to mention the great sound that Humberto Gatica got on those recordings.
Old 20th December 2010
  #15
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u b k's Avatar
 

More sounds! More effects! More compression! Now turn everything up!

It's not unlike Spector's approach, only with midi cables instead of human beings.

Doesn't speak to me personally, but... so what?

I'm old fashioned, I like contrast. Call me nuts, but I'd put Seal in a room with a dozen gifted players and record moving air.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 20th December 2010
  #16
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JCM123's Avatar
 

Cant compare anything to the Seal/Trevor Horn combo. Having said that though, I actualy really liked what Stuart Price done on 'System'.

Will have to listen to this more.
Old 20th December 2010
  #17
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Ernest Buckley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by camron123 View Post
Cant compare anything to the Seal/Trevor Horn combo. Having said that though, I actualy really liked what Stuart Price done on 'System'.

Will have to listen to this more.
Yes, that combo worked until they asked Heidi to sing a duet.
Old 20th December 2010
  #18
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D K's Avatar
Good stuff and comments from all..

I just think it sounds much more balanced from a song perspective than his recent efforts - His voice is at the top of it's form..as usual

Personally, I loved Trevor Horn/Seal productions (especially II and Human Beings) but I never thought they were "earthy" or raw sounding..

They always had a "bombastic" type of big/lush sound to them.. This is different but does not seem like a real grand departure to me..never-the-less .. It's good to see/hear Seal in his element again ..He is unique thumbsup
Old 20th December 2010
  #19
Vogon
Guest
I think the main difference for me with Trev's and this production is, with this you always know exactly what's coming next...
It is still expertly done Pop IMO. But not quite my cup of tea.
Old 20th December 2010
  #20
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While there are some creative effects, I don't consider the song above 'over-produced'. Trevor if
anything put a lot more 'production' into the sound. Trevor is great. I don't say it to be negative,
just to compare. The vocal's dry and up-front. The drums hit solid and they don't sound fake. No
'death by auto-tune'. I think many can't get past Foster having worked with 'light' artists before.

There is no shortage today of songs produced with a knee-jerk response to polished main-stream
pop. Such productions might have good songs on them, but I can't think of any 'raw for the sake
of it' artists in the last year who've released songs nearly as good as anything on this album. It's
so PC to diss quality production, but not call out mediocre (but 'raw') songs we hear so much of?

As he did with The Tubes, David helped Seal to hit his stride for the songwriting. Many have their
best songs on their first few albums and spend the rest of their time trying to get the magic back
again. It is rare an artist will have his best album, song-wise, in my opinion, this far along. David's
from where producers do more than just 'impart vibe', but get the best songs out of those artists.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #21
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doug hazelrigg's Avatar
Then again, everybody raised their eyebrows when Emmylou Harris was gonna work with Daniel Lanois... or when Neil Diamond was teaming up with Rick Rubin... those associations actually produced some great records
Old 22nd December 2010
  #22
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studiostuff's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doug hazelrigg View Post
Then again, everybody raised their eyebrows when Emmylou Harris was gonna work with Daniel Lanois... or when Neil Diamond was teaming up with Rick Rubin... those associations actually produced some great records
Emmylou, definitely!!

Neil, not so much...
Old 22nd December 2010
  #23
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doug hazelrigg's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by studiostuff View Post
Emmylou, definitely!!

Neil, not so much...
Well, okay... but I thought "12 Songs" wasn't bad (assuming you even like Neil at all)
Old 22nd December 2010
  #24
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Ernest Buckley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark D. View Post
While there are some creative effects, I don't consider the song above 'over-produced'. Trevor if
anything put a lot more 'production' into the sound. Trevor is great. I don't say it to be negative,
just to compare. The vocal's dry and up-front. The drums hit solid and they don't sound fake. No
'death by auto-tune'. I think many can't get past Foster having worked with 'light' artists before.

There is no shortage today of songs produced with a knee-jerk response to polished main-stream
pop. Such productions might have good songs on them, but I can't think of any 'raw for the sake
of it' artists in the last year who've released songs nearly as good as anything on this album. It's
so PC to diss quality production, but not call out mediocre (but 'raw') songs we hear so much of?

As he did with The Tubes, David helped Seal to hit his stride for the songwriting. Many have their
best songs on their first few albums and spend the rest of their time trying to get the magic back
again. It is rare an artist will have his best album, song-wise, in my opinion, this far along. David's
from where producers do more than just 'impart vibe', but get the best songs out of those artists.
Great points. You`re actually making me change my mind about David Foster. You`re right, I associate him with lighter artists like Bolton and Celine Dion.

I`ve been listening to Seals Commitment again since this thread started and maybe the sound is growing on me but either way, Foster was able to get Seal to write some really amazing stuff on here so just for that he deserves another shot at producing another Seal record.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #25
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D K's Avatar
listen to this:

YouTube - SEAL 6 COMMITMENT_THE WAY I LIE.wmv

This is just classic Seal... but on a another level.. Huge sounding mix!
Old 22nd December 2010
  #26
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Mark D.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Buckley View Post
You're right, I associate him with lighter artists like Bolton and Celine Dion.
You're right. As do others. Don't forget Buble', Grobhan, Bocelli. I actually gained more respect
that he could work on such a diverse group. With so many being genre-specific he breaks that
rule. I remember when I once mentioned his name to a musician/producer friend and he'd rolled
his eyes, thinking of the 'lighter' work. I'd then mentioned he'd produced what are my favorites
by The Tubes, 'Completion Backward Principle' and 'Outside/Inside'. He changed his mind about
David on the spot! Check out non 'light' rockers like 'Talk To Ya Later' & 'Out Of The Business'.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #27
Deleted User
Guest
There's a guy on the forum who worked on the album. I think it's pretty nice, but I like Seal. I seem to have the ability to be able to switch off the 'producer head' sometimes so I don't have to worry about wether or not it sounds anything like Seal II, which was a masterpiece.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
I think everyone has to keep in mind that if you are used to the Trevor Horn production style, then anything compared to it will either:

1) Seem not good enough
2) Different
3) Or sounds too much like Trevor
Couldn't have put it better myself. The Quincy Jones/MJ analogy was perfect too. Sometimes just enjoy the music for what it is, instead of comparing it to what he's done in the past.

I guess it's difficult when a producer has that much impact though. As seen with Mutt Lange & Def Leppard. Def Leppard still had some great albums after Mutt, but are always benchmarked because of the impact.

Same with Quincy & MJ, Roy Thomas Baker & Queen and on and on and on...
Old 23rd December 2010
  #28
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by D K View Post
listen to this:

YouTube - SEAL 6 COMMITMENT_THE WAY I LIE.wmv

This is just classic Seal... but on a another level.. Huge sounding mix!
Eh....leaves me cold. Or actually, luke warm - as in too warm.

Huge Seal fan here. Nothing on this track comes to the same hemisphere as anything on Seal 2/3. I liked the track in your original post. Enough to tell Santa I want it for Christmas. heh The way I Lie just seems muddy to me. Maybe I just don't like the mix, but there's certainly not the complexity and cool layers that Trevor had happening. Those records may be some of the best Artist/Producer-Arranger collaborations of all time IMO.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #29
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D K's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Eh....leaves me cold. Or actually, luke warm - as in too warm.

Huge Seal fan here. Nothing on this track comes to the same hemisphere as anything on Seal 2/3. I liked the track in your original post. Enough to tell Santa I want it for Christmas. heh The way I Lie just seems muddy to me. Maybe I just don't like the mix, but there's certainly not the complexity and cool layers that Trevor had happening. Those records may be some of the best Artist/Producer-Arranger collaborations of all time IMO.


Cool.. "Weight of my mistakes" is a standout to me is well..

I've always thought that Seal sounded "produced"..but no matter what it is still him that carries the day.. I love "lush" and Seal...they have always just gone together like Cognac and Cigars..
Old 23rd December 2010
  #30
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That's true. He's also always had a thing for a dry, up-front vocal sound. He delivers that on this
recording as well. Though I did notice a review somewhere mention his voice sounds more grainy
than ever. So I wonder if he ever quit smoking cigarettes as I think he did before, those can put
a strain on vocals. What's funny is I'd noticed someone previously say it was his voice not being
dry and up front enough. Well, I heard someone, on another thread, related to this, say it is too
dry and sounds too close to the microphone. So you can't please everyone I guess. Some songs
are so strong they'd only need him playing acoustic guitar and singing them. Others, let's face it
they will sound better with more production. I'm a really big fan of 'less is better' but only to the
extent that it improves things. As sure as Supertramp would never sound as good stripped down
for most of their songs. But they can be balanced. "The Weight Of My Mistakes", as an example.
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