2021-05-13 Remembering Al Schmitt
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As many of you probably know by now, the great Al Schmitt left us unexpectedly a few weeks ago. (April 26, 2021). Arguably the greatest audio engineer that has every lived, he was 91 years old. There have been so many articles and YouTube videos honoring and remembering him. This is one of the BEST and I highly recommend you watch all of it ==>> A Tribute to Al Schmitt. Featuring a panel of luminary audio engineers, it's two hours well spent! Any quest of excellence in the art of making records will eventually arrive at studying the work of Al Schmitt. There is even an acronym: 'WWAD' (What Would Al Do?) used by seasoned engineers the world over.
Andrew Scheps compiled a Spotify playlist of Al records. It's a great overview of the expansive diversity of his discography:
Such a huge range of style and tones. Al was equally comfortable working with so many different genres and artists including Henri Mancini, Claus Ogerman, Steely Dan, Toto and Sir Paul McCartney. Let this be an inspiration to those of us working in our super niche styles. The more we study, listen and open our ears to different genres, artists and time periods, the better we are and the more we can create.
Al Schmitt on the Record: The Magic Behind the Music Released in 2018, should be REQUIRED reading for all Music Tech students. My only regret is the audio book version was not read by Al.
Thankfully, there are a lot of amazing videos featuring Al Schmitt in the studio. Some of my favorites include the ones from Mix With The Masters - Al Schmitt And Pure mix: Al Schmitt Tracking Cyrille Aimée And ya, these videos aren't free. But when you think about the value of the wisdom being transmitted through the lineage of Al Schmitt, these videos are priceless.
The loss has been heavy. But the inspiration and legacy of Al Schmitt remains strong.