Montclair, NJ (August 1, 2018)—Hal Leonard Books has released its latest title, Al Schmitt on Vocal and Instrumental Recording Techniques, sharing the insights and knowledge of the 20-time Grammy-winning engineer who’s worked with everyone from Sinatra and McCartney to Usher and Dr. Dre.
Released as part of its new METAlliance Academy Curriculum Series series, the book takes readers into the studio with Schmitt as he works through his miking process, discussing how to select proper equipment, and guiding readers on how to capture only the best sounds. Song style, instrumentation, and the recording space itself are just some of the variables he explores and considers when selecting and placing a microphone; additionally, Schmitt discusses his favorite techniques and setups for a number of instruments, including drums, bass, piano, guitars (both acoustic and electric), organs, and horns as played across many genres of music.
Beyond equipment and tactics, Schmitt draws on stories from his illustrious career as he explains the importance of skillfully interacting with musicians. He highlights the value of catering to an artist’s vision and preferences in order to create a session that is both comfortable and effective for all involved.
Al Schmitt has been in recording studios since he was seven years old, starting in his uncle's recording studio in New York City. At nineteen, after serving in the US Navy, Schmitt got his first engineering job at Apex studio in New York working with his mentor, engineer Tommy Dowd. He was responsible for recording simple demos, but that changed when a presumed demo booked under the name “Mercer” turned out to be Duke Ellington and his band. Schmitt went on to record sessions for Atlantic Records, Prestige Records, and Bobby Shad's “Sittin In” Records.
In the decades since, he’s worked with household names like Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Usher and Dr. Dre, to name a few. During his career, he has recorded and mixed over 150 gold and platinum records and has gone on to receive a total of 20 Grammy wins and 2 Latin Grammy awards for engineering albums by such artists as Steely Dan, Toto, Natalie Cole, Quincy Jones, Diana Krall, Luis Miguel, Ray Charles, Chick Corea, DeeDee Bridgewater, and Paul McCartney in 2013 (his most recent Grammy win).
Also, Schmitt is a founding member of METAlliance—established in 2005 with globally-recognized, award-winning audio engineers and producers Chuck Ainlay, Ed Cherney, Frank Filipetti, George Massenburg, Elliot Scheiner and the late Phil Ramone, the METAlliance is a collaborative community that fosters relationships between producers, engineers, and manufacturers in order to ensure the highest standards of audio production. The group has turned its attention to providing education and inspiration to music creators while promoting excellence in engineering and production.
Accordingly, in conjunction with Hal Leonard, the METAlliance has begun publishing the group’s collective knowledge with a product line in multiple media formats, including A/V tutorial courses and in-person workshop events.
Hal Leonard Books • www.halleonardbooks.com