Recording Tutorial

Al Schmitt on Using Microphones

  4.3   (13)  - log in to review
16 Videos | Length: 53min 45sec
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    Song and Style

    Without knowing the kind of music it is, you can't make informed decisions. In this video, Al Schmitt of METAlliance

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    Instrumentation and Musician

    The musician in the room is your best friend. In this video, Al talks about how the instrumentation and musicians affect the different mic and pre choices he makes.

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    The Recording Space

    Every room brings a new challenge with new opportunities. In this video, Al discusses how he chooses a recording space and what he looks for.

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    Band Setup

    From working with the producers or musicians, setting up the band to win is key. In this video, Al discusses exactly that.

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    Musician Interaction

    If the musician in the room isn't happy, you won't be happy. In this video, Al goes over how he shapes the cue mix for his sessions.

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    Drums, drums, and more drums? In this video, Al teaches you how he mikes the drums.

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    The upright bass is Al's favorite instrument to record. In this video, you'll learn exactly how Al mikes upright basses and guitars.

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    Balancing different microphones is a matter of listening. In this video, Al goes over his process for miking pianos.

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    Six strings with a rich warm sound, and an iconic sound that shaped generations. In this video, Al teaches you his miking technique for acoustic and electric guitars.

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    In this video, Al goes over how he mikes organs and Leslie speakers.

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    In this video, Al goes over how he mikes different reed instruments, such as the saxophone, clarinet, and oboes.

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    Big bands and orchestras have many things in common. One commonality is the brass section. In this video, Al teaches you how he mikes brass sections and the various setups.

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    It's important to always work with the arranger and conductor as a team. In this video, Al talks about his process for strings and why he always believes it's best to work as a team.

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    Percussion can be a handclap to a conga. In this video, Al goes over his miking process for percussion.

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    Interaction with Producer

    A producer's role is to see a project all the way through from the creative and business aspects. In this video, Al talks about his interaction with the producer and how it affects what he does in the studio.

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    First Playback with the Room

    There's nothing that does more for a project's compass then the first playback. In this video, Al talks about what he does and how he interacts with the artist during the first playback.

Product Overview

The first—and only—recording engineer to have his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame®, Al Schmitt has for decades been recording, producing, and engineering music for the greatest talents our industry has to offer. Looking for a world-class Master class? Al Schmitt on Using Microphones is your chance to work alongside this legendary engineer and producer!

In Al Schmitt on Using Microphones, you’ll join Al in the studio as he walks you through his miking process, helps you select proper equipment, and guides you to capture only the best sounds. You’ll learn to consider variables such as song style, instrumentation, and the recording space itself when selecting and placing a microphone; you’ll also watch Al demonstrate 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, Al draws on stories from his illustrious career as he explains the importance of skillfully interacting with musicians. He highlights the importance of catering to an artist’s vision and preferences in order to create a session that is both comfortable and effective for all involved.

As though this material weren’t enough, ASoM also features an exclusive interview with its creator conducted by none other than Ed Cherney, his fellow METAlliance® producer and engineer extraordinaire. There’s never been an easier way to advance years in a matter of hours than with Al Schmitt on Using Microphones!

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Al Schmitt on Using Microphones is rated 4.3 out of 5 by 13 .
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Excellent! It was a joy to listen to two great engineers talking about recording techniques. Al is a master and has great insight.
Date published: 2020-01-03
Rated 3.0 out of 5 by from Interesting, limited depth It’s always great listening to Al, as he is such an institution in the industry and a big part of the history of recorded music. But for anyone moderately experienced with recording, there are not many new insights here. Discussions of many important applications are glossed over too quickly (e.g. drum overheads, piano) while a few offer some good tips (e.g. acoustic bass). Overall, well worth watching, but was hoping for a bit more depth. Also, did not notice the interviewer’s name mentioned at all... a big oversight considering it is, of course, the famous engineer Ed Cherney!
Date published: 2019-08-11
Rated 4.0 out of 5 by from Great BUT ...
The only thing missing in that video is mic+preamp combination.
Those cannot be appart. Especially when speaking about Al.
As Al always gets the signal in the 88r at the end, he often use outboard gear before that and that really should have been mentionned for each instrument. As we all know each rec situation is different, mentionning a few pre options for each instrument would have made this video a real must have... some kind of "the holy graal"
So yeah i felt a bit disapointed...
Al is a real open book so why notnasking about mic pre combinations ?
Date published: 2018-08-24
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Learn from the best teachers Al Schmit recorded many masterpieces that qualifies him to teach : often with budgetary pressures we defer to less expensive mic acquisitions : ilike the teaching and attention to concept and details.
Date published: 2018-08-02
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Worth it It was great to get some first-hand info from Mr. Schmitt about his mic choices, mic placement, the reasons for those, and his general m.o. Especially important was getting everybody back into the control room to listen after the first pass, in order to make adjustments. An important step that may easily get overlooked by many producers. Also, his emphasis on making sure the people being recorded were as comfortable as possible, in order to get the best performance. Definitely worth the investment - I'll check back on one chapter or another from time to time............
Date published: 2018-05-18
Rated 3.5 out of 5 by from Good I've got the other Al Schmitt's 'Recording a big band video' from Groove3. With that I feel that I haven't got much more extra information.. There was any extra footage, so I confess that I was expecting more...
Date published: 2018-04-22
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very open answers. Supported some choices I was already making and provided a large number of approaches that I had not yet tried.
Date published: 2017-12-13
Rated 4.0 out of 5 by from Enjoyed very much I really enjoyed hearing Al talk and blew through the whole course very quickly. Not giving five stars because I would have really liked to see him actually in action in the studio talking you through his mic placements as he did them. Then again, people should take note that this isn't a complete course on using mics - it's just an insight into Al Schmitt's feelings on the subject. Still, highly interesting.
Date published: 2017-11-20
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from A Legend Reveals All! Very easy to follow, no BS session with two great engineers. If you ever wondered where to place a microphone on a trombone player (seated or standing) here it is. Thanks Groove 3!
Date published: 2017-11-15
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Yoda You only have to listen to one of Al's records to know he's not just andexpert but definitive in the world of recording arts. Big score for Groove3 having such a great talent as an author.
Date published: 2017-11-14
Rated 1.0 out of 5 by from Not what it looks like When I saw the price of this "course", I thought it was too good to be true... and unfortunately I was right. The images mislead to think it's a in depth, kind of "fly on the wall" course about microphone use with the great Al Shmitt, but it's nothing more than a bunch of short interviews probably taken during the shoot out of the big band orchestra recordings. it should be given free to anyone who bought that course.
Date published: 2017-11-14
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Historical Oh My God! The great Al Schmitt describing how he does what he does from his perspective. Thank God he's so patient with being interviewed and so open, direct and amazingly clear. This course adds to other interviews of this great man thankfully preserving some of his practices for posterity. Good job Groove3!
Date published: 2017-11-12
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Al Schmitt has been doing it a long time and has a wealth of experience. This is a great video series from a master of audio recording. One of the great ones, he has done hundreds if not thousands and if you check out the artists he has done, the albums that he was on absolutely stand out and one of the reasons is that he still knows that the performance is the star, not the equipment. A lot of young engineers/producers would do well to remember that.
Date published: 2017-11-10
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