Music Production Tutorial

Al Schmitt on Using Microphones

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16 Videos | Length: 53min 45sec
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    Tutorial 1

    Song and Style

    4:00

    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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    Tutorial 2

    Instrumentation and Musician

    6:14

    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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    Tutorial 3

    The Recording Space

    1:20

    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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    Tutorial 4

    Band Setup

    2:08

    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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    Tutorial 5

    Musician Interaction

    3:51

    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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    Tutorial 6

    Drums

    3:17

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

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    Tutorial 7

    Bass

    3:38

    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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    Tutorial 8

    Piano

    5:05

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

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    Tutorial 9

    Guitars

    4:40

    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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    Tutorial 10

    Organs

    1:28

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

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    Tutorial 11

    Saxophone

    4:34

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

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    Tutorial 12

    Brass

    3:33

    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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    Tutorial 13

    Strings

    2:48

    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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    Tutorial 14

    Percussion

    2:06

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

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    Tutorial 15

    Interaction with Producer

    2:04

    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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    Tutorial 16

    First Playback with the Room

    2:59

    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.

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!

holmesz
Submitted 2 months ago

Very open answers.

Supported some choices I was already making and provided a large number of approaches that I had not yet tried.

I am a: Professional, Audio Engineer, Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Reason, Studio One

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JTP
Submitted 3 months ago

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.

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ronmac
Submitted 3 months ago

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!

I am a: Professional, Audio Engineer, Sound for Film/TV, Reaper, Studio One

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Author
Submitted 3 months ago

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.

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marcusadv
Submitted 3 months ago

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.

I am a: Semi-Pro, Musician, Producer, Audio Engineer, Logic Pro, Pro Tools

Response from Customer Service:

Hi,
Thank you for taking the time to leave a review on our site. We truly appreciate that.
I am very sorry you didn’t like our METAlliance tutorial featuring the interviews of Al Schmitt. As the title suggest, this tutorial has Ed Cherney interviewing Al about using microphones in different situations with different instruments (including vocals). We feel these interviews are invaluable and hope you take the time to finish watching all of them to get the big picture of the way Al operates. And in his own words.
We plan on more interviews with Al on various studio techniques and we hope you check those out as well when they are released!
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rus5
Submitted 4 months ago

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!

I am a: Student, Musician, Audio Engineer, Pro Tools

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Jay38
Submitted 4 months ago

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.

I am a: Professional, Musician, Audio Engineer, Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Studio One

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Al Schmitt (Los Angeles, California) of METAlliance® 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.

Schmitt loves producing and engineering and has been privileged to work with the best and the brightest in the recording industry, including 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, finally, Paul McCartney in 2013 (his most recent GRAMMY® win).

Products by Al

  • image description
    tutorial video

    Al Schmitt on Using Microphones

    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!

  • image description
    tutorial video

    The Art of Recording a Big Band

    The Art of Recording a Big Band was filmed at the famed Capitol Studios in Hollywood, California, USA, over two days during a recording session by Al Schmitt featuring Chris Walden's GRAMMY® Award-nominated eighteen-piece jazz big band. The film focuses on the legendary Al Schmitt, the most celebrated music engineer, producer, and mixer of all time, and winner of twenty-one GRAMMY® Awards. His most recent GRAMMY® came in 2012 for Paul McCartney's "Kisses on the Bottom."

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The Art of Recording a Big Band

The Art of Recording a Big Band was filmed at the famed Capitol Studios in Hollywood, California, USA, over two days during a recording session by Al Schmitt featuring Chris Walden's GRAMMY® Award-nominated eighteen-piece jazz big band. The film focuses on the legendary Al Schmitt, the most celebrated music engineer, producer, and mixer of all time, and winner of twenty-one GRAMMY® Awards. His most recent GRAMMY® came in 2012 for Paul McCartney's "Kisses on the Bottom."

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Al Schmitt on Using Microphones is rated 4.4 out of 5 by 7.
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