As much as sound is important to me as an engineer, it is the performance and the feel that sell the record.
I know a lot of bad-sounding records that were huge hits because they moved people emotionally, and some records that sounded perfect but didn’t sell shit.
I still feel that people have trouble relating to things that are perfect.Al Schmitt
One of the advantages of those days was that we guys went from one date to the next, dealing with all different kinds of music.
I mean, I can remember a specific day when I did Ike and Tina Turner from nine to twelve in the morning, Henry Mancini in the afternoon, and then Sam Cooke at night.Al Schmitt
Today if you just do the tracks on two songs in three hours it’s unbelievable, whereas back in the fifties and sixties we would complete four songs in three hours.
We even completed an entire Ray Charles album with twelve songs in just seven hours!Al Schmitt
On one occasion Tommy was putting all of this stuff together on the mono master tape and I said, "What would you do if I did this?" I was kidding around, but by accident my hand actually hit the Record button.
He looked at me and I looked at him and we both jumped to stop the machine, but I had already erased what was on there.
We spent hours piecing four or five little outtakes together. No one ever knew what had happened, but that taught me a lesson to never screw around the recording studio.Al Schmitt
When I was six or seven years old my father used to take me to my uncle’s studio... and I’d watch these big bands being recorded with just one microphone.
It was the musicians who would be moved around. Soloists got up, came down and played their solos in front of the mike, and then went back and sat down.
I can also remember looking out there and seeing all of the guys with no shoes on so that they wouldn’t make a noise when they were stomping.Al Schmitt
Once of the nice things about being successful in this business is that you get to work with successful people.
They have the finances to hire the best musicians and work in the best studios with the best equipment. After that you’ve got to be stupid not to get the best sound.Al Schmitt