Book Review: Al Schmitt with Maureen Droney – Al Schmitt on the Record: The Magic Behind the Music

Al Schmitt with Maureen Droney – Al Schmitt on the Record: The Magic Behind the Music (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2018).

Schmitt is a legendary recording engineer and producer. He has worked with Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Diana Krall, and more, and is still active today. He even got Paul McCartney to write the foreword to this book. He is a longtime house producer at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, which is one of the world’s finest. This book is more about his professional life than his personal life. Fortunately, Schmitt is the type of person whose work life is more eventful, anyway.

Music nerds and equipment nerds will enjoy his discussions of what it was like working with different artists, his equipment choices and recording techniques, and how he works with artists to get their best performances. He also gives career advice on the importance of being easy to work with and respectful of colleagues–which also applies to pretty much any line of work. Schmitt comes across as someone who sets high standards, but is also an amiable type who takes joy in what he does and appreciates his good fortune.

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