Al Schmitt Tracking Cyrille Aimée

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01h 18min


Since the 1950’s, Al Schmitt has been an integral part of creating the world’s most famous recordings.

In this 90 minute tutorial, watch as twenty-two time Grammy Award-winning engineer, Al Schmitt, tracks a full band from start to finish. First,  Al’s assistant engineer, Steve Genewick, will give us a tour of Capitol Studios and show how Al sets up his Neve 88R, patches and sets up the outboard gear and manages complex headphone mixes.

Then, Al will mic up the instruments, dial in the sounds, and explain his thought process while tracking the amazing Cyrille Amiee.

See how Al tracks:

  • Drums
  • Upright Bass
  • Electric Bass
  • Acoustic Guitars
  • Grand Piano

And hear Frank Sinatra’s famous Telefunken U48, used on all of his Capitol recordings!

Exercise files
Equipment & Software


  • Neve 88RS Console
  • Capital Live Chamber 4
  • Lexicon 480L
  • EMT 250
  • Neve 1081 Preamp
  • Studer Valve Preamp
  • Great River MP-2NV Preamp
  • Upstate Audio Prototype Preamps
  • Mastering Labs Preamp
  • Fairchild 660
  • Firefly Tube Direct Box
  • Summet TLA-100


  • AKG D12
  • Shure SM57
  • AKG 452
  • Audio-Technica ATM 350
  • Audio-Technica AT 4045
  • Audio-Technica At 4080
  • Neumann M149
  • Neumann U67
  • Telefunken U48
  • Royer R-122
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Al Schmitt

Al Schmitt is a mixing and recording engineer whose talent has been showcased over more than 150 gold and platinum albums. Al has been around since the beginning of the music recording industry and has witnessed all technological changes that occurred in the past decades.

His is the proud owner of 20 Grammy Awards (no less) and has worked with the biggest artists and producers in pop, jazz, classical, and country musics.

Everybody who has attended a recording / mixing session with Al says there is something magical about the way he does things. His intuition and years of experience allow him to position microphones faster than anyone else. He just knows how it is going to sound. Then pushes the faders on his Neve console and that's the sound everybody was waiting for.

Al Schmit's love for minimalistic eq and compression moves (if at all) makes for a very natural and unprocessed signature sound. He would rather record it right... than fix it in the mix later.

You can witness Al's amazing skills by watching him record and mix Cyrille Aimée on pureMix.


Frank Sinatra

Ray Charles

Steely Dan

George Benson

Quincy Jones

Barbra Streisand

Featured Artists and Musics

Improvisation is not just a technique for Cyrille Aimée, it’s a way of life. The acclaimed vocalist ventured from singing on street corners in Europe to dazzling audiences at the world’s most prestigious jazz festivals; from sneaking out to sing in gypsy encampments in her native France to acting on Broadway; from braving the notoriously tough audiences at New York’s Apollo Theatre to being called a “rising star in the galaxy of jazz singers” by the New York Times. Among countless accolades, Aimée won the Montreux Jazz Festival Vocal Competition and the Sarah Vaughn International Jazz Vocal Competition. Her most recent album, Let’s Get Lost, is her second with her innovative two-guitar line-up. As an actress, Aimée co-starred with Bernadette Peters in a Stephen Sondheim tribute at New York’s City Center. She’s shared her story via master classes, a TEDx talk, and an address at the Conference on World Affairs.

  • Day by Day

What do you have to say?
Leave a comment
2022 Apr 24
I think I watched this like 25 times and everytime is like new. He has a minimalist approach to tracking and mixing and I love it. Your the best Al.
2021 Dec 30
Where is the music? Here :D Fantastic. Bananas on my face "All the time" during watching this episode ;)
2021 Dec 30
Where is the music? Here :D Fantastic.
2021 Dec 01
This is gold
2021 Apr 18
Thank you for sharing this experience !
2020 Jul 22
Hello, great video, thank you purmix to show us how Al works. So inspiring to see Al working with such passion. The m149 on the piano are in Omni or Cardioide? And the m149 on Double Bass, are they in Cardioide or Omni ? Thank you again.
2020 Mar 28
Thank you ever so much for this! What a priceless resource!! I love jazz music, but to be honest I'm not a big fan of all the separation between the instruments. I love recordings where it feels the band is playing together in a room, and one can feel a greater synergy of human spirit. Love the mastery at work here, but at the same time, the "another day at the office" doesn't seem so conducive to truly creative work. I like the feeling of experimentation.... always being on the edge of possible failure! Part of this video is great in clarifying for myself actually what I don't like!
2020 Jan 23
So simply perfect
2019 Dec 19
amazing content!!! Thanks
2019 Dec 05
Yes - most upright bass DI's sound offensive:) LOL. Great video. Thank you.
2019 Nov 15
Gréât video! Just a question : why in Day by day the hi-hat is on the left while the réal position is on the right ?
Douglas Shibata
2019 Aug 09
Wonderful, one of the best videos to really learn something you don't currently find. Al Schmitt is a legend live..
2019 Feb 17
Thankyou PureMix For This Gem Of A Series!
2019 Feb 11
Fab, do you know the setting of the piano M149 Mics? Thanks a lot
2019 Jan 30
Fun session, and great to watch Al work. I wonder if it's difficult for Fab to try to remain silent or neutral while Al is making decisions. It's proper, but I'm sure its difficult! Great show.
2019 Jan 28
I enjoyed this and saw everything. Incredible.
2019 Jan 06
I thought this video was fantastic . Paired with the clip on Al miking solo singer/songwriter with guitar. One thing I kinda wished happened on a sonic/production/creative way, was for everyone to work with the drummer to try and get that beefy snare and tom working together. It probably would have taken a little tuning, but the drummer's instincts were worth following in that case.
2018 Dec 31
So this click that we hear at the beginning of some takes is only for setting the tempo or do they record to the click? It doesn't seem so.
2018 Dec 14
Stephen Moniz
2018 Nov 22
Studio Etiquette: Do not play the drums when the engineer is near them ;) Save his/her hearing.
Apurv Frank Vedantam Isaac
2018 Sep 14
Fantastic Video but the download only includes the band's charts. Can you please upload the stems?
2018 Aug 17
This video series was truly amazing to watch, from the setup, to tracking ,to mixing. It was awesome to see the whole process at Capital for Al. Great Engineer/Mixer, vocalist and band. Al 's mic technique was a joy to watch. What a great set of tracks you all produced. I wish there was a way to download the stems. The download only included the Band Charts.
2018 May 07
2018 May 04
Pros all the way around in this one.
2018 Apr 25
can't download the stems, only the pdf's of the music score?
2018 Apr 24
Sooo Good !!!!
2018 Apr 23
Rather fantastic video, cheers. Watching the masters at work is a treat. More like this pretty pretty please!
2018 Apr 21
Amazingly detailed. I enjoyed every second of it. Al makes it look so easy.
2018 Apr 19
unbelievable !!! omg, thank you very much Fab!
2018 Apr 18
Groundbreaking, information never available before to previous generations. Incredible.
2018 Apr 17
Amazing thanks guys.
2018 Apr 17
Thank you for that great video. I really love that simple and effective approach, and I use it already extensively in my work. But the gentle touch of Al makes it even more incredible since the balance of the sound is so sweet yet defined in a magical way. Great team, great studio, great musicians and very cool producer. An a very nice, talented singer with an enchanting smile! Bananas! Ps. Thanks to Al I use omnis too often to tell...
2018 Apr 17
Thank you for that great video. I really love that simple and effective approach, and I use it already extensively in my work. But the gentle touch of Al makes it even more incredible since the balance of the sound is so sweet yet defined in a magical way. Great team, great studio, great musicians and very cool producer. An a very nice, talented singer with an enchanting smile! Bananas!
2018 Apr 16
Everything about this series is brilliant! The experience and history coming together in a very informative way that I will take into every session from now on. Well done PureMix and the top banana Fab.
2018 Apr 16
Amazing everything... Engineer, Produces, Artist, Musicians, EquipmentStudio and Assistants. This level of everything makes it seem easy and that is the way great recordings happen!
2018 Apr 16
Truly worth the price of admission. Well done Fab and Puremix !
White Cat Studio
2018 Apr 16
Great video as usual. A great voice and great musicians too.. Just wondering why Al didn't used Pro Tools's playlist? Older version of PT maybe? First part is very interesting. It shows how the guys behind THE ingeener works..
2018 Apr 16
You know what ? I forgot the purpose of the video and just listen to the musicians and this fanstastic voice of Cyrille Aimée. Really great viedo, of the best for sure Thank you for this
2018 Apr 16
TOTALLY MY FAVORITE(EST) VIDEO THUS FAR! Thanks guys for an amazing experience. Although. Why didn't they just record to a click track to keep everything synced as much as possible? there were some takes better than others. Just asking for a friend name "Me" lol
2018 Apr 16
TOTALLY MY FAVORITE(EST) VIDEO THUS FAR! Thanks guys for an amazing experience.
2018 Apr 16
L Pass
2018 Apr 15
Fantastic, what a great idea for a teaching video, Fab. I wonder what you would have set up or done differently and what you were thinking. Also where can we get the isolation piano sleeve? I'm not finding info in my online searches.
2018 Apr 14
Prickly vibes.
2018 Apr 14
Ask and you will receive! Thank you!
2018 Apr 14
Fantastic set of videos! Yes, agree the with other comments - been waiting years to have a behind the scenes with Al and Steve at Capitol studios documented correctly. Thank you!
2018 Apr 14
We've been waiting years for this! Finally someone did it properly! Thank you so much guys!
2018 Apr 13
Pot of gold is the word! SO interesting to see "behind the scene", so important. The polarity check system is awesome! Another great video, can't wait for part2! As said already, so happy too with my pro membership; keep on the good job. Bravo!
2018 Apr 13
What a great video! Thank you Steve to let us enter in this mythic studio and explain us so precisely Al’s methodology. This is priceless. Reminds me a lot of good memories from our week together at La Fabrique. Thank you Fab for the accurate questions and the video. Fabulous as usual. Can’t wait for the second part!
Highlands Recording Arts
2018 Apr 12
Incredible Fab! Merci! I need to go back and watch this a couple more times to catch the nuance - as to the "clicker"? Why didn't I think of that!! My pro membership is like a pot of gold!! Also - I am very glad that Pure Mix is getting into working with jazz, and I hope at some time blues. More more more!! :-)