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The passing of Al Schmitt this week is not only a major milestone in the music industry, but a deeply moving personal loss for so many, from the tens of thousands of people who were honoured to have met and worked with him, to the millions of people around the world who enjoyed the musical art that was his life work.
Al Schmitt leaves behind an extraordinary legacy. During his 64-year-long career, he recorded and mixed more than 150 Gold and Platinum albums working with the biggest names in music, from Frank Sinatra and Sam Cooke to Paul McCartney and Neil Young. He won more Grammy Awards than any other engineer and was the first person to win both the Grammy and Latin Grammy for Album of the Year. His work spanned many decades and genres, and his influence was unlike any other.
RØDE Founder and Chairman Peter Freedman has paid his respects to Mr Schmitt today, saying "he was a humble, self-effacing and inspirational man – a true recording legend. He was always ready to help young engineers learn the ropes, share his vast knowledge, and give people a lift up the ladder – myself included. He will be sorely missed and I will always remember him, not with sadness, but with great adoration."
Mr Freedman met Al Schmitt on several occasions during his career and even had the chance to interview him in 2014 at the Chateau Marmont in California. Watch below as they discuss his career, from his big break with Mercer Ellington to working with Paul McCartney.