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RIP Al Schmitt: Legendary Recording Engineer and Producer Passes Away at 91

The recording and music industries are mourning the tragic loss of Al Schmitt, a pioneering engineer and producer with a staggering 20 Grammy Award victories between 1962 and 2013; the most of any engineer or mixer, ever.

Schmitt is immortalized by his timeless work with artists including Steely Dan, Toto, Natalie Cole, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Paul McCartney, and countless others through the 150-plus Gold and Platinum records he helped bring to life.

A statement shared on Schmitt's Facebook page reads the following:

Al Schmitt’s wife Lisa, his five children, eight grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren would like his friends and extended recording industry family to know that he passed away Monday afternoon, April 26.

The world has lost a much loved and respected extraordinary individual, who led an extraordinary life. The most honoured and awarded recording producer/engineer of all time, his parting words at any speaking engagement were, “Please be kind to all living things.”

Loved and admired by his recording colleagues, and by the countless artists he worked with, from Jefferson Airplane, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, Diana Krall, Dr. John, Natalie Cole, and Jackson Browne to Bob Dylan—and so many more—Al will be sorely missed.

He was a man who loved deeply, and the friendships, love, and admiration he received in return enriched his life and truly mattered to him. A light has dimmed in the world, but we all learned so much from him in his time on earth, and are so very grateful to have known him.

Professional Sound honours the memory of Al Schmitt and extends its condolences to Schmitt's family, friends, and industry collaborators.

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Andrew Leyenhorst is the Assistant Editor for Professional Sound and Professional Lighting & Production, and related online channels.
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