LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 2009: No stranger to the Grammy Awards, renowned engineer and producer Al Schmitt added two more nominations to his lifetime total of nineteen Grammys this year, both in the category of Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. The two albums - "Just A Little Lovin'" by Shelby Lynne and "Still Unforgettable" by Natalie Cole - were both mixed using TUBE-TECH equipment, most particularly the company's SMC 2B stereo multi-band compressor.
"I use a lot of the TUBE-TECH equipment, but I use the SMC 2B on everything," says Schmitt, who has garnered a total of eleven Grammy Awards since winning his first in 1962, for Henry Mancini's "Hatari." "That's my favorite, although I love all their gear. I usually use it when I'm mixing. I use it on specific instruments and sometimes I use it strapped across the two-track buss."
The TUBE-TECH SMC 2B, the world's only "all tube-based" multi-band compressor design, incorporates three independent optical stereo compressors. Precise control is ensured by the use of variable crossover points. But it's the beautiful sound that the device imparts to the signal that also attracted him to the SMC 2B, Schmitt explains: "I use very little compression; just a tiny bit - maybe 1dB all the way across. I use it more for the sound, because it just sounds so good. What I basically like is the warmth."
Schmitt has had his SMC 2B for about four years, he reports, but has been using TUBE-TECH equipment for decades. "I did a Willie Nelson recording years and years ago where I used a TUBE-TECH preamp and compressor on his vocal, which worked great." Going full circle, Schmitt is currently working on a new project with Nelson, as well as one with Barbra Streisand, both using the TUBE-TECH stereo multi-band compressor.
A variety of projects have benefited from Schmitt's touch and TUBE-TECH equipment recently, including a new Diana Krall album that is due for release in March. "I also did a DVD with her that will be out in April. We went to Rio to do that," says Schmitt. Adding, "I did a Melody Gardot record that will be out soon, and I just finished mixing Monica Mancini's album."
But Schmitt doesn't limit himself to only the SMC 2B Stereo Multiband Compressor: "To be honest, all the TUBE-TECH gear is terrific. They really make good quality equipment. It's worth every penny." At this time, Schmitt is the recipient of sixteen Grammys, two Latin Grammys and a Lifetime Achievement Award.
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