Acoustic Sounds
By: Michael Fremer

March 31st, 2024



Recording Engineer/Producer/Mixer Bill Schnee Has the Music In Him

Schnee discusses with me his fifty plus year long recording career

Had it not been for Paul McCartney’s drug bust, all four Beatles might have been together in the studio for the first time since the group broke up, recording engineer Bill Schnee recounts in this interview, referring to his time recording Ringo the Beatles drummer’s third solo album and first rocker following albums of standards (Sentimental Journey) and C&W (Beaucoups of Blues).

If you’re familiar with Ringo you know it’s a spectacularly large, generous sounding rock production. Most of Bill Schnee’s productions sound vital, immediate, glorious and “in your face” in the best sense of that expression. Schnee doesn’t hedge his sonic bets.

There’s nothing ambiguous about the sound he’s delivered throughout his fifty plus year long career as an engineer, mixer and producer. His credits include more than 125 Gold and Platinum records and 50 top twenty singles.

According to his website Bill has worked on dozens of Grammy nominated and winning albums, and has been personally nominated eleven times for The Best Engineered Album category, winning twice for Steely Dan’s Aja and Gaucho.  He also has won an Emmy Award for Best Sound Mixing for a Variety Special and a Dove Award (a Gospel Music Association accolade).

 As the album’s he’s worked on horizontally scroll automatically across his website, you’ll surely find yourself repeatedly saying “Oh, he did that one? And that one?” You’ll see. He was also involved with his friend the late Doug Sax in the legendary Sheffield Labs direct-to-disc records that swept the 1970s hi-fi world, that produced albums like 1975’s Thelma Houston and Pressure Cooker’s I’ve Got the Music In Me (Lab-2) featuring Larry Knechtel, Larry Carlton, Dean Parks, Jim Gordon, Jim Keltner and so many other California studio greats.

He also engineered Sheffield Lab’s D2D Drum and Track  Records, both of which were considered audiophile demo discs of unsurpassed sonic quality

A few days ago I conducted a Zoom call interview with Schnee in which we touched on all of these accomplishments. You’re sure to enjoy his talking about all of this and more in this freewheeling hour interview



  • 2024-04-01 10:45:49 AM

    Christopher wrote:

    A fabulous interview with 2 real Mensch(en). His book is a superb read!

    Now I wait for the essay-length review of Clair Marlo’s “Let it go”.

  • 2024-04-01 02:52:52 PM

    Chad Stelly wrote:

    Thank you Michael. Brilliant!

    By the way, Bill Schnee’s book Chairman at the Board is a great read.

  • 2024-04-01 03:49:44 PM

    Come on wrote:

    Great to hear some first hand stories!