Bill Schnee

William S. Schnee (born July 4, 1947) is an American musician, music producer, and audio engineer. Schnee has been nominated 11 times for the Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical Grammy Award and worked on a multitude of other Grammy nominated and awarded albums. He has won two Grammys, an Emmy for Outstanding Sound for a Television Special, and a Dove Award. In a 45+ year career of very diverse artists, Schnee has received over 135 gold and platinum records and has recorded/mixed over 50 top twenty singles.[1]

Bill Schnee
Birth nameWilliam S. Schnee
Born (1947-07-04) July 4, 1947 (age 73)
Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
Occupation(s)Recording engineer, producer
Associated actsSteely Dan, Chicago, Ringo Starr, Natalie Cole, Rod Stewart, Dire Straits, Whitney Houston, Carly Simon, The Pointer Sisters, Mark Knopfler, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Marvin Gaye, Boz Scaggs, Joe Sample, Thelma Houston, Huey Lewis and the News, Pablo Cruise

Early lifeEdit

Schnee was born in Phoenix, Arizona, where he lived until he was 13. At that time, his family moved to California. Early musical training was in trumpet, saxophone and piano. In 1964, his senior year at Glendora High School, Schnee started a band, The LA Teens, writing songs and playing organ. Immediately after graduation, The LA Teens were signed to Decca Records. When their single releases had little success, the band was dropped, however, they were immediately signed by Mike Curb to work with producer/engineer Richie Podolor. While learning his craft, Schnee attended California State Polytechnic University, majoring in Business. Schnee then started law school at Loyola University, but took a leave of absence in the second semester to continue playing and recording music. Three years after being produced by Podolor, Schnee's big break came when he was hired to engineer in Podolor's studio. On Schnee's third day, Podolor put him in to record two tracks and some overdubs for Three Dog Night. Schnee never returned to law school.[2]


Schnee was instrumental in launching Sheffield Lab Records and the modern era direct to disc audiophile recordings, when in 1975 he produced the Thelma Houston and Pressure Cooker album, I've Got the Music in Me.[3] These audiophile albums were recorded in real time directly to the phonograph record cutting lathe. Schnee went on to produce several more of the direct to disc albums, including James Newton Howard and Friends, The Drum Record, and The Track Record.[4]

Schnee has recorded and mixed with a wide variety of artists that include Steely Dan, Chicago, Ringo (with all the Beatles), Natalie Cole, Rod Stewart, Dire Straits, Whitney Houston, Carly Simon, The Pointer Sisters, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Barry Manilow, Michael Bolton, The Jacksons, Mark Knopfler, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Marvin Gaye, George Benson, Bette Midler, and Amy Grant. As a producer, Schnee has worked with Boz Scaggs, Joe Sample, Thelma Houston, Kiki Dee, and launched the careers of Huey Lewis and the News and Pablo Cruise. Schnee has also mixed the bulk of the Japanese mega-star Kazumasa Oda's albums.[5]

Recording studioEdit

In 1981, Schnee opened Schnee Studio in North Hollywood. Schnee and his fellow engineers built all of the equipment for the studio, including the discrete recording console and custom tube microphone preamps. The studio has an extensive collection of vintage tube microphones.[6]


Schnee has been nominated eleven times in the category of Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, winning twice.[7]

Grammy AwardsEdit

  • 1977 Aja - Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
  • 1981 Gaucho - Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical

Emmy AwardEdit

  • 1992 Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing For a Variety, Music series, or Special for "Unforgettable, With Love" by Natalie Cole.[8]

Dove AwardEdit

  • 1995 Praise and Worship Album of the Year for Promise Keepers, Raise the Standard.[9]

Selected worksEdit

Over the course of his career, Schnee has worked on over 600 albums[5][10]*Grammy Nominated for Best Engineered Album - Non Classical

Scores for movies and televisionEdit

  • 2011 Rio [Music from the Motion Picture] - Engineer, Mixing
  • 2001 Atlantis: The Lost Empire [Original Soundtrack] - James Newton Howard - Engineer
  • 2000 Space Cowboys [Original Soundtrack] - Engineer, Mixing
  • 1997 Space Jam [Original Score] - James Newton Howard - Engineer, Mixing
  • 1997 The Postman [Original Score/Soundtrack] - James Newton Howard - Producer
  • 1996 E.R.: Original Television Theme Music and Score - Producer
  • 1995 Father of the Bride, Pt. 2 [Original Soundtrack] - Alan Silvestri - Mixing
  • 1994 Swan Princess [Original Soundtrack] - Mixing
  • 1992 The Bodyguard [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] - Engineer
  • 1991 The Prince of Tides [Original Soundtrack] - James Newton Howard - Mixing
  • 1989 Beaches [Original Soundtrack] - Bette Midler - Engineer
  • 1987 The Princess Bride [Original Soundtrack] - Mark Knopfler - Mixing
  • 1985 Promised Land [Original Score] - James Newton Howard - Engineer


  1. ^ "Bill Schnee Biography". Bravura Records. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  2. ^ Clark, Rick (2010). Mixing, Recording, and Producing Techniques of the Pros (2nd ed.). Cengage Learning. ISBN 978-1598638400.
  3. ^ "History of Sheffield—Tale of an Obsession". Sheffield Lab. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  4. ^ Hoffmann, Frank (2005). Encyclopedia of Recorded Sound. Routledge. p. 1912. ISBN 978-0415938358.
  5. ^ a b Bill Schnee discography at Discogs
  6. ^ Schnee, Bill (December 2010). "A New Venture". Bravura Records.
  7. ^ "Grammy Winning Engineer Bill Schnee Talks To Computer Audiophile, Part 1". Computer Audiophile. November 2, 2010.
  8. ^ "44th Emmy Awards Nominees and Winners". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
  9. ^ "Past Winners". GMA Dove Award.
  10. ^ "Bill Schnee Credits". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved April 28, 2015.

External linksEdit