The Albert Brothers
Ron and Howard Albert, known as the Albert Brothers, are two recording engineers best known for their work on recordings at Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida. Their work includes notable albums such as Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs by Derek and the Dominos and CSN, the 1977 Crosby, Stills, and Nash reunion album. Howard Albert has said "I think we have 40 Gold records to our name and about 30 or so platinum." They have recently been inducted into the Florida Music Hall of Fame and have been working as music engineers for over 40 years.
In 1967, with his brother Howard being drafted into the Vietnam War, 14 year old Ron Albert pursued a job at the only major recording studio in Miami at that time, Criteria Studios. He landed a job as a typist for Criteria's tape library. Not too long after taking the job, the owner and engineer of the studio, Mack Emerman, became sick. Ron took over for Emerman and filled in as engineer. Soon enough, Ron ended up becoming the primary engineer for Criteria as Emerman retired. In 1969, Howard was discharged from the army and, upon returning to Miami, went to Criteria and became an engineer alongside his brother.
From here on out, the duo were known as "Fat Albert Productions." The Albert Brothers, along with Atlantic producers Tom Dowd and Arif Mardin, Atlantic co-owner Jerry Wexler, and equipment-designer Jeep Harned, helped Criteria become a heavily sought after recording studio. Eventually, the brothers became partners in the company. By 1983, however, Criteria was in debt and planning on retiring, the brothers sold their share in the company. In 1987, their plan of retirement was canceled and they created two new companies with their partner Steve Alaimo: Vision Records and Audio Vision Studios. Vision Records was originally intended to house familiar artists from Criteria and T.K. Records but instead ended up focusing on releasing records by artists in the Miami Bass and Freestyle Scenes.
Currently, they are still residing in Miami where they are primarily occupied with being the owners of the aforementioned Vision Records and Audio Vision Studios. With hip-hop being the most popular type of music in Miami, they have transitioned into the digital Pro-Tools for music production. Their studio has been working with many major hip hop artists. One popular hip hop artist that they count as a client is Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr., also known as Lil Wayne. However, the brothers aren't very involved in producing the records of the hip hop artists.
Throughout their lengthy and expansive career, the Albert Brothers have engineered or produced music by many revered and distinguished artists. Artists whose music they have worked on include Jimmy Buffett, The Eagles, The Bee Gees, the Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa, Aretha Franklin, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Derek and the Dominoes, the Allman Brothers Band, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles, Joe Cocker, James Winter, Betty Wright, John Mellencamp, and Pure Prairie League.
A key achievement the brothers are known for is their creation of the "Fat Albert" drum sound. They achieved this sound by adding a microphone to each part of a drum kit. A separate microphone would be added to each tom, snare, cymbal, bass drum, and so forth. This resulted in a new and unique drum sound as no one before them had tried to multi-mike a drum kit. According to Ron, "as we got a few clients, we started getting recognition for it. The Rolling Stones and Eric Claptons and the Stephen Stillses of the world were coming for our drum sound.... It became the 'Miami Sound' because we were in Miami making it."
- "Best Recording Studio - 2013 Audio Vision Studios." Miami New Times, n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.
- "Ron Albert." Discogs, n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.
- Peeples, Stephen K. "‘Layla’ Engineers Ron and Howard Albert Q&A." Stephen K. Peeples, 12 Feb. 2012. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.
- Katel, Jacob. "Howard and Ron Albert Are Analog Kings." Miami New Times, 13 Nov. 2008. Web. 05 Nov. 2013.
- Buskin, Richard. "CLASSIC TRACKS: Derek & The Dominos 'Layla'" Sound On Sound Sept. 2006: n. pag. Sound On Sound. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.
- 6.Hogan, Ed. " Howard Albert." AllMusic, n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2013.