John Robinson

Composer, Arranger, Engineer

John Robinson on SoundBetter

I can provide both creativity and technical ability to realize your project.

I can follow your directions or provide creative interpretation, per your preference. 30 years' experience in various genres, including Rock, Classical, Electronic, and far-out weird stuff. I read and write and can generate publish-quality sheet music if needed. I can work an any stage or all, from writing (including lyrics) through tracking and mixing to final mastering. My preference is for a full, clear, high fidelity dynamic range, but if you really want that compressed dynamics sound (popular in much Pop these days) just let me know and we can do that.

My work's extremely diverse and ranges from polished orchestral composition (tracked with all live players and digitally edited), to film scoring with multitracked synthesizers, to Popular-style incorporating outside instruments (like later Beatles or Radiohead), to wildly experimental Progressive pieces (I fear no time signature, and can depart from Equal Temperament upon request).

General rate is $120/hour or we can agree upon a fixed price. This may be higher if I need to hire additional musicians -- probably around $50 to $100 more hourly per musician. I will try to clarify things with you up front and ensure your satisfaction.

Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.


AllMusic verified credits for French TV
  • French TV
  • French TV
  • Progday
  • French TV
  • French TV
  • French TV
  • French TV
  • French TV
  • French TV
  • French TV

Interview with John Robinson

  1. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  2. A: The most popular Rock musicians in my area put on a collaborative performance (and somehow all managed to show up on time) culminating in a packed-stage, endless jam of "Free Bird". I'm really proud of that night because my role was that I located and shut off the breaker switch.

  3. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  4. A: I'm filling in some goofy web form with highly contemplative responses.

  5. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  6. A: No, because if they're bad enough that I'd recommend them to my clients, I wouldn't want to know them.

  7. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  8. A: Analog is for the 99% who believe that whatever is more difficult must be better. Digital is for the 1% who actually do double blind tests and still have the higher end of their hearing in working order.

  9. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  10. A: My 'promise' to my clients is that if I'm ever asked a question which unnecessarily uses single quotes, I will answer in such a way as to subtly mock it.

  11. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  12. A: I most enjoy the fact that I get to work with the brightest, most talented individuals, and treat them with the scorn they deserve.

  13. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  14. A: Customers most commonly ask me, "What questions do customers most commonly ask you?" And so, I tell them.

  15. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  16. A: Some people say that I do it, some say that I don't. Some people say that some people say that I do it, while some people say that some people say that I don't, whereas some people don't say that some people say that I do it, while some people don't say that some people say that I don't -- or so I'm told.

  17. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  18. A: Do you like music?

  19. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  20. A: Do you have any Grey Poupon™?

  21. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  22. A: 1) Outboard motor 2) Large container of gasoline 3) Large boat 4) Portable stereo (with batteries) 5) Monument telling the next person that I had been there

  23. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  24. A: My parents put me up to it when I was but a small child. Our television set had terrible reception which admitted pictures without sound, and as my mother played accordion quite well, she would turn the sound knob down and perform music while my father provided the voices for all the characters (even the animals and vehicles). Unfortunately, improvisation wasn't my mother's strength, and waltzes and polkas were no good for Saturday Morning Wrestling and Meet the Press, so I took up the pen and began crafting the melodies which would become the only thing which kept us all together for forty years.

  25. Q: How would you describe your style?

  26. A: Freak of the Weak

  27. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  28. A: I suppose that I would most like to work with Michelangelo during his ceiling painting period, because I'm sure that I could get in some good naptime when he was really engaged.

  29. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  30. A: Yes.

  31. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  32. A: I have been terribly encumbered of late with theme music on a Malaysian soap opera about a female hockey team. I won't elaborate, but there was an apparent language barrier issue involved when I signed the contract. Seventeen episodes to go and the new characters just keep coming -- I was a fool to opt to assign each an individual theme, with contrapuntal interplay during games. Normal hockey involves six players per team but when a real fracas breaks out, coaches and all twenty players from both teams may rush onto the ice. I should have chanced it and sent them some obscure Stockhausen opera or something.

  33. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  34. A: My strongest skill is my ability to answer questions recursively.

  35. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  36. A: I try to bring all available instruments to a song -- especially low brass instruments (partial to euphonium) counterbalanced by my mail-order piccolo harmonica, plus my double-necked banjo and a pair of hand cymbals (if I'm seated). Of course, genres vary and the afrementioned setup is the palette I prefer for an EDM context.

  37. Q: What's your typical work process?

  38. A: Normally, I get a bit of tea with honey and walk into the studio in my bathrobe. I look at the piano (affixed to the ceiling), and more often then not everything goes black and I wake up some time later. Often, I wake up in the same house.

  39. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  40. A: To abet the creative process, I have had all instruments professionally mounted to the ceiling. This helps me to distinguish between my creative processes and my day-to-day ones.

  41. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  42. A: The musicians or music production professionals which inspire me the most are the ones which sound like me. I'm a fool for flattery.

  43. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  44. A: I typically play all the notes on my piano with both forearms and then let my clients tell me which notes they don't care for. Then I remove those notes.

John Robinson, "The Bluest Blue"

I was the composer, vocalist, instruments except drums and clarinet, and co-engineer in this production

Terms Of Service

I can do a few revisions but they must be purposeful, not aimless/vague. Currently, can likely turn around within a week of agreeing to the project. If other players needed, will cost $50-$100 more.

GenresSounds Like
  • The Beatles
  • Mr. Bungle
  • Isao Tomita
Gear Highlights
  • Old synths
  • new synths/VSTs
  • various guitars
  • acoustic piano
  • vocals
  • strange sounds and innovative effects
More Photos