John Marion

Groovy Duck Studios

John Marion on SoundBetter

John is a meticulous mixer, an innovative producer and a generous creative collaborator. He is happy to help you achieve any of your musical desires. Whether you need someone to record and mix your music, a session musician or anything else you can think of, John and Groovy Duck Studios are here to help.

John is a music producer and multi-instrument musician in Loudoun County, Virginia. John picked up his first instrument at 10, a trumpet, and from then on he knew music was going to be his life. John plays several instruments including guitar, bass, drums and piano. He has worked as a luthier building instruments and has performed, written and recorded with several bands.

John stuck his toe into the music production world while arranging and recording music for his 2010 wedding. 8 years later, he built a small but mighty recording studio in his home. The studio, lovingly dubbed Groovy Duck Studios is a creative home for John and his collaborators.

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Interview with John Marion

  1. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  2. A: In my humble opinion, it doesn't matter as long as you get the sound you want.

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

  4. A: I'd love to work on any projoect Mike Patton is doing. He's so creative, and I feel like there would be so much I could learn from him.

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

  6. A: A lifetime of musical experience. I will focus on the big picture or the vibe/feel of a song, and at the same time bring out the small details of different instruments. I put the extra time in to automate everything to maximize emotion, and impact. And I always keep the artists vision in mind with every move I make.

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

  8. A: I tend to want to spend more time in the songwriting and arrangement part of the process, then have a clear idea what sounds I want to achieve, then record those sounds as close as I can get them to how I want to hear them. This means when it goes to mixing, I spend my time enhancing these sounds to make them shine instead of trying to 'fix it in the mix' afterwards

  9. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  10. A: My studio is very cozy and very comfortable with seating for up to 5 people in addition to the engineer. It is also a very creative space, There are well maintained instruments everywhere ready to pick up and play. and at least 3-4 microphones are connected and ready to record at any time. When you're ready and inspired to lay down drums, guitars, keys, vocals, or anything else, I don't want any delay, I just want to be able to hit record and go.

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

  12. A: In no particular order... Warren Huart (The Frey, Aerosmith) a lot my production and mixing techniques, I learned from Warren. Andrew Scheps (RHCP, Adele) one the the modern masters of music Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) Self taught and can do it all.

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

  14. A: I generally work on songwriting, arrangement, and tracking instruments and vocals when clients are in the studio. Then I do the editing, additional instrument tracking, and mixing on the days I'm alone

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Gear Highlights
  • Hardware - Audient ID44
  • DBX Pre's
  • comps. Software - Izotope
  • Slate
  • IK Multimedia
  • Soundtoys
  • XLN
  • Waves
  • NI. Studio - GIK Treatment
  • PRS/Fender/Schecter/Martin guitars
  • Roland V-Drums
  • Lots of Mics from Mojave/Shure/Lewit/Rode/GAP
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