My name is John Alsop and I'm a mixing engineer, producer, guitarist, and composer. I graduated from Southwestern Illinois College with a degree in Music Technology back in 2014 and started working as a freelance engineer in 2015. Currently I've been looking to branch out into the remote mixing realm to further expand my career in the field.
I focus heavily on mixing and producing progressive metal, djent, post-hardcore, and pop punk. I have spent years composing metal, being a studio guitarist for many projects, and putting in the effort to ensure my mixes are up to professional quality standards. I pride myself on attention to detail and assisting clients with revisions until they are fully satisfied with a product. I enjoy helping artists with composition, midi programming, and creating back-tracks for live use as well.
If you are interested in working together I would love to hear from you. Feel free to contact me with details on your next new single!
Send me an email through 'Contact' button above and I'll get back to you asap.
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Interview with JTA Audio
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I would say the EP that is about to release for my band. I not only handled the mixing and mastering for the album but I also composed the songs, sang on them, and helped with the design work. It's a bit of a passion project and to see it finally come to fruition is an amazing feeling!
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: About to release an EP for my band Pale Kaiori on Oct. 1st. I took care of all the audio for it and am very happy with how it turned out! I'm also finishing up an EP for a client that involves bassist Dave LaRue so that's just too cool.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Adam Bentley from Arch Echo. He is a great engineer who I've worked with in the past, super nice guy too.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital. I have worked with analog equipment at school, but for my home set up it just makes sense to keep it in the box.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: My promise is that I will provide commercial quality mixes to their standard and will not be content until they are.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Being able to work on songs I genuinely like and being a part of bringing them to life. It's like painting a picture and when you get to the end of the painting/mix it's so rewarding to see/hear the finished product knowing where it started from.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Q: Can you send us a bounce down of the mix where it's at now? A: Absolutely I never mind sharing the progress of a mix. Since I am working on their song, I value all feedback from my clients and try my best to ensure their mix comes out the way they intended. I look at it as a collaborative effort.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Not too sure, honestly.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What sound they are looking to achieve, if they have any demos/recordings, their deadline, and if they can ensure files are sent in a folder and organized. Having tracks labeled and categorized makes the project prepping process much easier, which allows for a faster turn around time.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: It always helps to provide demos even if they aren't recorded that well. Anything audible, like a phone recording, will help paint the image in the engineer/producers head.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I went to school for Music Technology back in 2010 and started taking clients in 2015. I would love to take on more remote projects in the future and work on other genres alongside rock.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Progressive rock, metal, djent, and post-hardcore. I have engineered latin jazz songs for clients in the past, as well as, blues tunes.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a home studio and I occasionally do freelance work at of a studio called Lighthouse Sounds in Alton, IL. Cubase is my main DAW of choice. I have an Axe Fx II at my home studio, which I use for guitar tracking and re-amping. I also use Nolly's Neural DSP plugin as well. I love using Modern and Massive and Superior Drummer for midi drums as they offer a natural clean sound to the foundation of a song.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: I would take my Axe Fx II, my Music Man JP 6, Scarlett 18i20 interface to record into my Macbook Pro, which I would also bring, and my sm7b for vocals because singing is another major passion of mine.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Clean, separated, and punchy!
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: I would love to work with Plini or any of the great progressive instrumental guitarists because of their heavy focus on their song's vision. From the tones to the articulations of a section, artists in prog music always have a fully fleshed out idea of what they are trying to achieve in the end. I believe being exposed to that outlook with artists I respect would be educational and rewarding.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Be thorough every step of the mixing process. So many engineers will cut corners and settle with an edit, a sample, or a 'take' that could have been better if the attention to detail was there. Always keep in mind that a part can sound better than it does already. Don't be afraid to experiment and step outside of your comfort zone if it compliments the song further.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Production and editing. I tend to get surgical with editing because of how important it is to the overall vibe. Great editing in a mix can elevate a song to a another level when executed properly.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: A level of detail and production that is complimenting to any track. I love to add depth to a song and create an atmosphere with heavy textures and synth sounds.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: When mixing/editing stems for clients I tend to start with getting the drums polished sounding whether they are midi or natural drums. Guitars are next in line, reamping depends on clients choice for tones. For bass I run D.I. tracks through the Parallax Bass Plugin by Neural DSP and blend a raw and a sub D.I. underneath. I like to focus heavily on cleaning up vocal tracks, ensuring they are tuned and edited professionally. I do all of my mixing into a master chain for a more true perspective when dialing in a mix.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Nolly Getgood, Taylor Larson, and Simon Grove are some of the few most influential producers and artists to me.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Local session recording, mix engineer, produce, and mastering. I also assist artists with song composition and creating back-tracks for live use.