New to SoundBetter, but 20+ years of experience in music production. I specialize in mixing in rock, punk, metal and alternative genres.
I’ve been involved in writing, recording, and mixing music for over 20 years now. I’ve done it at all levels, starting out in my bedroom recording my guitar into a 4 track, all the way to doing full production album projects in professional commercial studios here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Over the course of my career, I’ve learned how to get a great sound from recordings made in any environment. These days, I like to take what I’ve learned and use it to help independent bands and artists sound their best, regardless of where and how they record. Send me a message to tell me about your next project.
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
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Interview with Jon Lesher
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Usually specific questions about their songs. Always happy to get into specifics and make sure your music sounds the way you want!
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: All of the Add Moss records I've worked on. I'm biased, since I'm in the band, but I love them all! Some of the early ones were the first things I recorded and mixed, so they're a little rough, but without them I wouldn't have learned all that I now know! Check out Innamoramento, I recorded, mixed, co-produced, and played guitar.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: A metal album reminiscent of late 80's, early 90's Slayer. It's fun!
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I've met some people on here, but to my knowledge they aren't offering services. I have a feeling I'll be updating this soon though!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital. Don't get me wrong, I have and love plenty of analog gear and probably still prefer a mic'd up amp to an amp simulator, but digital can just do so much more now and sounds pretty great. I think we're only seeing the beginning of what digital audio can achieve. Some companies are really starting to move beyond emulating analog gear and creating great stuff!
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I care about your projects success just as much as you do! I will listen to everything you have to say about your music, every goal you have with your project, and everything you have to say about your sound. I want to understand you and your music so I know how to treat it in the mix. And I will work to make sure you'll be happy with how it sounds in the end!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Mixing is like entering a meditative state for me, the outside world just melts away and I come out with a finished song! Beyond that, I love the feeling when an artist I'm helping is excited about the mix I've given them! That's a great feeling!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Take the time to get things right in the recording phase. Spend the extra time tweaking mics on your guitars, drums, vocals, etc. It will save you so much hassle and headache later on down the road if you get your tones sounding as good as possible right away. The better you get your tracks sounding right at the start, the better your mix will be!
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That I just sit around and listen to music all day. The first time my girlfriend wanted to sit in and watch me work I quickly drove her nuts by looping one tiny section of a verse while tweaking things. I don't think she wants to listen to me work anymore!
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I like to know what your goals are for your project. What are you into? What are you looking to accomplish? What do you want to sound like? Where are you releasing this? 5 years from now, what do you want to look back and think about this project?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Do it! My mom says I'm cool. But really, just listen to my mix examples, or just reach out and have a conversation and see if we're a good fit! I can promise you that I'm easy to talk to, fun to work with, and I'll listen to all that you have to say about you, your music, your goals, your pets, whatever's on your mind!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Besides food, water, and a phone to get help? Laptop, akg 414, sennheiser hd 600 headphones, vintech x73 preamp, and my Martin D15 guitar.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: A student of the old guard and the new. I began playing guitar and recording things in the early 2000's. I then graduated with a degree in recording arts in 2005 and did the whole intern and assist until you make it path. I worked in studios large and small and learned a lot. I've since moved online and into my own small studio for mixing and I love it! I love being able to help anyone in the world who needs it, it's a great feeling!
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Organic, full, smooth. I like to create unique spaces with reverbs and delays. Also won't shy away from using saturation and distortion for things. Whatever I think will serve the song best!
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Khruangbin. I've been listening to them a lot recently and just love their songs and their sound. Great tones!
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I've mainly worked on rock, metal, and jazz.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My favorite type of sound to work with is a song that has, or wants, an organic feel. Something smooth, full, and real. I love mixing for those types of sound. Mixing is my favorite thing to do, and finding the right space and tone for a song is what I feel I do best.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: In a world with templates, presets, and cookie cutter sound, I like to provide a unique mix that fits what the song needs. That fits what the artist wants with their art. So I bring my full attention, no presets, no preconceived thoughts on how your song should sound before I even hear it. Every song is new, every song is unique, and every song deserves that attention to detail.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: In its simplest form, we have a conversation about your wants and needs. What your goals are for the project, what you're trying to achieve. Then you send me all the tracks for the project, I download them, mix the song according to what we talk about, and with any luck, nail the mix on the first try! Or at least be close!
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I'm basically entirely in the box. I still have a lot of recording gear for when I'm doing tracking, which is rare these days, but mixing is in the box unless you count my avid artist mix surface. I recently moved to a nice new room for mixing with 12 foot ceilings and excellent acoustic treatment. I mix through my trusty old dynaudio bm6a's, avantone mixcube, and sennheiser hd600 headphones. I own a ridiculous amount of plugins at this point from all the big names you know, so I've got lots of different colors to work with!
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I love how many artists are able to produce themselves from home. Anyone who manages to create high quality stuff from home is an inspiration. As are those who master their instruments of choice. I find random people online all the time who are doing amazing things on guitar, for example, who have helped me see new directions for the instrument.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Remote mixing work for bands and artists. Especially now in this post-covid world.