I'm an Emmy® award-winning film composer. As a mixing engineer, I specialize in blending the sonic elements of a recording into a cohesive and professional sound. With years of experience and a finely tuned ear, I strive to bring out the best in every project. Let me take your music to the next level.
I specialize in two overlapping spheres of the music business: film composing and mixing. As film composing can be very wide-ranging in genre, I have found that I have had to become accustomed to acoustic and electronic production. The typical genres I work with are electronic/EDM, indie, pop, rock, and classical. I enjoy working with independent filmmakers that want to make substantive films. Documentaries, tv series, video games, and podcasts are my favorite to score since they offer the greatest range of creativity in the music and sound design. As a classically trained audio engineer with experience recording orchestra, wind ensembles, jazz ensembles, string quartets, choir, and solo performers, and with access to professional session players, there isn't anything I can't provide for a film soundtrack.
As a mixing engineer, I pride myself on my ability to transform raw tracks into polished and professional-sounding pieces of music. With extensive experience in the field and a keen ear for detail, I am confident in my ability to take your music to the next level. I specialize in creating a cohesive and balanced mix that highlights the strengths of each instrument and vocal. Whether you're a solo artist, band, or producer, I am committed to providing you with a final mix that meets your expectations and surpasses them.
Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.
- Celebrating the Comeback of the Burning River Documentary
- Quire Cleveland Recording
- North Water Partners
- Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
- Airfield Films
- Reuters News
- Franciscan University of Steubenville
- Cleveland Institute of Music
- Cavani Quartet
- Elless Quartet
- Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony
- Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra
- Teddy Christman
- Infinitum Ex Machina
- Elvic Kongolo
- Crosby and Ellender
- Michael Telles
- CJ Thomas
78 Reviews - 7 Repeat ClientsEndorse Konopka Sound Productions
Another amazing mix by John! Makes all of the sounds shine every time.
John is a great engineer with a great ear in mixing different genres of music. He’s kind, patient, and makes sure you feel like you are leaving with your best work. He has a great attitude and extremely professional. John delivers quality projects and isn’t afraid to try something out of the ordinary when it comes to production. Highly recommend!
John did an amazing job with this mix. There were a couple of issues before I sent the mix over. After his mix, all of the issues were gone and it sounds amazing! He really takes care of your song like it is his own.
John did a good job for us, in a very short time frame. He was flexible and very professional, which we really appreciated.
Very quick delivery as promised on this touch up work. Thank you John!
Simple follow up done timely and to specs. Great work as usual John!!
We chose to have Konopka master the first single from our upcoming album and we couldn't be happier. Our producer checked everything, from professional mixing speakers to car speakers to high-quality headphones, and it all sounds great. Even played it on my iPhone speakers. Total win.
Another amazing mix job by John. Great clarity in the mix and very quick turn around!
I searched out soundbetter to see If anybody had the skill base to mix out and give a semi orchestrated, busy piece of music with lots of vocals the space to let instruments breed. While there are many out there that can mix, John's knowledge of classical music, and knowing how to position instrument's in the stereo field shines through. John is very easy to work with. Highly recommend him. I gave him mud he gave me back a song.
Another amazing mix from John! He is always very patient, easy to work with, and also achieves amazing clarity and balance in his mixes!
Another amazing mix from John!! Great clarity, he really brings out the best every time.
John delivers very consistent results and amazing clarity! I love how it sounds now! He is also always so easy to work with and communicates very well.
John is always a pleasure to work with- He turns out a fabulous final product on time, every time. I worked with him on many of my songs and look forward to doing so again. I highly recommend him for your next project!
Another excellent mix by John. He makes the process so easy. I enjoy working with him because he always has perfect clarity in his mixes, and does the best he can to bring out the best in every track.
Working with John has been a FIVE-STAR experience every time!
John has done an amazing job and further elevated my mix which was already acceptable. He made is sound much crisper and cleaner. He never ceases to amaze me with his sonic skills!
John is always a professional and a pleasure to work with. He turns out top notch material every time. I highly recommend him for your next project and I look forward to working with him again soon!
John was a treat to work with. Here are some of his strengths: he is incredibly detail oriented, your mix will get the benefit of his hawk ears; he’s is a wonderful communicator, and addressed our concerns well; he is diligent, and got our master back to us very timely.
Lastly, but most importantly, he gave our band a sense of ease knowing that the master track was at industry standard loudness but without adding a over-compressed feel. The subtle eq moves also made the track shine.
Another excellent mixing job done by John! The sonic quality he is able to achieve is legendary! If you are looking for perfectly crisp and clear sound with the top quality, he is your mixing engineer!!
Konopka, delivered an excellent job. He really made my song stand. The balance, eq, and effects choices were outstanding. I really recommend you to work with him.
Interview with Konopka Sound Productions
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm working on film scores and mixes!!!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: A Mac, Pro Tools, U87, Millennia Mic Pre, and a Lynx interface.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I worked at the Cleveland Institute of Music as an audio engineer, recording concerts and recitals, and I also ran my own recording business. Believe it or not, I started scoring films when I was 17 and won an Emmy Award when I was 19. I had been using Logic Pro/Pro X since I was around 10 years old- I dropped out of my high school as a senior and homeschooled myself. I only did this because I wanted to devote as much time as possible to learning audio engineering and composing.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring a wide range of technical skills and creative vision to each song I work on. I approach each mix with a critical ear and a deep understanding of how to use tools such as EQ, compression, and spatial effects to shape the sound and bring out the best in each element of the mix. I also bring a keen sense of musicality and a deep appreciation for the emotional impact of music, which helps me to make artistic choices that enhance the overall impact of the song. Whether working as a mixing/mastering engineer or film score composer, my ultimate goal is to help my clients achieve their vision and create music that resonates with listeners.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: As a mixing/mastering engineer, the most common type of work I do for my clients is taking their raw audio tracks and transforming them into polished and cohesive final mixes that are ready for release. As a film score composer, I typically work closely with directors and producers to create original music that captures the mood and emotion of the film while enhancing its overall impact.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Yes! My uncle Dan Konopka (member of the Grammy® Award winning band OK Go). He is an incredibly experienced engineer and session drummer.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Film composer for "Celebrating the Comeback of the Burning River" documentary. We won the Emmy® award for Best Topical Documentary in 2019.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. You need analog for certain sounds and you need digital for others.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will give my best effort with each project, because I care about your product and I take pride in my work. Attention to detail.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love being involved in others' musical ambitions and help to serve their goals.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: How long will it take for this to be mixed? It depends, but I normally need two days minimum for a song. I will work on it for one day for a few hours, and then I will return to it the next day to review it because every project needs that second take.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I'm not going to be able to make ANYTHING sound like an Atlantic Records release--a great mix begins with a great foundation, i.e. well recorded vocals, guitars, drums, bass, synths, and high quality samples. "You can't polish a turd."
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What are your intentions for this project? What is your message? What artist do you want this to sound like?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Make sure you give your best effort for every track you make and then allow the engineer to do his job! (you can always give mixing suggestions of course)
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My style of mixing is more minimalistic as compared to the average mixer. My style is very flexible as it adjusts to who my client is and what my client wants.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Bon Iver, because I consider him to be one of the most talented song-writers today and in history. His creativity amazes me and has inspired me in my productions of music and of mixes.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: "Keep it simple stupid." I think the greatest misconception in the audio industry is that you need all sort of different plugins on every single track within a mix, like compressors, limiters, reverbs, delays, effects, tone shapers, etc. For me, I mix with my ears--if I need a compressor, I'll use one. If I don't, I won't.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I am asked to do lots of different types of jobs. Film composing is one of those things I am asked a lot to do, since I won an Emmy® award in 2019. I am also asked to do lots of classical recording for musicians at the conservatory in Cleveland, whether it be recording sessions, audition tapes, recitals, concerts, you name it. As far as mixing, I am generally asked to work with indie pop/rock, hip-hop, and electronic tracks.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Bringing out in the sonic landscape what the song wants to say musical and vocally. In other words, there is a mood, a message, an emotion which every song tries to capture--I will try to translate the technical aspects (mixing) of a song into the emotion and musical direction that the artist wants to convey. I have been a musician for almost two decades and so my primary focus is to communicate and translate the creativity of the artist and manifest it in the mix of their tracks. I am not mathematically minded, I am artistically driven.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: First, I listen to the track and proceed to organize all the files into a session. Second, I typically start a rough mix of the entire song. Third, I begin to start to treat the most important elements of the session and then mix them together. From there, every song has a different mixing process.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My studio is acoustically treated with carpeted floors, absorption panelling, and diffusers. I own the Apollo 16, Apollo 8p, Apollo Twin, UAD DSP Processor, a maxed out Mac Mini (3.2 GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7, Ram: 64 GB 2667 MHz DDR4), KRK Rokit 6s, Neumann U87, Neumann KM184 (pair), Schoeps MK2 (pair), UAD plugins, Waves plugins, Altiverb (the best impulse response reverb in the business), iZotope plugins, and FabFilter plugins. Additionally, I have a sub37 Moog, a Juno 108 (vintage synth from 1984), a Bach C Trumpet, and a Yamaha Bflat Trumpet. The DAWs I work in are Pro Tools, Ableton Live Suite, Logic Pro X, and Sequoia.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Almost impossible to answer this in a paragraph--but some of the key inspirations are the Bon Iver, the Avett Brothers, Kanye West, Young Thugg, J. Cole, Jack Antinoff, the Vince Guaraldi Trio, Arvo Pärt, just to name a few.