John Mock has been one of Nashville's top-call studio pros for more than 30 years. He plays guitar, mandolin, tin whistle, concertina, and percussion and is also a producer and string arranger. Credits include Dixie Chicks, James Taylor, Rodney Crowell, and many others. *Contact me for overdub pricing for any of the above instruments.*
Specializing in acoustic recording and production, John’s extensive experience as a studio player and arranger enhance all aspects of the process from performance to engineering to mixing. His high-level recording credits on each of the instruments he plays speak to the quality of his musicianship, which is his central quality and the one that drives the other services John offers. As an engineer, he uses high-end mics, preamps and converters to deliver consistently world-class audio quality. In the mixing process, his emphasis on adding dimension in the sound - not only from right to left but also from back to front - result in the sonic space that is necessary for acoustic recordings to reach their potential. As a producer, these skills and values roll together into one to support the song and the music and to help the artist achieve his or her ultimate goal - communication and connection with the listener.
“You have a lot of choices when you record in Nashville or send in your music to have overdubs added. I attribute the quality of our recordings to a) using great players, b) using great gear, and most important, c) working in mutual collaboration with the artist/writer
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6 ReviewsEndorse John Mock
I worked with John on my upcoming single "Big City, Small Town", and I'm very satisfied with this collaboration. Great communication, professional work: John made sure I was happy with everything.
John largely deserves his reputation as a highly skilled producer. I worked with him for my first single, Fate El Foute, and he was immediately able to assimilate and sublimate it. I'm looking forward to collaborate with him again in the future
John is indispensable in the recording studio. In addition to being the most versatile musician I’ve ever known, he has the best ears in the business.
I've worked with John Mock on several different projects over the past few years, and I'm struck each time by his care and attention to the essence of the piece. His gifted ear serves as a guide for the project, whether he's engineering or playing, yet I always feel that the ultimate flow is a strong product of both his guidance and the vision of the writer/performer. He captures in the studio what I believe that many cannot - heart and vibe. And when he locks into that, it's truly magic.
“John Mock is a rare musician, producer and engineer. He is equally gifted in each realm. His masterful musicianship extends far beyond his playing abilities and spills over into the recording process. John never takes his eyes and ears off the most important goal of recording: capturing the essence of the song and an inspired performance.”
Sylvia - Grammy nominee and ACM Female Vocalist of the Year
Interview with John Mock
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I always work directly with the artist or singer-songwriter. We get the concept and ideas together, then, we'll start building tracks (unless it's the kind of project that we need to track with a whole band together). In building the tracks, we usually look at cutting the songs as guitar (usually to a click) and vocals in order to make sure we've got our keys and tempos right and feeling great. Once we do that, then we either start recording other instruments in layers, or we'll track a whole band at once. Often, it's a combination of both. From there we start adding any "extras", mixing, living with the mixes for awhile, then mastering.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Listen to work they've done, and then have a good, meaningful conversation!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Lots of water, a guitar, a concertina, a tin whistle ... and a truck load of Kit Kat bars!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Yes! Definitely think about how a song should flow. Use the lyric and vocal as your guide to what's appropriate, and DO NOT just add a bunch of tracks and think you'll "sort it out" in the mix. That concept of throwing things against the wall does not usually add up to a coherent, organic, musical recording. Have less tracks that say more, as opposed to many tracks that are trying to compete with each other for sonic space!
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Usually acoustic, singer-songwriter style music, though I've done quite a bit of instrumental and Irish music as well.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: For me, I feel that my instrumental playing, arranging, production, and engineering all weave together in an very important way, in order to add a coherent unified craft to the music.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: What I bring to a song is many, many years of, not only studio experience, but a lifetime of experience with the acoustic, singer-songwriter vein of music. Also, being an arranger and orchestrator, I feel that those skills come into play when building tracks and mixing, even if there's no strings or orchestra involved.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Usually I work with artist and singer-songwriter, and produce records from top to bottom. At other times, I get hired to do instrumental overdub, arranging, etc on an already existing project.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a Pro Tools rig. I use Lucid Converters, John Hardy and Nueve mic pres, and Avalon compressors. My mic selection includes: Sony C800g tube mic, Royer 122 ribon mics (matched pair), AKG 451 mics (matched pair), Gefell M930 mics (matched pair), a pair of Earthworks Omni mics (matched pair), and some other very useful mics like a pair of Audio Technica 4033 mics, etc.