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Twelve Tone Music bio picture

John Schirmer - Artist and Tour Management, Producer, Mixer

“You don’t grow up in the rich musical melting pot that is New Jersey, without soaking up some of it’s musical heritage.”

2011 Grammy nominated Producer, Engineer and Mixer, John Schirmer grew out of the very seed planted by the Garden States musical royalty. Artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Les Paul, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, George Clinton and William “Count” Basie left behind an indelible imprint within the soil that makes up the Garden State. An Imprint that would inspire for decades, young musicians to break free of their meager beginnings and search for something better, something more musical.

For the last seventeen years John Schirmer has strived to obtain nothing less than something better, something more musical. Cumulating his expectations into a personal journey that has afforded John the opportunity to tour the world with major label and independent artists.

As a Producer, FOH and Studio Mixer, Tracking Engineer, Production and Tour Manager, John has had the opportunity to develop an insiders perspective of the people and places that make up the fabric of the entertainment industry. This is a privilege that John does not take lightly. John believes that his experiences with both live and studio artists , and his interactions with the artists label and management on the road and behind the glass, allow him to meld both the live and studio enviroments into one unique perspective that brings out the best in his artists. Both on the road and in the studio John uses his insight, experience and contacts to facilitate an interaction between artists and environment, that is both positive and creative, and always capable of delivering the best possible performances.

“If the vibe and the energy are just right, the feel of the music will be undeniable.”

Over the last six years, John has worked almost exclusively with three time Grammy winning Songwriter and Artist Keb Mo. John and Keb Mo have established a professional and personal relationship like none other within the music industry.

 “John Schirmer is my right hand man, he is the Holland to my Dozier.” -Keb Mo

John has taken on multiple roles within the Keb Mo organization, roles that have become mutually beneficial to Keb Mo and to the artists outside of the Keb Mo organization that John has had the privilege to work with. For the last six years with Keb Mo, John has filled the role of Tracking Engineer and Mixer (Live & Mo, The Reflection, The Reflection Acoustic EP, The Christmas EP), FOH Engineer, Tour Manager and Production Manager for every tour  Keb Mo has done since 2006’s ‘Suitcase” tour. John designed and equipped Keb Mo’s Nashville based, 2000 square foot Stu Stu Studio, where Keb Mo and John work tirelessly producing, engineering and mixing artists records for Keb Mo’s label Yolabelle International, as well as scores for the multitude of television shows that Keb Mo composes for. (Mike and Molly; CBS, Memphis Beat; TNT and Are you There God it’s Me Vodka; Comedy Central)

Outside of his relationship with Keb Mo, John, through the years has had the esteemed privilege to work with some of the most talented artists in the entertainment industry. Just some of the Artists, John has been able to call clients, colleagues and most importantly friends include:

Keb Mo, Bonnie Raitt, Carole King, Jackson Browne, Brian Wilson, Angelique Kidjo, The Black Eyed Peas, Vince Gill, Lee Roy Parnell, Gary Nicholson, Mindi Abair, Dave Koz, Marcus Miller, Coco Montoya, Melissa Manchester, Playing for Change, Drag Pipe, Monster Magnet, Ween, Reach 454, Nicole Atkins, The Roots, Thelonious Monk Jr., Kirk franklin, Rebecca St. James and India. Arie.

Just as my predecessors from the great Garden State of New Jersey, I live for the moment the lights go down and the bass rolls across the floor. These are the moments that define me, the moments that I anxiously await waking to each and everyday. My life is based around watching V.U. meters and riding faders. Music is my life and it defines me.”

Monthly Archives: March 2009

Tracking finishes for Coco Montoya’s new LP.

normal_038_coco_montoya_std2We have just finished tracking the primaries for Coco Montoya’s new full length LP. At the moment we don’t have a name for the release. But I can tell you that it is being produced by Keb’ Mo’ and Jeff Paris. And was engineered by myself and Hank Linderman. 

In the next couple of weeks we will add vocals to the tracks and then I will take the project home and begin editing and mixing at Twelve Tone Studios.

Keep your eyes and ears open this record is going to be hot.

Keb’ Mo’ Live EP.


images-1For the last three years I have been working full time for three time Grammy winning Blues artist Keb’ Mo’. I mix FOH for his tours and I track and mix his records. I also double as his Tour Manager and Production Manager.

This summer we toured with Taj Mahal through June and Robert Cray through August. While on tour I tracked all of our shows into Pro Tools HD. I recorded two and a half hour shows and 48 tracks night after night. When all was said and done we came home with 35 shows and 672 songs. The project took up space on 6 750g Glyph hard drives.

My recording rig consists of one Digidesign Profile console at FOH (runs the show and the HD Rig) that feeds an HD 2 Accel rig. This setup is super convienent and super simple. I just run a Digilink cable from the Profiles FOH Rack to the HD rig. I get 48 tracks post preamp and pre processing.

It has taken me a number of months to sift through the 672 songs and narrow it down to 15 performances. I have since edited all 15 songs into there own individual sessions and started mixing the record in January. It is now March 26 and Keb’ and I are putting the final touches on the mixes.

This has been a labor intensuve project and I can’t wait to get this record finished and on the shelves. We are so proud of this project. We will be releasing this record in April as the debut release of Keb’s new record label.