John Lehmkuhl

Click below to watch Industry Innovators | John "Skippy" Lehmkuhl.


Sound designer, sound programmer, engineer, John "Skippy" Lehmkuhl creates his magic from his home in Portland Oregon. Since 1988, he has been one of a handful of sound designers that program sounds in Korg Synthesizers including the M1, O1W, Wavestation, Wavedrum, Trinity, Triton, OASYS, Z1 and more.

John also has loop libraries for Stylus RMX sold worldwide and has worked as a custom sound designer for Mariah Carey, Madonna, Whitney Houston, Patti Austin, Ambrosia, The Yellowjackets, Kenny Loggins, McDonalds, Jack in the Box, Modelo Beer, Toyota and countless others.

I started with music at an early age – piano lessons started when I was 4 years old. Both of my parents worked in music stores all my life. I owned a MiniMoog and witnessed the introduction of the Yamaha DX-7 during my teenage years.

After graduating from the local community college, I moved to Seattle and worked at a music store as both a Yamaha Music School teacher and a sales person (both acoustic pianos and the early MIDI synthesizers). I created custom patches for my customers (so they would buy from me!), and taught free synth programming lessons. My first library was a custom set of samples for the Korg DSS-1 – I even advertised in Keyboard magazine and shipped a few copies to customers across the USA!

A Korg Production specialist that I became friends with, saw what I was doing and needed help because the Korg M-1 had just been released! He helped get me a job with Korg, and I relocated to Los Angeles in 1988. Now, 28 years later, I’m still on this awesome journey of making sounds and teaching people how to communicate with electronic circuits in musical way…

This is what I’m supposed to be doing and I LOVE what I am doing!
John Lehmkuhl



Interviewer | Paul Goldowitz
Research, Production, Editing | Paul Goldowitz

Extending gratitude to John “Skippy” Lehmkuhl and PlugIn Guru.