I approach every thing I do with these ideas in mind. Click on each one to read more about my philosophies.
In my experience, more does not always equal better. It’s important to make sure you don’t over-think things and also don’t over-do things either. If it’s good, it’s good, move on to the next thing.
Today’s expectations for the quality of recorded music is higher than it’s ever been. Anyone with Garageband can record a song, upload it and share it with the world. But the difference between the millions of songs recorded each year and the couple thousand that gain notoriety is the quality, not just the sonic quality but also the musical quality.
I’m an incredibly patient person but one of my biggest pet peeves is inefficiency. There are only 24 hours in a day and I hate seeing any of them being wasted. I don’t rush or hurry but I do things as efficiently as I can and I don’t waste time on things that don’t matter.
I was a musician before I became a producer and I still continue to grow as a musician today. I am always playing keyboard, guitar, or bass parts and love programming drum parts. Even when I’m mixing or mastering my musical background comes in handy; comping and tuning vocals, syncing effects, and tuning drums to the key of the song are all examples of things that non-musician engineers sometimes have difficulty with.
One of the the most important aspects of the artist-producer relationship is trust. By always being open and honest with everyone, my clients and I are able to quickly establish a strong connection, both on a professional and personal level. Making a great record requires teamwork, and a good team requires trust and honesty from everyone involved.
My experience extends back to when I started playing music- I’ve grown up learning how to play keyboards, guitar, bass, and sing (my wife keeps telling me I’m not a drummer every time I try). Since I moved to New York, I’ve spent almost everyday for the last 4 years working in music, primarily in a studio setting but I’m known to take on the occasional live sound gig as well. I’ve worked with so many wonderful artists who all keep coming back to me for some reason ;)
I realize that my career in music is a marathon- not a sprint. That’s why I treat every client with the same fairness that I expect from them. I prefer to have artists work with me as their careers progress rather than just once. When I’m working on a project, I dedicate all of my energy to making it as incredible as I possibly can.
Each project I work on helps me make the next one even better. “If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind.” I never stop searching for new ideas or techniques. I have a very technical background in both analog electronics and computers- in most groups of people I’m the nerdiest of the bunch but I’ve made peace with that and embrace it. I like to stay on the leading edge of not only technology but also musical trends. Working in New York City, I feel, puts me right in the creative heart of the country. I use that as inspiration to help push my projects toward the next thing before it happens.
Making records is a serious endeavor. I take my role as the producer or engineer very seriously. Whether I have to keep track of the session files or manage the entire recording budget, I don’t mess around with my responsibilities.
I’m a huge believer in sharing everything I know and I do so on a regular basis. There is no secret formula to being successful in the music business and it’s in my interests for everyone around me to be successful as well. Sharing my knowledge is also the best motivator to push myself to find and try new things constantly.
Hi, I’m Ben Lindell, a New York City based record producer, mixer, and engineer. I have years of experience creating inspiring records with artists from around the world. My musical background is my biggest asset in the studio, I’m not just a button pusher, I help bridge the gap between an artist’s song/vision and a professional sounding final product.
“Working with him these past few years has been one of the best experiences of my career. Despite the fact that we record in a different language and for a different market, I found that Ben really gets and understands music as a universal language and there is no more important trait to have as a producer. I always keep coming back to him for new music and probably will for years to come.”
(Slightly Brief) History
veryone remembers their first guitar, Ben’s first guitar (a Lotus strat copy for the detail oriented) was a gift from his father for taking piano lessons for more than a year. He continued studying both until high school when he jettisoned two strings and moved down an octave to start playing bass in a band. Naturally the band needed to record an album, so after a weekend of recording drums in a basement studio, Ben and his best friend/bandmate Jay Vincent
spent the next twelve months using just a SM57 and Cubase recording, mixing, re-recording, remixing, and overdubbing until it was finished. It only took one album for Ben to make up his mind that this is what wanted to do for the rest of his life.
s Ben grew as a bass player, he branched out into playing jazz and classical on upright bass. His classical bass skills not only earned him a spot on the Iowa All-State Orchestra, it also earned him a scholarship to the University of Miami
, both after playing upright bass for less than two years. He learned that intense focus and large quantities of practice resulted in the rapid development of musical skills. At the University of Miami he was enrolled in their historic Music Engineering program but he pined for a more music-focused program. After a year and a half he switched majors and graduated with his Bachelors of Music in Media Writing and Production
. While studying composition, playing in ensembles, and on occasion taking a required class in something that he’s already forgotten about, Ben actively continued to play in and record bands.
New York City
en’s first ever trip to New York City was for an AES convention along with some of his classmates and the city left a lasting impression on him. He returned the following summer to take an internship at Smash Studios
. Ben began his career in NYC with lots of cleaning, jamming, sightseeing, and assisting on the occasional recording session. It wasn’t until after he graduated in 2008 that he decided to return to the city with his now wife Amanda and pursue his life of making records.
As everyone knows, the music industry is a combination of talent, connections, timing, and luck. When Ben returned to NYC he was able to walk into a paying gig immediately as the head engineer of Smash Studios. In addition to his paying gig he began as an intern at Flux Studios just in time to help lay the hardwood flooring in the control room and help wire the patchbays. Within six months he had booked his first project as a producer working with Blood St (who are now known as Gonzo Jones).
n under 5 years Ben has had the pleasure of working with hundreds of different artists. From rock to pop, hip-hop to gypsy jazz, Ben has always been comfortable working in any genre. As he’s grown as a producer he’s also become an established mixing, mastering and tracking engineer. To Ben it’s important to understand every aspect involved in the process of making a record and to continue to develop the skills he already has as well as adding new ones. Ben is an avid tinkerer of electronics, in fact he has custom built or modified a majority of his personal gear. He also enjoys photography
, gadgets, traveling, and making omelets.
en is currently working as a freelance producer/mixer/engineer as well as engineering sessions at Smash Studios
, Flux Studios
, and Engine Room
audio on a regular basis. He is one-half of East Midwest Music Group
with his production partner Doug Larsen where they specialize in pop, dance and hip-hop production and songwriting. Ben is also one of the instructors on Puremix.net
To find out exactly what is it that a record producer/mixer/engineer does – What I Do