About

“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.”

- Camo

(Slightly Brief) History

Everyone 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.

Musical Growth

As 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

Ben’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).

Career

In 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, blogging, gadgets, traveling, and making omelets.

Current Endeavors

Ben 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