Ben Rubin

PRODUCER/MIXER/BASSIST

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33 Reviews (15 Verified)
Ben Rubin on SoundBetter

Whether he’s melding hip-hop and jazz with Masta Ace and Donny McCaslin, playing bass at the Newport Jazz Festival with Dred Scott Trio, or remixing Karsh Kale or WuTang’s Killah Priest, 2x-Grammy-nominated producer/(re)mixer/bassist/composer Ben Rubin (aka Benny Cha Cha) is renowned for making records that are pure or genre-bending or both.

From the genre-bending to the pure, House of Cha Cha exists to create music that moves brains and butts.

With well over 100 album credits , Rubin was chosen as a “Rising Star Producer" in the DownBeat Critics’ Poll from 2012-2018 for his work with the SmallsLive label. In 2014, "Second Half," which Ben co-produced with Emilio Solla, was nominated for a Grammy. The Rubin-produced "Freebird" (2018) by Walking Distance ft. Jason Moran, is an epic melding of Charlie Parker-inspired jazz and expansive production choices. In 2020, he released two records with Analog Players Society. In 2021, he released an APS single ft Masta Ace.

Among the great musicians Ben has produced, mixed or played with: Donny McCaslin, Masta Ace, Orrin Evans, Larry Goldings/Peter Bernstein/Bill Stewart, Louis Hayes, Tom Harrell, Patti Rothberg, Chris Potter, Marshall Crenshaw, Nicholas Payton, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Roy Hargrove, Steve Conte, James Maddock, JD Walter, Mulgrew Miller, Seamus Blake, Cyrille Aimeé, Patti Smith, Courtney Love, Mary J Blige, Moby, Alan Cumming, and Bill Frisell.

His own critically acclaimed, genre-bending band Mudville, won an Independent Music Award for Electronica Song of the Year in 2008.

In addition to production, tracking, mixing, and editing, mix consultations/lessons or Pro Tools lessons are also available. All rates are based upon project specifics.

Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.

Credits

AllMusic verified credits for Ben Rubin
  • Taylor Scott
  • Sun Kil Moon
  • Stick Against Stone
  • Tyler Mitchell
  • Lage Lund
  • Lage Lund Four
  • Tyler Mitchell
  • Tim Ries Quintet
  • Tim Ries Quintet
  • Larry Goldings
  • Peter Bernstein
  • Bill Stewart
  • P. Bernstein
  • B. Stewart
  • Larry Goldings
  • Peter Bernstein
  • Bill Stewart
  • P. Bernstein
  • B. Stewart
  • Seamus Blake
  • Jim Rotondi
  • Jim Rotondi Quintet
  • Jonah Smith
  • Jonah Smith
  • Pratt Brothers Big Band
  • Maya Azucena
  • Maya Azucena
  • Mudville
  • Mudville
  • Mudville
  • Mudville
  • Mudville
  • Mudville
  • Jonah Smith
  • Jonah Smith
  • Jonah Smith
  • Laurie Anderson
  • Joan Bender
  • Erik Deutsch
  • Jonah Smith
  • Dred Scott Trio
  • Dred Scott Trio
  • Dred Scott Trio
  • Jesse Davis
  • Jesse Davis Quintet
  • Grant Stewart Quartet
  • Grant Stewart
  • Jesse Davis
  • Jesse Davis Quintet
  • Grant Stewart Quartet
  • Grant Stewart
  • Ralph Lalama
  • Bop Juice

33 Reviews - 1 Repeat Client

Endorse Ben Rubin
  1. Review by Juliet V.
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    Consider yourself fortunate if you get Ben Rubin to work on your project. Ben is that rare producer who hears what you are trying to accomplish and works with you to achieve it. He's straightforward with his direction. He draws from years of experience, not only as a producer, but as a musician. He is committed to the integrity of the song and goes above and beyond to execute it, including drawing on many of his connections with accomplished musicians. Super professional and friendly.

  2. Review by Sloan l.
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    Ben really helped bring my vision to life, got what I was going for & great to work with. Super nice guy as well.

  3. Review by john m.
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    A great experience with Ben who has a real talent for getting the feel of a song immediately and taking it to a better place - a really nice personable guy to work with as well which is always a bonus! Will be back !

  4. Review by Pal T.
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    by Pal T.
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    Ben is a fantastic engineer, he delivered exactly what I was looking for. My song was complex with lots of tracks, big arrangement, etc., but Ben patiently worked on the mix until we got it right. The communication was easy, Ben was super friendly and nice from the beginning. Highly recommended!

  5. Review by Andrew F.
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    Superb!
    Ben bought out the best in my original recording and delivered exactly what I asked for with a very quick turnaround and excellent communication.
    He went above and beyond what was required of him contractually and he even laughed at my jokes.
    My Spotify debut will be a very proud moment, thanks Ben!

  6. Review by Lucas G.
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    working with Ben was a wonderful experience, the communication was really good and he is very professional. I would 100% recommend anyone to work with him!

  7. Review by David P.
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    Had the pleasure of working with Ben on project with a short deadline. Was very impressed by Ben! Great product, communication and delivery! Recommended!

  8. Review by Takashi A.
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    Awesome performance and kind service! Thank you very much!

  9. Review by Elvic K.
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    Nice one! I'm ready for a summer song! well done Ben

  10. Review by Justin M.
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    Ben pays very close attention to detail and conveyed a genuine interest in creating the best sounding mix for a single song. In a world of digital instruments and synthesized pop music, Ben was able to take live miked instruments and create a clean and clear rock genre mix. He was very responsive and flexible in the midst of a global pandemic! An absolute legend. Thanks Ben.

  11. Review by Powell L.
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    He got the patience, he got the soul, he got the vibes and most importantly, the dedication. Do not hestitate to work with him, hes DOPE

  12. Review by angelomagni
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    Amazing producer! Very easy to work with. Fast and quality work, great communication. Highly suggested!!

  13. Review by Ivy
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    by Ivy
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    Excellent. Ben went above and beyond..

  14. Review by Marina Z.
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    I met with Ben to get some advice and perspective. Ben really knows his stuff, he's honest, and a pleasure to communicate with. Highly recommend!

  15. Review by Simon S.
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    Working with Ben was a really enjoyable experience. Before we even started he took the time to work out my tastes and what I wanted from the track. Communication was good and clear throughout the process and I felt like he was engaged and committed to making the song as good as possible.
    I would definitely work with Ben again, his mix sounds great and full of character which is exactly what I wanted. Very satisfied customer.
    Thanks mate

  16. Review by Patrick Adams
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    by Patrick Adams

    As the mixing engineer, Ben helped bring the warmth and depth of sound we were looking for to life! He was professional, easy to work with, and accommodating through the entire process. Bonus points for having a very unique analog delay that we recorded essentially as another instrument (or sound) on the album. Never seen or heard before. Highly recommended!

  17. Review by Nicki
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    by Nicki

    Ben mixed like a pro, knew when to add and more importantly when to let something be. He let us get a little exploratory with awesome tape delays too! Would highly recommend.

  18. Review by Jonathan Thomas Dryden
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    by Jonathan Thomas Dryden

    Ben mixed my record and was extremely helpful in listening to me and making tweaks I heard and wanted to change. He has great insight into recording and mixing, ad I can't recommend him enough.

  19. Review by Tyler Blanton
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    by Tyler Blanton

    Ben has done some mixing for me the last couple years and it has always turned out really well. Aside from being a great engineer, he is very easy to work with. He makes you feel comfortable in the studio space and is a very clear in his communications- He understood what I was going for and made it happen. Highly recommended.

  20. Review by Bill Malchow
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    by Bill Malchow

    I hired Ben to track and mix a classical/popish composition I wrote for a film. His proficiency on pro tools (and in ordering lunch) got us through the session quickly. He helped us make musical decisions and kept things moving forward. His mix was spot on super pro. The director and I were very pleased. I'm looking forward to the next time.

Interview with Ben Rubin

  1. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  2. A: I think it's that I only work on a specific genre of music. like people think I only work on jazz records. Not at all true of course. I just try to stay true to each genre in which I work. This often leads people to assume that I only work in that genre. I often get people saying, "Oh i had no idea you played [insert genre here]."

  3. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  4. A: I've been in the music business for over 25 years. I learned piano and guitar as a kid and switched to upright bass when i was 20. I began gigging pretty fast in the Bay Area. As i started playing on more records and playing in bands i got more interested in the recording side. by the time i moved to NYC in 2000, I was engineering and producing music with my band Mudville. Making their two records was my recording and mixing school. for the next few years i would get asked to mix one or two records. then in 2009 i was hired by SmallsLive to be their in-house producer/engineer and from there the work really picked up. All the while I'd been playing upright bass with Dred Scott Trio. We played a steady popular late-night gig at the Rockwood Music Hall for years. We also played at the Newport Jazz Festival in 2008. From there, I began to focus on producing and mixing other artists and that's what I've been doing for the past 10 years or so.

  5. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  6. A: I have a hybrid studio setup which included Pro Tools HD 2019.10 with apogee, lynx and benchmark converters. i mix through a NEVE 8816, and use my choice outboard gear (incl Nightpro EQ-3D (maag,) Scamp/Vocal Stressor EQs and Comps, Eventide Harmonizer H3000, 2 DBX 160xs, a Distressor and a lot more. I also have a lot of cool obscure preamps and mics which give House of Cha Cha a unique sound. I have several guitars, keyboards and amps that I use for composing and tracking as well.

  7. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  8. A: I'm pretty proud of working on Emilio Solla's 2014 record "Second Half" which was nominated for a Grammy in the Latin Jazz category. I was the co-producer (I ran the two days of intense recordings of the 9 piece band playing 12 minute through-composed music) and I also did all the editing to put the final takes together. It is a fantastic record and really earned its nomination.

  9. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  10. A: what I do really runs the gamut, from full on record producing, to tracking, to mixing, to playing bass (or several other instruments) on other people's records. it's rare actually that i do only one of those things on a project. I also do mix consultations and give mixing lessons and pro tools lessons.

  11. Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?

  12. A: yes, Jordan Perlson. a Most Excellent drummer.

  13. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  14. A: I'm pretty proud of the project I'm currently working on (Aug 2016). I'm producing a record for a jazz band called Walking Distance. It's called "Free Bird" and all the music is derived from Charlie Parker. But each song inhabits its own world and sounds completely different. we're utilizing all the recording techniques that have been developed in the past 60 years (since the pan pot). You know, delays, reverse effects, distortion, etc. and the kicker is that acclaimed pianist Jason Moran is playing on several tracks.

  15. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  16. A: I like a little of both. Analog has its obvious charms and useful limitations, but there's so much that can be done with digital and frankly, it's getting harder and harder to tell the difference.

  17. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  18. A: my St Blues Blues King electric bass, Neumann U67, Neve 1073 preamp, Eventide Harmonizer H3000, Distressor

  19. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  20. A: be aware of the room you are recording it. it has a lot more to do with the sound than you realize.

  21. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  22. A: What I bring to a song is a clear sense of storytelling and drama. I understand what the functions of different parts of an arrangement are and what needs to be done to bring a song to life, whether I'm producing, mixing or playing bass.

  23. Q: What's your typical work process?

  24. A: i don't have one. each job is tailor-made for the client.

  25. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  26. A: wow ok, duke ellington, pj harvey, tchad blake, lee scratch perry, the beatles, led zeppelin, hank williams, a tribe called quest, kendrick lamarr, igor stravinsky, gustav mahler, the police, charlie parker, art tatum, ahmad jamal, p-funk, al schmitt, rick rubin, greg cohen, tom waits, ornette coleman, agent orange, massive attack

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Home in America by Analog Players Society x Masta Ace

I was the producer and mix engineer in this production


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    Home in America by Analog Players Society x Masta Ace
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    Reckoning by Donny McCaslin
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    William by Walking Distance ft. Jason Moran
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    Wicked by Mudville
Terms Of Service

I approach each project on its own terms. After i send you a proposal, we have opened a dialogue. I price each project individually, based on a variety of factors, so please ASK!!!

Gear Highlights
  • Neve 8816 Summing Amp
  • Telefunken V676s
  • Ampex 351
  • Distressor
  • Eventide Harmonizer H3000 D/SE
  • Nightpro EQ3D (Maag Audio)
  • Scamp Rack with Vocal Stressor/Compex EQ/Comp
  • DBX 160Xs
  • AKAI MPC 2000XL
  • Wurlitzer 200 EP
  • Ampeg B-15
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