Ben Rubin (aka Benny Cha Cha) is a Grammy-nominated producer, (re-)mixer, bassist and composer. From performing at the Newport Jazz Festival with Dred Scott Trio to producing remixes for Killah Priest and Karsh Kale, Brooklyn-based Rubin is a musical shapeshifter. The House of Cha Cha is his mixing/overdub/production room.
House of Cha Cha, exists to create music, from the genre-bending to the pure, that moves brains and butts. Lacking musical boundaries, Rubin has produced and mixed hip-hop with Killah Priest, electronica with Karsh Kale and Mudville, jazz for the SmallsLive and Ropeadope labels with Bernstein/Goldings/Stewart, Louis Hayes, Walking Distance ft. Jason Moran, Harold Mabern, Scott Hamilton, and many others. He has also guided artists as diverse as Marshall Crenshaw and Luther Wright and the Wrongs into the world of EDM. The New York Times described his productions for SmallsLive as “beyond reproach.” In 2014, “Second Half,” which Ben co-produced with composer/pianist Emilio Solla, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album. For six years running, Rubin has been named a "Rising Star Producer" in DownBeat Magazine's yearly Critics' Poll.
On upright and electric bass, Ben has played and recorded with a diversity of artists, including Patti Smith, Courtney Love, Mary J. Blige, Marshall Crenshaw, Moby, Alan Cumming, Bill Frisell, and his own critically acclaimed, genre-bending band Mudville (winner, 2008 Independent Music Award for Electronica Song of the Year)
No matter your genre (or budget), Cha Cha can bring your music to life, whether you require producing, tracking, mixing or editing. Rates are reasonable and based upon the specifics of your project.
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- Karsh Kale
- Killah Priest
- Mike Mills (REM)
- Larry Goldings/Peter Bernstein/Bill Stewart
- Cyrille Aimeé w. Roy Hargrove
- Brazilian Girls
- Marshall Crenshaw
- Tim Ries w. Chris Potter
- Jesse Davis
- Dred Scott Trio
- Rick Germanson w. Eddie Henderson
- Joe Magnarelli w Mulgrew Miller
- The Former Members
- Tim Ries with Nicholas Payton
- Walking Distance + Jason Moran
- Louis Hayes
- Harold Mabern
- Seamus Blake
- David Berkman w. Tom Harrell
- Jon Irabagon
- Emilio Solla
- caleb curtis
- Johnbern Thomas
16 Reviews - 1 Repeat ClientEndorse Ben Rubin
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.
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.
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.
We (David Phelps and myself) just spent some quality time with Ben for the mix of our latest EP. He is so easy be around, and what's most impressive - he's knows all kinds of music, from the vantage point of an engineer, producer and a player. He's patient and fun to hang with. We're very happy with the results.
Ben’s incredible ear and sensitive bass playing have been an essential part of my musical life for the past two decades, as a core and treasured member of my 7-piece band. He brings a unique melodicism to the bass while always grounding us as a group. It’s been exciting to watch Ben’s engineering career soar in both the live and recorded arenas!
Working with Ben has been a really good experience and I would really like to continue working with him. He not only knows how to get good sound but also has a keen and versatile sense for music overall. He is very helpful in giving the performer his objective ear and wonderful in his tact in giving his assessments.
Ben is my go-to guy for everything from producing and mixing to playing the bass. Whatever you throw at this guy he can do. His vast musical knowledge and taste has made every situation we've worked together both fun and extremely informative, as well as feeling like I got the best product. I can't recommend him highly enough!
Ben Rubin has been writing and recording songs and music since I've known him in high school! He has since then moved on to be quite the producer, musician and film score champion. He played incredible upright bass parts on my upcoming album, Mercy for the Angels, and would be a great addition to a variety of musical stylings!
i have called ben to play bass on more gigs than i could count. he has mixed most of my records. he has been an invaluable technical liason in all the recordings of mine he has played on. most importantly, whenever we work together - making a spec theme for a tv game show or mixing or performing or touring, we laugh our asses off.
“Ben Rubin has the producing and mixing skills to lay down that sought-after New York Jazz sound. It’s great working together with him as he really pushed me to strive for the best result possible. Using his abilities to be creative, communicative and empathize with the artist, Ben really delivers.”
Ben Rubin cares deeply about his craft and is creative every step of the way. I worked with him on two albums by Walking Distance, and from saving our apartment sounds, to producing in the studio, he's been a joy to work with, and the results are top notch.
Ben is an excellent engineer with huge ears and a great understanding of what any project needs, from rock, to jazz to you-name-it. I've had the pleasure of working with him in different settings and it has always been both a personal and professional pleasure. Always patient, always with a smile, always ready to add his expertise and taste.
Have made half a dozen records with Ben over the years. Ben's super fast, super intuitive and has great ears - and moreover his main focus is MUSICALITY - everything you hear must make you go, "please sir, can I have some more?" Great person too, kind and honest and always goes the extra mile to make it great. A rare bird, that Benny.
Ben has been editing music for my Fifth Grade Musical productions at P.S. 212 in Brooklyn for the past seven years. I keep coming back to him because his work is impeccable. He is extremely talented and I am always grateful to have him on my side when it is time to make my students shine on stage. I have no reservations to highly recommend him.
Ben composed the score for my feature film SOMEONE ELSE, and played all the instruments on it, and produced and mixed it. The end result is a rich brew of moods and emotions and wildly varied sounds that pushes the story and the images to a whole new level. I couldn't be happier with the music, and I couldn't ask for a better collaborator than Ben.
Ben is a fantastic musician as well as mix engineer. I, and many colleagues, have worked with him over the years to much success. I highly recommend him for all services listed!
Interview with Ben Rubin
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
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.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: yes, Jordan Perlson. a Most Excellent drummer.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I've been in the music business for over 20 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.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
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.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
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.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I think it's that I only work on a specific genre of music. like people think I only work on Jazz. not at all true of course. I just try to stay true to each genre I work it. this often leads people to assume that I only work in that drama. I often get people saying, "Oh i had no idea you played [insert genre here]."
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: my St Blues Blues King electric bass, Neumann U67, Neve 1073 preamp, Eventide Harmonizer H3000, Distressor
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: be aware of the room you are recording it. it has a lot more to do with the sound than you realize.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
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.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: i don't have one. each job is tailor-made for the client.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a hybrid studio setup which included Pro Tools HD 12.5 with apogee, lynx and benchmark converters. i mix through a NEVE 8816, and use my choice outboard gear (incl 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.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
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
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
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.