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. House of Cha Cha is his mixing/overdub/production room.
From the genre-bending to the pure, House of Cha Cha exists to create music that moves brains and butts.
With over 100 album credits to his name, Rubin has ranked high in the DownBeat Critics’ Polls from 2012-2018 as a “Rising Star” producer for his work with the SmallsLive and Ropeadope records. In 2014, "Second Half," which Ben co-produced with composer/pianist Emilio Solla, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album. The Rubin-produced "Freebird" (2018) by Walking Distance ft. Jason Moran, is an epic melding of Charlie Parker-inspired jazz and expansive production choices.
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, Eddie Henderson, James Maddock, Analog Players Society, 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, was the winner of the 2008 Independent Music Award for Electronica Song of the Year.
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.
Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.
- 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
- The Former Members
- Louis Hayes
- Harold Mabern
- Seamus Blake
- David Berkman w. Tom Harrell
- Jon Irabagon
- Emilio Solla
- Johnbern Thomas
- LOWER POWER
- Rivers on Mars (Greg Tate & Avram Fefer)
- Stripmall Ballads
- Queen Esther's Americana Black
- Josh Lawrence and Color Theory
- Joe Magnarelli w. Mulgrew Miller
- JD Walter w. Orrin Evans Trio
- Caleb Wheeler Curtis
- Walking Distance + Jason Moran
- MC Extra Cheese
- Tim Ries with Nicholas Payton
- Analog Players Society
- Steve Conte
- Mark Kozelek / Sun Kil Moon
- Rachel Eckroth
- James Maddock
- Jon Dryden Trio
- Buzzed Armstrong
- Patti Rothberg
- Nicki & Patrick Adams
- Donny McCaslin (David Bowie)
- Masta Ace
31 Reviews - 1 Repeat ClientEndorse Ben Rubin
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 !
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!
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!
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!
Had the pleasure of working with Ben on project with a short deadline. Was very impressed by Ben! Great product, communication and delivery! Recommended!
Awesome performance and kind service! Thank you very much!
Nice one! I'm ready for a summer song! well done Ben
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.
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
Amazing producer! Very easy to work with. Fast and quality work, great communication. Highly suggested!!
Excellent. Ben went above and beyond..
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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: 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 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]."
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
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.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
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.
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. I also do mix consultations and give mixing lessons and pro tools lessons.
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: What's your typical work process?
A: i don't have one. each job is tailor-made for the client.
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: 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: 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: 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 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: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: yes, Jordan Perlson. a Most Excellent drummer.
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.