Ben Etter is an indie producer and mixer with credits by Deerhunter, Hazel English, Washed Out, Cate Le Bon, The Big Moon, Magic Gang and Kaiser Chiefs a.o.
"I want records to feel a little bit dangerous, like we're allowing ourselves to do things in ways that some might not consider correct or proper. Celebrating imperfection and idiosyncrasies leads us to the true identity of an artist. Once I have a vision for where a record wants to go, I just get on board, take whatever risks necessary to preserve that identity and refuse to water it down with conventional "best" practices. Some of my favorite captures and mixing moves in the studio have been serendipitous. The key is to create an environment where these things can happen."
Originally from Bern, Switzerland, Ben Etter migrated to Atlanta, GA to focus completely on making records after spending many years as a recording and touring artist himself. Very much a child of the 90's, his work has been tied to the decade less in style than in approach. The attitude of independent artists at the time created an environment in which making records was, perhaps due to technical and time limitations, unencumbered by fear or overthinking and instead driven by fierce confidence in the material and artistic vision. In an age of unprecedented access and scrutiny in music production, this is the kind of mentality Ben brings to every session. This is reflected in his creative, often experimental recording and mixing approach - rendering exciting and sometimes unexpected results.
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- Kaiser Chiefs
- Franz Ferdinand
- Dan Croll
- Hazel English
- Japanese Wallpaper
- Cate le bon
- Washed Out
- The Big Moon
- The Magic Gang
- cut copy
- Slum Sociable
- Wild Moccasins
- VHS Collection
- Jeans For Jesus
- Belle and Sebastian
- Small Reactions
- Albin Lee Meldau
- Shock Machine
- Jack River
- Royal Canoe
- The Souls
- Goodbye Fairbanks
- Maximo Park
- Little Suspicions
- Magic Gang
- Nolan Trotter
- Binding Spell
- Phobia Quartet
- Far West
- Girl Ray
- worlds greatest dad
77 Reviews - 17 Repeat ClientsEndorse Ben Etter
Beautiful work. Great communication.
Another great mix from Ben. He went the extra mile on this one to give it what it needed. Such a joy to work with!
I've worked with Ben several times because he consistently knocks it out of the park when it comes to my mixes. I'll typically send in a song in demo form and he's able to bring out so much color and character in the track that really brings the track to life. He's always super professional and easy to work with.
Ben took my song to a whole different level. As a producer, I have learnt a lot from Ben. Highly recommend!
Ben is incredibly professional and helped to bring depth and grit to all of my mixes. Would love to work with him again.
Ben is amazing. He mixed and mastered my entire album and did a killer job. Each one of my songs was vastly improved by his work.
It was a pleasure working with Ben. He is cooperative, patient, and committed. I highly recommend him to anyone looking to collaborate with a dedicated creative who knows what he's doing. Ben is willing to work with you to bring your music to the highest level possible.
Another great experience working with Ben on 2 amazing mixes. He always takes the tracks to the next level and beyond while being sensitive to the rough mix and original vision of the song. Looking forward to more in the future!
Ben's care and attention to detail on this project is above and beyond - along with an amazing sense of artistic direction! He is extremely communicative and responsive, delivered an amazing product, and would highly recommend!! Really looking forward to doing the rest of my album with him!
2nd song mixed and mastered by Ben. The results sound amazing. Besides all the technical know-how, Ben adds a creative layer with beautiful and unique touches that take your track to the next level. Always down to earth and patient, It's been a real pleasure. Looking forward to working on a 3rd!
Wow! Ben smashed this mix out of the park!
Great comms, great ears a pleasure to work with.
Ben helped me immensely. He understood the vision of my song and took it to the next level. He has a great ear and ability to edit. Incredibly talented mixer.
If you want a good mix and mastering Ben is your best option. He understands what the track needs to be complete.
Super quick and talented as always. Our go to guy for mastering, past, present, and future!
Second time I have worked with Ben and can confidently say he brings craft, dedication and real vision to his work. Highly recommended and a real talent.
It was such a pleasure working with Ben. His mix brought my song to a level I didn’t realize was possible, while still maintaining the good bits of the rough. He comes to the project with ego aside, ready to serve the song and is sensitive to what that vision is. I will be coming back for more mixes for sure!
We love working with Ben! Once again, he was super quick, responsive, and of course talented as hell. He has been our go to for mastering on our last few releases and they have all been stellar. Couldn't recommend him enough.
I really enjoyed working with Ben. He came as advertised. Very creative and able to think out-of-the-box. He added many nice touches to the mix. He's also great with communication and patience. Couldn't be more happy with the results. Looking forward to working with Ben again!
fantastic! he can help shape a song into something better than you imagined. patient and creative. a genuine pleasure to work with. i'll definitely be working with ben again in the future!
Ben was excellent to work with! He easily helped me bring to life the vision I had for my song and then some! He's masterful at what he does and brings an original touch to his craft, which can be hard to come by. I look forward to working with him again soon!
Interview with Ben Etter
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Deerhunter's "Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared". I came on in the final third of the making of this record as a engineer/producer and, ultimately, mixer. I was lucky to be working with a group of such gifted and daring creative people who pushed me further than anyone else had before. I'd never worked in a less structured studio process and that record would not have come to fruition any other way. Totally eliminating boundaries opened the door to a whole different dimension in the band's vocabulary for the record - it was liberating. I was just doing my best to keep up with the pace of the session, facilitate ideas and help lace them up in the end, and this is what my role should be!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both, depending on availability and sensibility. Gear rarely determines outcome, but rather the process to get there.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I am a product of the 90's, so I came up hearing a lot of independent music that feels raw and unapologetic. Whatever the style, whether I'm dealing with a 4-piece rock band or an electronic artist, I still crave and push for that quality in every piece of music I work on.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Only as much as it needs. I approach each project with the goal to understand the true, honest identity of the artist I'm working with and roll with that. For some projects, I need to stay out of the way and showcase the raw energy of the band, for other artists I need to create more of a journey.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Whether it's recording or mixing, I like to be prepared and get all the technical basics set up ahead of time. This allows me to unleash everyone’s full creativity later on in the process. I want to minimize friction between an idea and its realization and stay as flexible as possible.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Callum Barter and Larry Crane are both great people and excellent professionals.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Chris Walla is a producer who first made me realize how artistic the recording process can be and how instrumental it is in shaping how we perceive and connect with artists. I have also been lucky to have had incredible mentors throughout my career (Jason Kingsland, Ben Allen, Matt Goldman, Bradford Cox), who continue to inspire me.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I get to do something that I truly love and see purpose in everyday. It comes with a lot of challenges and sacrifices, but that ensures that I will only do this for as long as I truly love it. Also, I get to bring my dog to work!
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will live and die by your record just as much as you do, maybe more.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Different shades of independent rock, sometimes more electronic, sometimes more organic.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Know what your vision is and how far you're willing to take it. If all you need is a properly blended, "punchy" mix that otherwise sounds just like your demo or rough, some providers (and their rates!) are suited better to that than others.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I do most of my work out of Maze Studios in Atlanta, GA, which is packed with great gear and toys. I also have a lean, but mean private mixing and production facility. In practice, the two flow together and I love oscillating between these spaces. This setup also keeps me nimble and able to adjust to most budgets.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Probably mixing several records at the same time!
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I came up as a touring artist and fell in love with the studio world from that side of the glass. The transition came naturally to me. I quickly progressed from an intern sweeping floors at now defunct Glow In The Dark Studios, to staff engineer and studio manager at Ben H. Allen's Maze Studios in Atlanta, which is still my home base as an independent engineer today, almost 10 years later.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Pay attention to the happy accidents. Does the guitar amp you're trying to record sound great through the drum overheads that you left unmuted by mistake? Cut it!
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I've worn most hats you can wear in a studio. Producer, engineer (often both at the same time!), and mixer. Recently I have been most excited and focused on mixing.