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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- St. Pe
- worlds greatest dad
- 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
48 Reviews - 12 Repeat ClientsEndorse Ben Etter
Overall, Ben is a wonderful audio engineer with a decent set of ears. Although, for our first go around, we went back and forth with volume levels and certain areas to fade, he's got great potential, if only self-motivated enough to get right into the head of the artist/band (considering they never meet in person these days). I'll most definitely hit him up again for another mix!
Thanks Ben great working with you again
Ben hit it out of the park again with my latest track! Great production ideas and perfect mix.
A great experience Ben brought the song to life, hope to work with him again.
I've worked with Ben on multiple projects that cover different genres. I recently reached out to him to see if he could work on a heavier rock track, which is really different than some of the synth-pop stuff we worked on together in the past. Not only did he totally capture the sound and vision we were going for, but he also did it on the first pass! I've never worked with anyone who got the mix down the first time around, no revisions needed. Amazing work! Stoked to work with Ben again soon.
Ben, was a pleasure to work with! Easy to communicate with, positive attitude, and great results. I would love to work with Ben again!
We reached out to Ben to master our EP. He added the perfect finishing touches to polish the release to sound exactly like what we were looking for. He was super responsive and finished ahead of our deadline. Working with him highly surpassed our expectations!
Second time working with Ben and it was great as always. Superb mastering, no revisions needed and really timely. Highly recommended if you're in need of top notch work!
I'm so thankful that I found Ben here on Soundbetter! We worked together on my first album with "ELLYSTER" and it was the best decision ever, since Ben knew exactly how my songs should sound like. It was easy to communicate and the outcome is just mind-blowing. I'd definitely work with Ben again on my next releases!
I was looking for a creative mixer who had an ear for texture and character. Ben is the man. He not only found the sounds within my recordings but added some subtle vibes that sat just right.
And of course, on top of all that, when it was time to work on my project he was fully on it. Quick replies and turnaround and very professional. I would definitely work with Ben again.
Just worked with Ben for the second time on a new single and couldn't be happier with the outcome. If you want your track to sound amazing, look no further.
Ben delivered an EXCELLENT mix of a challenging aggressive indie rock tune. There were lots of distorted guitar layers going on which is always a minefield to navigate, but the final mix is BALANCED, aggressive, and adds so much life to the track. Thank you Ben!!
Great job as usual! Ben is an expert in making songs sound dynamic and organic. Definitely recommend to anyone willing to push their songs to their best potential.
I reached out to Ben to have a single mixed/mastered and was totally blown away with what he was able to do with the song. He took it to a level I didn't know it was capable of getting to. He totally understood the genre I was working in and brought in some of his own production elements that really made the song special. The track sounds amazing!
On top of that, he had great communication through the process. Will definitely be working with Ben again in the future!
We had already worked with Ben in the past, and this time once again he did an amazing job at mixing and mastering a live session we recorded recently, which he to took the level of a studio recording. He is extremely professional and easy to work with. We will definitely work with him again in the future.
I had Ben mix and master a track for me. I was impressed with how he accentuated and enhanced my vision for it. He was prompt and great at communicating as well. I was so impressed, that I just sent over 6 more tracks for mixing and mastering for a full length. So 5 of 5, highly recommend.
Ben is an incredible mixer who will cast magic to bring out the absolute best out of your track! His skills and communication are top-tier as well. I would highly recommend working with him as I am sure I will do so again in the future!
Ben always turns my songs into works of art. A true master of the craft.
Ben is truly the best! Never fails to make a sonic mix.
This was my 2nd time working with Ben and I couldn't be more pleased. Ben is super easy to communicate with and his creativity and attention to detail are major assets. He knows when something needs to be mangled a bit to sound better and the final versions of the songs are alway more interesting than what I gave him, which is totally what I want. I am looking forward to working on more music with Ben 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.