Tonmeister, mix engineer, and multi instrumentalist. My recent Beyoncé cover video has 175k+ views on YouTube.
A graduate from the Tonmeister course at the University of Surrey, I'm currently working towards the construction of a commercial recording studio - throughout construction, I'll be offering my services as a mix engineer and musician from my residential property.
During my career I have produced tracks in multiple genres, including: acoustic, classical (chamber, choral, and orchestral), hip-hop, jazz, rock, metal, pop, rap, and sync (radio adverts). I listen to a wide range of music daily, and am confident in producing music in an appropriate manner for a variety of genres.
I have several instruments at my disposal, along with industry standard microphones. If you have a project that requires additional instrumentation, and you would like me to fill in what you cannot, I play these instruments to a high standard: acoustic guitar, bass guitar, electric guitar, drums, piano, and alto saxophone. I also have a flute, flugelhorn, and cello, and can play simple parts on these. If you want to ask me about other instruments, feel free - I may be able to source them or find a musician to help us out!
If you're interested in having me work on a YouTube cover video with you, and want to see what I'm capable of, feel free to request video examples of my recent work.
Send me a note through the contact button above.
Reviews (4)Endorse Ben Davies Music
Working with Ben was an absolute pleasure. He took the time to ensure we were both clear on everything before starting, to make sure I was happy and so that he could deliver a result that I would be pleased with and he certainly did. Even for a small project he was patient with me, attentive and overall delivered great results. Very happy! :)
Working with Ben was a great experience. He's very detailed and meticulous and did a great job with arrangements and execution. Highly recommended!
Ben has a fantastic studio knowledge and attitude. We worked together on a tape project and it sounded beautifully traditional. I can highly recommend Ben as an engineer and producer.
Ben was absolutely wonderful to work with! Very dedicated and understanding. It was great to work with someone who can take your ideas and turn them into something special!
Interview with Ben Davies Music
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Well I'd need a MacBook for one; I'm really loving my UA Apollo 8p, so I'll be taking that for sure; Neumann U87s seem to work on just about anything, so I'll have one of those; it'd be a coin toss between a Rhodes and a Wurly for item 4; and I can't forget about monitoring, so my pair of ATC SCM100ASLs will definitely be coming.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: While I'm waiting on construction of my recording studio, I'm working in a residential property. My setup revolves around an Avid S3 control surface and a Universal Audio Apollo 8p. My main monitors are a pair of ATC SCM100ASLs, with a pair of ADAM A5Xs as minis, and I have a good selection of microphones including industry standards such as the Neumann U87 and AKG C414. I own both Logic Pro X and Pro Tools 12, but do most of my work using Logic. I use mainly UAD and Waves plugins and a full list of available plugins is available upon request.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: The cover of Taxman on my sample tracks was a great project. Recording to 2" tape and then mixing down through an SSL console straight to ¼" tape is a thoroughly different workflow when compared with the "normal" workflow of today. I had to commit to EQ and compression on the way into 2" tape, meaning that any EQ or compression errors would be captured on tape and would be irreversible, and then I could only alter panning and level during the mix when capturing to the ¼" tape. The main goal was achieved, with the client being very happy with the end result!
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I began my career in the live sound sector over a decade ago. While completing my senior school studies (age 16), I recorded and co-produced my first commercial album. After completing my further education, I went on to study music and sound recording as a Tonmeister and the University of Surrey. Now that I've graduated, I teach music technology part time at A level (17/18 year olds) and am building a recording studio to carry out my business as a recording and mixing engineer.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Logical, efficient, and focused.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I like to vary the genres that I work on if possible. If we're in the "pop" (and by that I mean not classical) world, I like things that have a nice groove to them. If the track engages me, I'm in!
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: The first important step in achieving an end product that meets the clients expectations is in understanding what those expectations are. I strive to provide a friendly, approachable, and open communication with the client to fully understand their needs. If they have an idea of how they would like the end product to sound, ideally including a commercially available example for me to work from, then I can efficiently work toward that end goal. Part of my training at the Institute of Sound Recording involved communicating effectively with people who perhaps aren't trained in any technical way, and so I am still able to form an idea of what needs to be carried out technically in order to achieve the ideas that they have put forward. It's impossible to explicitly detail any sort of "standard" workflow for a project though, as every track is different and poses its own challenges and requirements. I aim to be flexible to account for those changing needs.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: During my studies at the Institute of Sound Recording (at the University of Surrey) I was allowed full access to their industry standard studios. This access meant that I was able to invite musicians into the studios for me to work for them as recording, mixing, and mastering engineer, in addition to being producer if they didn't already have someone doing that for them. All of this work was carried out alone, with the exception of an assistant engineer during recording, meaning that I am very used to each of these roles. Though I no longer have access to the large inline analogue and digital consoles that I used while at university, the skills honed there are transferrable to other scenarios outside of the traditional studio environment. This means that I am now able to efficiently and professionally carry out in the box (DAW) work, in addition to recording (admittedly to a slightly lower standard than the purpose built studios at Surrey) in my residential property.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: When mixing, set the monitor level at a comfortable place and leave it there for the duration of the mix. It's incredibly tempting to get excited by a track simply by ramping up the volume, but the solid reference point established by leaving the volume static will allow you to accurately assess your progress throughout the session. One caveat, however, is that it can be helpful to utilise the dim button (found on most DAWs, mixing consoles, and audio interfaces) to assess whether any elements of your mix are sitting too far forward or back in your mix.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm producing and mixing an EP for a funky soulful pop artist and also editing and mixing a choral album that I recorded earlier in the year for an internationally renowned girls choir.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: An age old question. It depends entirely upon the situation. If your session requires a vintage sound, you may find it easier to achieve with analogue outboard and a more "traditional" approach to the session. If you're looking for a more clinical sound, you may find that you get more precision in the box. That said, plugins are getting scarily good these days and many engineers are scrapping outboard gear entirely. Given that I don't own any outboard currently, I'll have to say digital - my UAD plugins are pretty tasty anyway!
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: If you're not sure about something, don't be afraid to ask! The chances are I will be able to make it work for you, one way or another, and I'm a friendly guy - I won't bite, honest.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: A desire and determination to produce something that I would happily listen to (I'm a bit of a perfectionist), that communicates a message to the listener, evokes an emotion, and inspires them to create and innovate.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: In terms of musicians, I'm constantly inspired by Robert Glasper. The way he communicates through his music is beautiful. When it comes to production professionals, I've been intrigued recently by the five mix bus technique, as detailed by Michael Brauer (Mix Engineer for Coldplay "Parachutes", The Rolling Stones "Steel Wheels", and Paul McCartney "Back in the U.S.").