Ben Bernstein Music
Producer, Engineer & Mixer
Ben Bernstein Music produces singles, ep's and full-length records.
Here’s my story: I began making records 25 years ago on a four-track recorder in my basement in the Midwest. Now, I record the Bay Area's emerging musicians in a cutting edge Oakland recording studio. Along the way I've worked with many top notch musicians, including recording and mixing established bands in the KFOG Playspace. One of my favorite recording projects was with Front Country, a local Bluegrass band. I produced their first EP, which helped put them on the map and it’s great to see them touring the world now as internationally acclaimed musicians.
I offer a modern recording experience in a friendly, relaxed environment. For full band sessions we record at FM Recorders in Oakland, a traditional studio. For smaller sessions, my home studio, The Petting Zoo, offers an inspiring getaway just a stone’s throw from San Francisco.
The first step is for you and me to talk about your music and make sure we’re a good match. Contact me and we'll set up a time to chat.
Contact me through the green button above and lets get to work.
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Interview with Ben Bernstein Music
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Westerly - Fire in the Evergreens. I produced, played bass, recorded and mixed it on a modest budget in a short amount of time. This band is fresh and I am proud of what we accomplished.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Digital. It's been my experience.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I will make you the record you want.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Music, people, music.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That it has to take a long time and involve expensive gear.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What are recording and career goals? Who do you listen to and look up to musically? What kind of recording experience do you want to have. And, lastly, what is your budget?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Talk to them first, make sure you like them as a person. Trust your instinct. Also, listen to a few examples of their work,
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: A Swiss Army Knife, an Acoustic Guitar, a Zoom Recorder, Guitar Strings and Extra batteries.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started out playing bass professionally 20 years ago, toured for many years, then got off the road and into the studio about 10 years ago.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Relaxed, fun and high quality.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Sean Hayes, I love his sound and he is local.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Your only as good as your song.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Americana, Folk, Singer-Songwriter, and Bluegrass
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My patience and understanding.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I bring my ear and personality. That combined with many years playing, writing, recording and most importanly listening to music.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I like to talk to the client, listen to their music and get a feel for their project need and expectations. If it feels like a good fit, we start working on songs (if needed), and then we book the studio. I believe in striking while the iron is hot and not wasting time talking too much about the process. I'd rather make it happen.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a small but effective home studio. Depending on the scope of the project I rent a few different commercial studios in the San Francisco Bay Area. We usually track bands in a commercial studio for 2 - 3 days, then take it home to overdub and mix. This saves the artist a bunch of money.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Daniel Lanois, Glynn Johns, Jack White, Wilco, The Fleet Foxes.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: The most common work I do is soup to nuts album production for bands and solo artists. I produce, record and mix their records. I often play bass, guitar parts and even keyboards as well.