Ben Bernstein Music

Music Producer/Mixing Engineer

8 Reviews
Ben Bernstein Music on SoundBetter

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.

Send me a note through the contact button above.

8 Reviews

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  1. Review by George St Clair

    To work with Ben Bernstein is a privilege and a learning experience for any musician. I decided to record my debut solo album with Ben, and I could not be happier with the experience and result. First and foremost, Ben is a lover of music. He is a virtuoso producer and bass player with more than two decades of performing, session playing, recording and producing. In short, he knows his stuff inside and out through being there and doing it. And it shows when you work with him - his enthusiasm and creative ideas are grounded in knowledge both of music composition and of the recording equipment.

  2. Review by Lindsay Alexis

    I am so glad I found Ben Bernstein. I came to him with a mess of recordings on a program that neither of us were familiar with and he made it sound superb. He added some elements that really enhanced the sound in a way I hadn't thought of and he was wonderfully receptive to my nitpickings. He is a great communicator, very professional, and he worked within my budget. I can't wait to work with him again!

  3. Review by Bob Thomas

    I have been working with Ben for over ten years and on five CDs. I keep coming back to Ben because he knows his "stuff". He works hard to brighten your music. He is willing to make constructive comments which really improve your finished product. He is easy to work with and fair about the price. I highly recommend him. He is the BEST!!

  4. Review by Bob Thomas

    I have been working with Ben for over ten years and on five CDs. I keep coming back to Ben because he knows his "stuff". He works hard to brighten your music. He is willing to make constructive comments which really improve your finished product. He is easy to work with and fair about the price. I highly recommend him. He is the BEST!!

  5. Review by Alex Wise

    Just completed my fifth album, first working with Ben, and I can easily say he’s the best producer/engineer I’ve ever worked with. He’s super talented, competent, professional and a lot of fun. Couldn’t recommend him more highly!

  6. Review by Joel N Cuzzi

    I'm on my second full length recording with Ben. His sense of production is top notch and I've saved some big time bucks using his software editing knowledge.I like how Ben offers different studio options depending on the type of sound you're going for. I should also mention that Ben has access to talented session musicians that can make huge contributions to your music..... The bottom line is that it's been really nice having Ben's ears help improve my sound over the years. He's passionate about music and makes useful suggestions.I would recommend him to anyone.


  7. Review by Jimmy J Moore

    I recorded my first album with Ben at The Petting Zoo studio. He is great!!!! He always creates the perfect atmosphere that allows you to relax and focus on what is really important, and the music flows in a natural way. He did a great job recording, producing and mixing all the songs from my album. He is also well connected to amazing session musicians that made their contributions to take the songs to a higher level. A fantastic experience that I will love to repeat in the future.

  8. Review by Sterling Spence

    I have worked with Ben on four projects: 2 full length albums, and 2 EPs both working at his home studio and several larger spaces. He's the best. I've worked with a variety of studios with different bands and projects but I keeping coming back to Ben. He creates a dynamic, fun environment and fosters creativity while also holding a strong understanding of song writing and craft. He has a great ear and often comes up with ideas that just push the songs to a new level. He also works with a really great network of session musicians who can cover pretty much any base you're looking for.

Interview with Ben Bernstein Music

  1. Q: What are you working on at the moment?

  2. A: A lot of Live-stream mixes for YouTube for emerging artists.

  3. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  4. A: Digital capture and mix with a serious analog input chain at high res. It's been my experience.

  5. Q: Can you share one music production tip?

  6. A: You're only as good as your song.

  7. Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?

  8. 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.

  9. Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?

  10. A: I will make you the record you want.

  11. Q: What do you like most about your job?

  12. A: Music, people, music.

  13. Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?

  14. A: That it has to take a long time and involve expensive gear.

  15. Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?

  16. 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?

  17. Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

  18. 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,

  19. Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?

  20. A: A Swiss Army Knife, an Acoustic Guitar, a Zoom Recorder, Guitar Strings and Extra batteries.

  21. Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?

  22. 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.

  23. Q: How would you describe your style?

  24. A: Relaxed, fun and high quality.

  25. Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?

  26. A: Sean Hayes, I love his sound and he is local.

  27. Q: What type of music do you usually work on?

  28. A: Americana, Folk, Singer-Songwriter, and Bluegrass

  29. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  30. A: My patience and understanding.

  31. Q: What do you bring to a song?

  32. A: I bring my ear and personality. That combined with many years playing, writing, recording and most importanly listening to music.

  33. Q: What's your typical work process?

  34. 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.

  35. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  36. 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.

  37. Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?

  38. A: Daniel Lanois, Glynn Johns, Jack White, Wilco, The Fleet Foxes.

  39. Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.

  40. 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.


Terms Of Service

$100 deposit per day confirm studio. 48 hrs. notice required for rescheduling or cancelling sessions. Payments billed according to progress 1 Mix revision /song - $50/hr for additional mixing

GenresSounds Like
  • Gillian Welch
  • My Morning Jacket
  • Alison Krauss & Union Station
Gear Highlights
  • My Experience
  • My Ears
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