Robert Ruby

Classic, Innovative Production

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10 Reviews (8 Verified)
Robert Ruby on SoundBetter

I'm Robert Ruby, an independent songwriter, composer and producer with a unique artistic voice. I love combining interesting ideas, or taking things in a new direction. I believe in strong charismatic melodies and flamboyant, lush production. I'm inspired by indie music, jazz and blues, classic pop, and Japanese and British music. Let's do it!

I have produced dozens of musicians, released original songs, and composed for musicals, ads, and more. I composed music for Nippon Marathon, which was released on all major game consoles in Dec 2018. For that project, I worked with the well-known J-pop singer Diana Garnet for one track. I also recorded a track for well-known YouTube personality Blake Grigsby.

I'm proud of my songwriting skills: I have written dozens of songs in a variety of classic styles. I wrote and produced most of German band The Wingmen's album.

I love taking arrangements and production to the next level. I frequently hire a trumpet, sax player, violinist, and cellist to create lush, flamboyant arrangements. I'm equally at home experimenting with lofi and psychedelic sounds to add a flair of unexpected artistry.

I am knowledgeable with classical, jazz, and pop music theory, and I'm influenced by musicians across history. I play piano and keyboards, acoustic and electric guitar, bass, drums, hand percussion, ukulele, mandolin, and accordion, and I sing as well.

Aside from paid work, I've managed to find time for loads of exciting projects. I helped start and run an open mic night in downtown LA; I collaborated with a local art gallery to host and perform at a series of charity concerts to raise money for great causes; I have performed with my own bands, jazz bands, and in musical theater pits.

I'd love to hear about your project. Click the 'Contact' button above to get in touch.

10 Reviews - 2 Repeat Clients

Endorse Robert Ruby
  1. Review by Anthony G.
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    Robert's knowledge of music instrumentation, production and engineering is so impressive! I consider my self fortunate to have found someone who can help make my little "indie songs" sound "big time"! I can't wait for our next collaboration. I have every confidence it will be another winner!

  2. Review by Anthony G.
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    I just finished up another WINNING! collaboration with Robert. He just keeps getting better. Great communications...stellar creativity... super generous with his time and talent. I look forward to our next project and putting his prodigious musical talents to the test again! - J. Anthony

  3. Review by Andrew M.
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    Extremely easy to work with and dedicated to making the customer happy. Robert is full of ideas, his creativity shines through in his work and we will come back for more! Robert provided many other tracks for us on our Nippon Marathon soundtrack, he is super reliable too! Nice work!

  4. Review by Anthony G.
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    I'm very satisfied with the professional quality of the music Robert produced for my song “A ChristMax Carol”. His ability to patiently listen and then turn my layman’s language into music gold is the sign of a true professional. I deeply appreciate his belief that even artists with modest budgets deserve to create great music! Thank you, Robert!

  5. Review by Sara K.
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    Robert is fantastic! :) His work is thorough and detailed, and he always delivers on time. Our band used his transcribing services for our first EP and he was super attentive throughout the entire process and didn't hesitate to help us with any aspect of creating chord charts/lead sheets. We would definitely use his services again! :)

  6. Review by Samina S.
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    Robert is an amazing music producer. He created beats way beyond my imagination. He created amazing beats, also added the directions from me. He was super patient with me and I'm so thankful because I had several in person recording sessions with him. Robert is a very hardworking and creative person and he revised my work as many times as I asked.

  7. Review by Michael G.
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    Robert is a consummate professional. He's a very talented dude, and very kind and exceptionally fair and honest. I've had nothing but positive interactions with him and the work he's produced has been superior. We've been working together for years on music projects and recommend him without reservation.

  8. Review by TROZ P.
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    Robert and I have been working together for awhile so he knows how to transcribe tunes to my liking. He is willing to take the time to learn what his client is looking for and will not stop until you are 100% satisfied - Robert, keep up the great work !!!

  9. Review by Chris F.
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    I have worked with Robert for over a year. He is tremendously easy to work with and always delivers a fantastic result. He has always been able to be very innovative while also capturing the essence of my sound. I fully endorse Robert and will continue to use him in the future.

  10. Review by Michael G.
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    Robert is a consummate professional. He's a very talented dude, and very kind and exceptionally fair and honest. I've had nothing but positive interactions with him and the work he's produced has been superior. We've been working together for years on music projects and recommend him without reservation.

Interview with Robert Ruby

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

  2. A: I walked into a local art gallery with an idea to throw a concert. The director already had a series of charity concerts called Concerts For A Cause, so we joined forces. I threw a concert at which I played my original indie blues/rock tunes with a live band at the art gallery, and we raised $1500 for good causes. I wrote the music, handled promotion and fundraising, coordinated and practiced with musicians, and hosted the event.

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

  4. A: A singer is having me create an instrumental for her original song, record her vocals, and mix and master the result. A friend's play needs background music for a live production. A client needs piano reductions of songs for an original musical. A folk cover group wants recordings of their favorite tunes.

  5. Q: Analog or digital and why?

  6. A: Digital is so powerful. Analog is beautiful and fussy and has character. I use them in tandem: DAW on my computer, digital recording interface, samples and synthesizers and midi; but I also record with a large diaphragm tube condenser mic, and I often send my recordings through a tube compressor.

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

  8. A: I won't stop trying to make you happy until you are happy.

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

  10. A: I've never tried anything that felt this good for this long. I worried about getting burned out by music when I started doing more and more, but I'm more inspired than ever. I also love self-management and trying to grow a small business.

  11. Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

  12. A: "Can you do ____?" Usually, yes, and if not, I can help you bring in someone who can. "How much does ____ cost?" It depends on what you want to do, but whatever your budget is, I would rather work something out then turn anyone away.

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

  14. A: I do so much that it's hard for people to understand everything I do, or get a clear picture of what I offer.

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

  16. A: What are your favorite musicians? What moods do you want your music to evoke?

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

  18. A: You don't have to know exactly what you want... but the more specific you can be when working together, about changes you want made, the easier the process becomes. If you want to record parts (singing or instrumental) make sure to practice at home and warm up before coming in.

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

  20. A: Acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, accordion, portable recording device, and a crate of batteries. I'd record lofi sea shanties until I was rescued.

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

  22. A: I tried to relegate music to a hobby, and pursue other careers. Entrepeneurship, teaching. I succeeded at everything I tried, but felt empty, and kept returning to music. I can't stay away. I started taking apart MIDI (digital sheet music) files on my computer when I was 14 and reverse-engineering them to understand how everything fit together, like a child tinkering with a clock and trying to put it back together. From there, I expanded into creating my own songs and teaching myself guitar, piano, bass, drums. In college, I minored in music (UC Berkeley) where I took classes in classical theory, jazz theory, and musical perception. I also played bass in jazz bands and musical theater pit orchestras, played drums in choir concerts, and sang in gospel chorus. I studied abroad in Ghana, where I took classes in traditional African drumming, guitar, and modern African pop music. Since college, I have been lucky to encounter some really great music gigs: playing bass with a jazz band, writing and recording original music for theater and musical theater, recording bands, and organizing and playing at charity concerts.

  23. Q: How would you describe your style?

  24. A: Layered, deep, complex, shiny, bright, energetic

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

  26. A: I would kill to watch will.i.am create an instrumental from scratch. His musical ideas and motifs are incredibly strong, but he takes a lot of risks as well.

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

  28. A: If a piece of music lacks contrast, it's forgettable. There are millions of ways to create ear-catching contrast.

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

  30. A: I specialize in indie, pop, rock, alternative, jazz, soundtracks, ballads, blues, folk, bluegrass, country, and Americana.

  31. Q: What's your strongest skill?

  32. A: I can create very catchy yet unique melodies quickly. I know a lot of music theory and play a lot of instruments, so I can create deep, layered songs.

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

  34. A: Clients have told me they value the quality of my sounds, the clarity of my layered instruments, the energy and depth of my mixes, and the melodic and arrangement ideas I bring in when invited. I've also been complimented that I'm quick, communicative, and reliable.

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

  36. A: I start by sketching melodic and arrangement ideas on piano. Then, I layer live recording (I'm a multi-instrumentalist) and electronic instruments (synthesizers and samples) to create soundscapes. Finally, I mix and master everything in-house.

  37. Q: Tell us about your studio setup.

  38. A: I have a home studio in Echo Park, Los Angeles with a treated listening room, professional vocal and instrument mics, vocal booth, and small live room. I have the ability to record individuals and small groups, and to record at home. I have two electric guitars, acoustic guitar, semi-hollowbody and fretless basses, bouzouki, accordion, mandolin, keyboards, hand percussion, and more.

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

  40. A: I have an expansive knowledge of classical, jazz, and modern music theory, and I draw on all of it. In particular, I am excited by musicians who are creative geniuses with the power to create their own worlds. I also love traveling. I have spent months traveling in West Africa, most of Europe, and across America. I use inspiration from the sounds, sights, cultures, and people I encounter in my work. Inspirations: Classical: Beethoven, Chopin, Bernstein, Bizets Jazz: Miles Davis, Coltrane, Oscar Peterson, Horace Silver Rock: Beatles, Smiths, REM, Beach Boys, Social Distortion, Todd Rundgren Pop: Will.i.am, Chainsmokers Games: Koji Kondo, Nobuo Uematsu, Yoko Shimomura

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

  42. A: My specialties are original melodies, and atmosphere. I create effortlessly catchy, yet unique melodies, and then I use a combination of live and electronic instrumentation to weave together a tapestry of sound. I work like a painter, contrasting different sonic textures and layers. So, my favorite way to work is to take somebody's inspiration and to expand it into a world. For example, when singers approach me with a song they have written, I create instrumentals and beats and interludes and melodies to build it into an experience. I also love starting with visual experiences as inspiration, and creating soundscapes to match. Background music for movies, TV, games, and even instructional or tutorial videos is a natural use of my skills.

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Robert Ruby

I was the Various roles: songwriter, producer, singer, composer in this production

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Terms will be discussed and agreed upon by a project-by-project basis, as each project is unique.

GenresSounds Like
  • Cage The Elephant
  • The Animals
  • The Smiths
Gear Highlights
  • Neumann TLM-103
  • Electro-Voice RE20
  • Avantone CV-12
  • FMR RNP pre-amp
  • Yamaha HS8 monitors
  • Teisco 60s Japanese guitar
  • Amplitube fender amp sims
  • extensive Reason soundbanks
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