Howard Benson

Last updated

Howard Benson
Howard Benson.png
Howard Benson in November 2017
Background information
Born Havertown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Occupation(s)Record producer
InstrumentsPiano, synthesizer, organ
Years active1986–present

Howard Benson is an American music producer and multi-instrumentalist; [1] he was nominated for the Producer of the Year Grammy Award in 2007 and 2008.


Early life and education

Benson was born and raised in a middle-class family in greater Philadelphia, the son of Estelle and Robert Benson. [2] He is of Jewish descent. [2] He began playing keyboards in rock bands at the age of 13. [1] He attended college at Drexel University and studied engineering. During his years at Drexel, Benson took a year off and studied composition at the Philadelphia College for Performing Arts. Benson graduated from Drexel with a degree in materials engineering. After graduation, he moved to Los Angeles and worked for Garrett AiResearch, where he worked on aircraft such as C-5s and F-18s. [3]

At the time of his graduation, he regularly played with his band in small Hollywood clubs, and when his band finally went into the studio with a producer, Benson was inspired to become a record producer. [4]

He returned to Drexel in 2010 to create and teach the advanced production class at Drexel University's Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design. In 2011, he established the Howard and Monica Benson Endowed Scholarship Fund for students enrolled at the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design. [5] In 2015, he received an honorary degree from Drexel University. [6]


His first works as producer were two albums for hardcore punk band T.S.O.L. ( Revenge (1986) and Hit and Run (1987)), and the first record he produced for a major record label was Bang Tango's Psycho Café in 1989. [7] Benson states that discovering Pro Tools in 1998 while working with Sepultura was a major turning point in his career. He was asked to produce P.O.D.'s The Fundamental Elements of Southtown album in 1999, which became a platinum-selling record. [8] In 2000, Benson produced P.O.D.'s multi-platinum-selling Satellite at Bay 7 Studios, and continued to record numerous albums at that location. Over the next few years, Benson produced records from acts like Cold, Crazy Town, P.O.D.'s Payable on Death , and Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge from My Chemical Romance. He later produced numerous multi-platinum records such as The All-American Rejects, Hoobastank, Flyleaf, Daughtry, Seether, Third Day, Theory of a Deadman, Three Days Grace, Skillet, Santana, Adam Lambert, Kelly Clarkson and Caleb Johnson.

He now produces exclusively at West Valley Recording Studios, in Woodland Hills. [9]

Benson stated that he utilizes Auto-Tune in the studio and that those who do not are "nuts". [10] Benson prefers to record in what he calls a "parallel system," in which musicians will record their parts in isolated rooms. [4] After the recording of an album, Benson typically brings the track to his home studio, Sparky Dark Studios, where he personally adds to the arrangement.

Benson has worked as an A&R consultant at Giant Records, Elektra Records, and Warner Bros. Records. [1]

Benson produced and appears in Attack of Life: The Bang Tango Movie , which is a 2016 documentary film directed by Drew Fortier about 80s hard rock band Bang Tango for whom Benson had produced two albums. [11]


Grammy Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2001 "Alive" Best Metal Performance Nominated
2002 "Youth of the Nation" Best Hard Rock Performance Nominated
"Portrait" Best Metal Performance Nominated
2005 The Reason Best Pop Vocal Album Nominated
"The Reason" Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals Nominated
2007 Himself Producer of the Year, Non-Classical [12] Nominated
Daughtry Best Rock Album Nominated
"It's Not Over" Best Rock Song Nominated
"Home" Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals Nominated
"It's Not Over" Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals Nominated
2008 Himself Producer of the Year, Non-Classical [13] Nominated
2010 All I Ever Wanted Best Pop Vocal Album Nominated
"Born Again" Best Gospel Performance Nominated
"Born Again" Best Gospel Song Nominated
2013 Stronger Best Pop Vocal Album Won
"Love Bites (So Do I)" Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Won

GMA Dove Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2005 The Passion of the Christ: Songs Special Event Album of the YearWon
2009 Revelation Pop/Contemporary Album of the YearWon
2010 Awake Rock Album of the YearNominated
"Hero"Rock Song of the YearNominated
2011 Memento Mori Rock Album of the YearNominated
"One Day Too Late"Rock Song of the YearNominated
"Lucy"Rock Song of the YearNominated
2013 New Horizons Rock Album of the YearNominated
Release the Panic Rock Album of the YearWon
"Sick of It"Rock Song of the YearWon
"Who We Are"Rock Song of the YearNominated
"Perfect Life"Rock Song of the YearNominated
"Strike Back"Rock Song of the YearNominated
2014 Rise Rock Album of the YearWon
Release the Panic: Recalibrated Rock Album of the YearNominated
"Not Gonna Die"Rock Song of the YearWon
"Die For You"Rock Song of the YearNominated
"Run and Escape"Rock Song of the YearNominated
"Zombie"Rock Song of the YearNominated
2015 "Good to Be Alive"Rock Song of the YearWon
"Dead Man"Rock Song of the YearNominated


In 2017 Howard Benson partnered with audio plug-in developer STL Tones to create the Howard Benson - Producer Kemper Pack [14] and in 2018 they released STL Tonality - Howard Benson Guitar Plug-In Suite. [15] In 2020 Howard partnered with Joey Sturgis Tones and released his signature vocals plugin, Howard Benson Vocals.

SoftwareFunctionRelease date
Howard Benson - Producer Kemper Pack Amplifier Emulator for Kemper Amps2017
STL Tonality - Howard Benson Guitar Plug-In Suite Amplifier Emulator for DAWs 2018
Howard Benson Vocals by JSTVocal Chain for DAWs 2020


Howard Benson has produced dozens of discs throughout his career for many top artists including Three Days Grace, My Chemical Romance, and Daughtry.

Related Research Articles

David Paich

David Frank Paich is an American musician, songwriter, singer, and record producer, best known as co-founder, principal songwriter, keyboardist, and occasional singer of the rock band Toto since 1976. Paich wrote or co-wrote much of Toto's original material, including the band's three most popular songs: "Hold the Line", "Rosanna" and "Africa". With Toto, Paich has contributed to 17 albums and sold over 40 million records. Additionally, Paich has worked as a songwriter, session musician, and producer with a host of artists including Boz Scaggs and Michael Jackson.

David Hall Hodges is a singer, songwriter, producer, composer, and keyboardist from Little Rock, Arkansas who has sold over 60 million albums. He is well known for having been a member of the band Evanescence, as well as a successful songwriter and producer. He has also been part of the bands Trading Yesterday, The Age of Information, Avox, and Arrows to Athens

Juan Campodónico

Juan Campodónico, sometimes working under his stage name Campo, is an Uruguayan musician, producer, composer, creator and former member of El Peyote Asesino, Bajofondo and Campo. He produced albums by Jorge Drexler, Luciano Supervielle, Bajofondo, El Cuarteto de Nos, La Vela Puerca, OMAR, Sordromo, No Te Va Gustar, Santullo and Ximena Sariñana among others. He created the Bajofondo project alongside iconic producer and two-time Academy Award winner for Best Original Score Gustavo Santaolalla. He has been awarded with various Latin Grammy, Premios Gardel and Graffiti awards for his work as a producer, as well as with many golden records.

Samuel Joshua Watters is an American singer, songwriter, record producer and record executive. Watters was a member of the multi-platinum selling 1990s R&B group Color Me Badd and co-authored many of their hits including "I Adore Mi Amor", and "All 4 Love". Watters has also written and produced songs for Grammy-winning and nominated artists such as American Idol winners Fantasia, Kelly Clarkson and Jordin Sparks, and other superstars such as Céline Dion, Whitney Houston, Leona Lewis, and Anastacia. Watters is a member of the production/songwriting team The Runaways including fellow hitmakers Rico Love, Wayne Wilkins, Ryan Tedder, and Louis Biancaniello.

Beau Hill is an American record producer who is best known for his work with Alice Cooper, Kix, Winger, Streets, Warrant, Fiona, Europe, and Ratt. He also played instruments and sang backing vocals for some of the artists that he produced, as well as for his own bands Airborne, and Shanghai, who both released albums in the early 1980s. Hill was one of the founding partners of Interscope Records.

Bang Tango

Bang Tango is an American hard rock band. The band was formed in 1988 in Los Angeles, California and was signed to MCA Records the same year.

Daughtry (band) American rock band

Daughtry is an American rock band formed and fronted by namesake Chris Daughtry, who was a finalist on the fifth season of American Idol. Their self-titled debut album was released in November 2006 and reached number one on the Billboard 200. The album went on to sell more than six million copies in the United States, and has been certified sextuple platinum by the RIAA. Daughtry was also named the best selling album of 2007 by Billboard, becoming the fastest-selling debut rock album in Nielsen SoundScan history. The album produced four top 20 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including top five hits "It's Not Over" and "Home".

<i>Daughtry</i> (album) 2006 studio album by Daughtry

Daughtry is the debut album by the American rock band Daughtry, released on November 21, 2006, by RCA Records. The band formed and fronted by American Idol fifth season finalist Chris Daughtry. The album is the fastest-selling debut rock album in Soundscan history and the band's best-selling album.

Its Not Over (Daughtry song) 2006 single by Daughtry

"It's Not Over" is the debut single by American rock band Daughtry, taken from their self-titled debut studio album. It rose to number four on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified Platinum in May 2007 by the RIAA. It was listed in the top 10 digital selling songs of 2007, and it was certified 2× Platinum for digital sales in 2019.

Dave Fortman

Dave Fortman is an American record producer, musician, and songwriter. As a producer Fortman has sold over 27 million records with credits including both of Evanescence's multi-platinum selling albums, The Open Door and Fallen, as well as Slipknot's multi-platinum selling fourth studio album All Hope Is Gone.

Carl Bell (musician)

Carl Bell is an American musician, producer, arranger, engineer and mixer. He founded the multi-Platinum selling hard rock band Fuel. Bell was the principal songwriter, music and lyrics, for the band and performed lead guitar and backing vocals from the band's inception in 1989 until his departure in 2010. He has written singles such as "Shimmer", "Hemorrhage ", and "Bad Day" as well as many other songs. He also co-produced all Fuel records including the Grammy nominated Natural Selection.

David Kershenbaum is an American record producer and entrepreneur, born in Springfield, Missouri. He has worked with many artists including Duran Duran, Tracy Chapman, Joe Jackson, Laura Branigan, Bryan Adams, Supertramp, Cat Stevens, Elkie Brooks, and Tori Amos. As a producer he has earned 75 international gold and platinum albums. His work has yielded multiple Grammys and an Oscar nomination.

Sam Hollander American record producer

Sam Hollander is an American songwriter. He has collaborated with the likes of Fitz and the Tantrums, Panic! at the Disco, Train, Weezer, One Direction, Blink-182, Ringo Starr, Katy Perry, Carole King, Jewel, Pentatonix, Daughtry, Good Charlotte, Neon Trees, Metro Station, We The Kings, Boys Like Girls, All Time Low, Gym Class Heroes, James TW, BANNERS, The O'Jays, Goo Goo Dolls, The Fray, Uncle Kracker, Sugar Ray, Michael Franti, Blues Traveler, Hot Chelle Rae, Karmin, Chiddy Bang and Kelly Rowland among others.

<i>Revelation</i> (Third Day album) 2008 studio album by Third Day

Revelation is the ninth studio album by American Christian rock band Third Day, released on July 29, 2008. The album was produced by Howard Benson, who had decided to work with the band after rock singer Chris Daughtry drew attention to lead singer Mac Powell's vocal ability. Although they were initially uncomfortable working with Benson, Third Day achieved a positive working relationship with Benson, who felt that their different religious beliefs made them challenge each other in a way reflected in the record.

Richard E. Chertoff is an American five-time Grammy-nominated producer responsible for such hits as Joan Osborne's "One of Us", Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and "Time After Time" and Sophie B. Hawkins' "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover". Both Cyndi Lauper's album She's So Unusual and Joan Osborne's album Relish were debut albums that garnered multi-platinum sales and multiple Grammy nominations. Chertoff was nominated twice for 'album of the year', twice for 'record of the year' and also for 'producer of the year.'

Gary Loizzo

Gary Alexander Loizzo was an American guitarist, singer, recording engineer, and record producer. He is best known for being the lead singer with The American Breed.

Larry Darnell Griffin Jr., professionally known as Symbolyc One or S1, is an American record producer from Waco, Texas. He founded the group Strange Fruit Project and is signed to Kanye West's Very GOOD Beats as a producer.

<i>Break the Spell</i> 2011 studio album by Daughtry

Break the Spell is the third studio album by American rock band Daughtry, released on November 21, 2011, by RCA Records. It is a follow-up to their platinum selling album Leave This Town in 2009. On December 15, the album was officially certified Gold.

The following list is a discography of production by Howard Benson, a Grammy Award-nominated record producer.

Justin McCain who grew up in Carson and Treynor, Iowa, is an American musician, songwriter, producer and label executive, whose songs have been collectively streamed worldwide over 15 million times. McCain is the founder, lead guitarist, songwriter and producer for the hard rock band Through Fire, signed to Sumerian Records, and also works for Sumerian doing licensing and A&R.


  1. 1 2 3 "Interview, HitQuarters Jan 2006". Retrieved November 3, 2012.
  2. 1 2 Cohen, Mike (2017). "RECORD producer Howard Benson has been involved with countless rock albums, selling tens of millions of copies". The Jewish Telegraph . Howard describes himself as a Conservative Jew. In Philadelphia, he was a member of Temple Beth Hillel, where his brother Mitchell is a past president. In California, he joined Temple Aliyah. Despite marrying Monica in LA, his rabbi from Philadelphia officiated.
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 29, 2007. Retrieved January 29, 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Crusher Magazine, November 2004
  4. 1 2 Grammy-Nominated Producer Turns Tracks Into Gold Archived June 29, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Mix Online, February 1, 2007
  5. "HOWARD M. BENSON '80, HON. '15". Drexel University.
  7. Feature "Howard Benson: Producer" Archived January 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Crusher Magazine; November 2004
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 13, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), May 4, 2011
  9. "Gear: Howard Benson's Round-the-Clock Rock". Billboard Magazine. June 1, 2013.
  10. Farinella, Davidjohn (March 15, 2010). Producing Hit Records. ISBN   9780857125101 . Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  11. "Attack of Life – The Bang Tango Movie". Metal Sludge. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  12. "49th annual Grammy nominations list – part 2". Variety. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  13. "The Complete List of Grammy Nominees". The New York Times. December 6, 2007. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  14. "Hitmaker Howard Benson". MixOnline. August 3, 2018. Retrieved December 7, 2019.
  15. "Producer Howard Benson works with STL Tones to put his signature guitar sounds in a plugin". MusicRadar. November 12, 2018. Retrieved December 7, 2019.