Howard Benson

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

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.

Contents

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]

Career

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]

Awards

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

Products

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

Discography

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

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References

  1. 1 2 3 "Interview, HitQuarters Jan 2006". Hitquarters.com. 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.
  6. "ALUMNUS HOWARD BENSON '80 RECEIVES HONORARY DEGREE". Drexel.
  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) Ultimate-Guitar.com, 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. google.com. 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.