Saturday, June 7, 2014

Share with Me Saturdays - Ben Brodin Part 1

Happy Saturday, everyone! For this round of "Share with Me Saturdays," I'm featuring Ben Brodin, a musician and recording engineer currently based in Omaha, NE.

Photo Credit: So-So Sailors

Ben's been friends with my husband almost forever...since 5th grade, husband tells me. Most of what I've known of Ben up to now is that he's a damned good musician, but terribly modest about it. 

I've heard his voice and his music much more often through speakers than actually in person, and from the sounds of it, that's how he prefers people hear him. More about that later.

For now, here's his introduction, and later this month, I'll share our time together at ARC Studios.

-C McG


Q1: Hi! What's your name and favorite pizza topping?
Benjamin Brodin and basil

Q2: What project/business/profession are you sharing with me today?
I'm a recording engineer, occasional touring musician and record producer.

Q3: How did you join this project/business? Did you create it, or get hired in, or....?
I worked independently in the field for several years, made lots of friends and acquaintances in the Omaha music scene, and was eventually asked to fill the role of house engineer at ARC Studios.

Q4: What's the most rewarding part of this project/business for you?
I'm addicted to the experience of watching music come together. I'm ridiculously lucky to be paid to do this, but to me being paid just means I get to do it exclusively (rather than in my free time, which I did for many years).

Q5: What part of this project/business makes you want to throw things out of anger or frustration? Be vague if you have to. It's OK.
Truthfully there isn't anything about my job that makes me feel this way. The closest I come is watching outside influences (e.g. management, record labels) harm the creative process for artists. But that has more to do with the upside-down power structure in the music business than what I do specifically.

Q6: Do you ever question if this is what you are supposed to be doing in life? Do you feel like you are on a good journey with your project/ least for now?
I stubbornly decided a long time ago that I would make time in this short life for the things that matter most to me. I've played music since I was a child and there is nothing I'd rather spend my time doing. I got lucky.

Q7: Do you think you are getting any better at what you are doing? Does it matter?
I do, and it does. The downside of getting better is that when you look back on previous projects, you cringe at some of the decisions you made. Growing pains, I suppose. A famous engineer, Steve Albini from Chicago, insists on trying at least one new thing (microphone choice, position, technique, etc.) on every session he does. I've tried to adopt this, a really great habit to get into.

Q8: What do you love most about existence right now? I mean this in the broadest sense possible. Or whatever sense you want to interpret that in, I don't care.
In the broadest sense, I suppose I love the presence of existence. In terms of my work, I've always felt that creativity is one of the most important things I can do with the time I'm alive. It can be surprising, educational, inspiring and deeply rewarding.

Q9: How is that love reflected in your project/business?
I try my best to sustain an environment where creativity can flourish. To do that for others is an honor.

Q10: Where can we read more about you and what you do?
I have a website which contains a little info about what I do.

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