dBs Plymouth tutor and technician Ben Jacob started out like many of us do: entering the industry with a clear creative vision in mind. Yet, over time his attention was drawn towards something he'd never even considered and a whole world of new opportunities sprung forth.
Like so many of us, Ben's influences begin with a mix between his own early explorations and the mark your parents (if they were musical) often left on you. In his case, heavy metal bands like Silverchair, Megadeth, Pantera and Alice In Chains were met with The Beach Boys, Van Morrison, Paul Simon, ELO, Pink Floyd and Elvis. With such a range of influences it was inevitable that Ben would be involved with many different styles.
His journey into music began with playing in grunge, rock, metal and also commercial pop bands with gigs at venues like The Clapham Grand in London, Academy 2, 3 and 4, and Factory 251 in Manchester, to name a few.
Being deeply involved in the city’s live music scene inspired Ben to set up his own recording studio, which led to his first teaching role at Manchester MIDI School where he spent 9 years as a teacher, technician, event coordinator and mix engineer while continuing to play in bands.
It was during this time he met mentor Christophe, a passionate and knowledgeable producer who gave him opportunities to develop his skills both as an engineer and as a tutor. Finding a mentor to guide you, like a tutor at college, is something Ben champions as a key ingredient for success.
Working in studios in Manchester led to many commercial recording opportunities as a sound engineer were Ben both collaborated with or engineered for the likes of Myke Wilson (Texas, Lamb, Dust Junkys, Kid British), Lydia Lunch, Rowetta (Happy Mondays), Mike Sweeney (BBC Radio), Metz n Trix, DJ Mark One (Texas), Zed Bias and KT Tunstall.
The melting pot of styles and influences had a lasting impression triggering a transition from guitarist to drum & bass producer.
After spending many years in Manchester, Ben moved to Plymouth where his now wife retrained as a Speech and Language Therapist and Ben joined the team at dBs Music where he currently works simultaneously as a technician and tutor on our BTEC extended diploma courses.
Alongside his role at dBs Plymouth, Ben’s drum & bass project ‘aardonyx’, which is a collaboration with long-time musical friend Andy Hunter, has continued to flourish. Still massively active in the scene, Ben also works as A&R and mastering engineer for Sub-Label Recordings, a multi genre record label formed in 2012 releasing house, techno, electronica and dnb.
He has most recently become the mastering engineer for Fluid Movement Record Label. Continuing to stay involved in the industry in a professional capacity is something that Ben feels is key to his teaching, helping him to stay on top of trends in the music and production world.
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