Producing Music with Benny Ramos

You may know Benny Ramos for his groovy, soulful, funky rearrangements of popular hits like Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” , Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again” and Rihanna’s “American Oxygen”  He has been the master arranger behind such remakes and have collaborated remotely and in person with artists and musicians such as Josh Griffin and Robert Araujo. His music has been gaining popularity on Facebook, YouTube and SoudCloud.

In this blogpost, we are pleased to have Benny share a project that he has arranged from the ground up using Splice Sounds and fully collaborated using Splice Studio. Sign up for a free Splice account to download the project and stems to follow along.

Splice: Tell us a little bit about yourself. When and how did you start getting into producing music?

Benny: I got into music at a very young age…so it’s always been my passion. As a young gigging musician, I started doing studio work and was introduced to all the different digital audio workstations. In 2010, I started working in Logic and fell in love with creating. It was pretty much a wrap from there. Since then, I constantly sharpen myself as a producer and put my all into every project.

Splice: You’ve made a name for yourself re-arranging popular songs such as See You Again and Suit & Tie. What goes on in your mind when approaching a re-make? 

Benny: The re-makes are honestly just a flurry of my random concepts. The process usually starts with me connecting to a song and thinking “what would a live band do behind this”? The hard part is getting all the musicians to make it happen. I use players from all different cities so it usually takes months to get everybody’s parts recorded. That’s not even adding cuts, edits,mixing,video etc. Despite how time consuming it is, It’s still a lot of fun and keeps me rounded as a musician.

Splice: Lets talk a little about your production process on this track. How do you start building a track? From the drums up?

Benny: I usually base my start point on whatever the most important sound is. With this track, that key component was the vocal sample. From there I added drums to get the feel! Once the feel is there, it’s so much easier to get bass,Rhodes and synth ideas out. I don’t always work in this order, it’s just the way it came together with this track

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Splice: How do you choose your sounds?

Benny: The things I listen for are Thickness & Authenticity. I love phat sounds that carry weight and have character. I put a lot of time into sound selection to make sure I get the fullest quality out of each sound.

Splice: You have an interesting bass sound, could you tell us the layers that went into that? 

Benny: That’s a mash up of a MoogBass, SubBass and Low Piano notes. That covers the low end but also gives a bright/punchy sound. You get the best of everything with this layer.

Splice: Tell us about choosing chord progressions?

Benny: It all depends…sometimes I’ll make my chord progression around a lead or vocal line. That’s where all the fun re-harmonizing comes in. The other method is to sit down and play from the soul till I get a something solid.

Splice: Any favorite plugins or instruments? 

BennyKontakt and Absynth from Native Instruments are some of my favorite plugins. And the Fender Rhodes is my absolute favorite instrument ever! There’s nothing like it!!!

Splice: How was your experience using Splice Sounds?

Benny: I got the sample from the Chris James Oblivion Sample Pack. I was casually digging through, looking for a dope vocal sample and found exactly what I wanted. I’ve been loving Splice…although I’m fairly new to it, they make it so easy to find new sounds to inspire new ideas. Let’s just say, Splice is my “GO TO” joint for here on out!

Splice: Lastly, is there anything you would like to tell us? Any upcoming music to look out for? 

Benny: Absolutely! Besides producing and collaborating with artists..I’m currently working on my own EP!!! It will be dropping this Fall and am so excited for everybody to hear this new sound I’ve developed over the summer.