Howard Benson in November 2017
|Born||Havertown, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|Instruments||Piano, synthesizer, organ|
Early life and education
Benson began playing keyboards in rock bands at the age of 13. 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.
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.
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.
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. 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. 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.
Benson stated that he utilizes Auto-Tune in the studio and that those who do not are "nuts". Benson prefers to record in what he calls a "parallel system," in which musicians will record their parts in isolated rooms. 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 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.
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|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||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||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
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2005||The Passion of the Christ: Songs||Special Event Album of the Year||Won|
|2009||Revelation||Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year||Won|
|2010||Awake||Rock Album of the Year||Nominated|
|"Hero"||Rock Song of the Year||Nominated|
|2011||Memento Mori||Rock Album of the Year||Nominated|
|"One Day Too Late"||Rock Song of the Year||Nominated|
|"Lucy"||Rock Song of the Year||Nominated|
|2013||New Horizons||Rock Album of the Year||Nominated|
|Release the Panic||Rock Album of the Year||Won|
|"Sick of It"||Rock Song of the Year||Won|
|"Who We Are"||Rock Song of the Year||Nominated|
|"Perfect Life"||Rock Song of the Year||Nominated|
|"Strike Back"||Rock Song of the Year||Nominated|
|2014||Rise||Rock Album of the Year||Won|
|Release the Panic: Recalibrated||Rock Album of the Year||Nominated|
|"Not Gonna Die"||Rock Song of the Year||Won|
|"Die For You"||Rock Song of the Year||Nominated|
|"Run and Escape"||Rock Song of the Year||Nominated|
|"Zombie"||Rock Song of the Year||Nominated|
|2015||"Good to Be Alive"||Rock Song of the Year||Won|
|"Dead Man"||Rock Song of the Year||Nominated|
In 2017 Howard Benson partnered with audio plug-in developer STL Tones to create the Howard Benson - Producer Kemper Pack and in 2018 they released STL Tonality - Howard Benson Guitar Plug-In Suite. In 2020 Howard partnered with Joey Sturgis Tones and released his signature vocals plugin, Howard Benson Vocals.
|Howard Benson - Producer Kemper Pack||Amplifier Emulator for Kemper Amps||2017|
|STL Tonality - Howard Benson Guitar Plug-In Suite||Amplifier Emulator for DAWs||2018|
|Howard Benson Vocals by JST||Vocal Chain for DAWs||2020|
- "Interview, HitQuarters Jan 2006". Hitquarters.com. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
- "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
- "ALUMNUS HOWARD BENSON '80 RECEIVES HONORARY DEGREE". Drexel.
- "HOWARD M. BENSON '80, HON. '15". Drexel University.
- Grammy-Nominated Producer Turns Tracks Into Gold Archived June 29, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Mix Online, February 1, 2007
- Feature "Howard Benson: Producer" Archived January 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Crusher Magazine; November 2004
- "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
- "Gear: Howard Benson's Round-the-Clock Rock". Billboard Magazine. June 1, 2013.
- "Producing Hit Records". google.com. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- ""Attack of Life – The Bang Tango Movie"". Metal Sludge. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
- Staff, Variety. "49th annual Grammy nominations list – part 2". Variety. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- "The Complete List of Grammy Nominees". The New York Times. December 6, 2007. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- "Hitmaker Howard Benson". MixOnline. August 3, 2018. Retrieved December 7, 2019.
- "Producer Howard Benson works with STL Tones to put his signature guitar sounds in a plugin". MusicRadar. November 12, 2018. Retrieved December 7, 2019.