Getting Started: Mixer Ben Freer
Issue: August 1, 2015

Getting Started: Mixer Ben Freer

Eleven Mixer Ben Freer originally comes from Manchester, England, but grew up in San Diego, CA. After earning his BA in Film, TV & Radio Production from Cal State Monterey, Freer returned to England to earn his engineering certificate from The School of Sound Recording. After his internship at Eleven, Freer joined the staff at Eleven in 2007 in client services and quickly jumped into assistant mixer as soon as the opportunity arose. 

Freer has learned under mixer Jeff Payne’s wing for years and has since built his reputation as an excellent mixer in his own right. He has sound designed and mixed for major ad campaigns and clients including Dodge, Chrysler, Geico, Jordan Brand and Vogue, while also lending his talents on music videos and various documentaries such as The Real Rocky for ESPN’s 30 For 30 Series. An avid lover of vinyl, he still rocks the 1s and 2s when DJ-ing parties (in his living room).

“Jeff has really mentored me,” says Freer. “His work ethic and talent are that of a master. He has taught me how to push a mix and make it better and better. I’m so grateful for this chance. Living here in LA, Eleven is not just where we work every day, it’s really been a family and I’m so grateful for this chance to take my career to the next level in commercials, film, TV, video games, music videos, Web content and any other medium that develops in my lifetime!”

“I remember so clearly my first break in this industry, given to me at POP Sound by Alan Kozlowski, a real visionary in our business,” says Payne about Freer’s recent promotion to mixer. “Our business is so competitive now; it’s difficult for anyone to get that first break. I am thrilled that after years of working with me, Ben has now moved into the position of mixer. Over the past seven years, Ben has really earned this chance. He is a true asset and a fine mixer. I can’t wait to see where his mixing career takes him.”

Freer details his transition into his audio career: “A couple of things led me to my career in audio: house music and the Police Academy movies! Some of my grandad’s favorite movies were Police Academy when I was young, so I got a heavy dose whenever I was visiting them. My favorite character was Jones. He could create any sound effect and beatbox from his mouth, so I was always trying to mimic him. 

“Spending vacations in England also gave me an early appreciation of electronic music. In high school, my older sisters would throw ‘little’ parties when my parents were gone, DJs and vinyl included! I still don’t know how they got away with it, but you couldn’t beat the music!

“Once in college, I wanted to create and record my own beats so I got into a few music and radio production classes. I DJ’ed with my old roommate on the college radio station and after interning got hired part time at a local alternative rock station Santa Cruz X at 103.9. I had a weekend show! My boss at the time started letting me cut some of the short station commercials. They were basically booming voice over, rocking music and hardcore FX, but that’s where I really got my first taste of editing and sound design. 

“As much as I loved radio, my goal was to work in TV or film once I had graduated. In my last year of college, I was visiting family in England for Christmas and came across an audio engineering school — The School of Sound Recording. It offered everything I needed to take the next step into the audio ‘biz,’ so as soon as I graduated I made my way over! After finishing my course, I headed back to California and knowing LA was the place I needed to be, moved here, and the rest is… Well, I’m living it!”