Close Up: dBu Ranch Recorders

dBu Ranch Recorders


Fulfilling a Lifelong Vision: Growing up on a farm in Northern Nevada, Dusk Bennett always believed that someday he would own a cool studio with a Neve console in the backyard. After years of working in L.A. with both superstars and hundreds of indie artists—and winning a Grammy for his engineering on Rod Stewart’s platinum 2004 standards album Stardust—the multi-talented engineer and producer fulfilled his vision with the 2021 launch of dBu Ranch Recorders in the northern San Diego County area of Valley Center. 

Bennett brings a unique and varied history to his facility, and his hands-on behind-the-board work with up-and-coming artists of all genres, including sessions over the past few months that have resulted in four songs by San Diego based clients in the Mediabase Top 100. 

Launching his career at 4th Street Recording Studio in Santa Monica (under the tutelage of Jim Wirt) while working on his degree in Communications/Recording Arts at Loyola Marymount, Bennet’s credits include Fiona Apple (her debut album Tidal), Black Eyed Peas, Five for Fighting, Mötley Crüe, Sixx AM, Mike Love, Chicago and Barry Manilow. For about a decade, while working as a free-lance engineer, he also served as department head and faculty member in the Recording Arts department at his alma mater, LMU.

The Studio: Proudly offering what he calls “the ultimate 1980s room,” dBu Ranch Recorders has a 32-input Neve 8014, a 24-track analog tape machine synchronized to a Pro Tools HDX system, and an extensive retro gear collection. In addition to a 25 x 30 ft. tracking room with 20-foot ceilings, Bennett also has a dedicated piano room with a Yamaha C7, Hammond C3 and Leslie, Rhodes piano and Yamaha CP-80. There are five isolation spaces, an EMT 140 stereo plate reverb and spacious control room. Each room is treated with different acoustics to create unique recording environments. Bennett has also integrated a full DMX lighting system so artists can capture exciting live content on video and couple it with the front end typically reserved for expensive high end L.A. studios. Bennett makes it clear to each client he chooses to work with that this is not simply a facility to rent out; he will be hands-on in helping them reach their potential.  

Incredible Amenities: Moving his family from Los Angeles down to Valley Center in late 2019, Bennett spent the pandemic year building a facility on his property that he calls “the ultimate San Diego recording studio experience,” where clients can “enjoy your days with open mountain views and your nights under a magnificent star-filled sky.” Situated on two acres, the 1650 sq. ft. facility was designed to fully immerse the artist in the mountain atmosphere, including breathtaking views from nearly every room. Artists have access to onsite and offsite lodging, a pool, hot tub, outdoor grill and patio area, a shooting range and a small brewery where Bennett engages in one of his favorite hobbies. They can enjoy local hiking, biking, casino visits and wine tasting during breaks. His ultimate goal is to make dBu Ranch Recorders a full-on destination facility along the lines of Muscle Shoals and Caribou Ranch. 

Contact dBu Ranch Recorders, 310-413-0845