Why you need a music producer
The role of a music producer or record producer may be confusing for understanding, but in reality, the answer lays in the root of the word. A music producer has to use all available means and skills to produce a song/record. It is not limited to supervision of the recording process and sometimes even includes composing music and writing lyrics. The producer is responsible for the decisions, which lead to a resulting track. The music producer is in charge of every step.
What is the difference between a musician, engineer and music producer?Modern music became more simple, in terms of production and sometimes, a few hits to form the beat and four long bass notes are enough for the record to be completed. That’s genre-specific, of course, but you can not call yourself “a producer” when you wrote a beat in a sequencer. You may call yourself a composer, but even this is too much. Possible, this skill can be referred to a beatmaker.
The music producer has way more experience than an average musician. Let’s see the example of an industry professional who deals with record production every day. He might produce a song per week which makes it around 50 tracks a year. It is, of course, a very productive person, but still, this is how the industry works. Now, let’s have a look at a band or an artist, who usually produces an album of his music every two years. After ten years of career, a producer makes 500 songs, while a successful artist has around 50 at best. Now keep in mind, that a producer specialises typically on a specific genre. Still, his experience is full of know-how, based on all different issues and methods, acquired while working with other artists. A single artist masters his craft on his songs, and after a few successful ones uses the same pattern and not making the same mistakes over and over again. In contrast, a producer has to continually challenge himself to get the best possible result from the first time with every artist, working on every song.
In my opinion, there are two approaches to music production and both are used to achieve the same result, but they have different initial data.
The first case is where the role of a producer is to achieve the best result with an actual artist and his previously written material. There are a few limitations here, of course, but more attention to be paid to improve what’s already there.
For example, a rock band decided to record an album. They did it a few times before, so they have studio recording experience, but they want this album to be better. The band hires a producer. This step is often missed nowadays, which is wrong! Then a producer helps them to get their idea recorded in the way it sounds in their heads. He may suggest other drum sound or tuning, unusual playing technique, changing some orchestration elements, etc. On top of that, hearing the demo with fresh ears may benefit the record in the first place. The music producer will take part in every stage, starting from choosing the right instruments and microphones up to vocal guiding and change of the key. At the end of this collaboration, the band gets a much better result.
The other approach is when a producer works with an artist from scratch, and here we have more freedom as well as more responsibilities. He may write a song himself, or use a composer, but he is the one in charge of the match between the track and the artist. At the end of the day, this matters most.
Is it possible to work with a producer online?
If in the old days you get to a studio to record, you have a kind of backup from an engineer, who is partially acting as a record producer. Nowadays, it is even more crucial! When everything is recorded at home, mixed and mastered online, and released among billions of similar tracks, YOU HAVE TO STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD! You may have a brilliant idea of how you want your music to sound, but may not have enough experience, to get it right in the record.
A remote producer (online producer) will guide you through your arrangements, recording process, editing and many more. Even having access to some bits of gear, which can provide you with a pretty decent sound quality without going to a studio, you may lack the skills needed to achieve that. Here comes the help of a producer. There are plenty of examples of poorly recorded drums, bass vocals and other live instruments, which can be fixed by just moving a microphone or changing preamp settings.
The best person to compare a music producer with is a film director. He has to make sure that all actors are doing their best, and he is the one who hires other professionals to get the movie done.
Guys who are tweaking their snare sound for a month are not innovators. They are just becoming more and more experienced every day.
We have to keep the “breed” of music producers from being “distorted” by musicians, who call themselves producers after installing a dodgy version of fruity loops to their laptops and making their first beat.