Why hire a Producer?
Down through the years I have watched many artists record projects without the aid of a Producer. Some of these projects turned out pretty decent, while others faded into mediocrity. For some, their attitude of “I don’t need no stinkin’ producer! After all, I know what I’m doing!” clouds the true purpose of adding a seasoned producer into the production of your next project. I have worked with several producers down through the years as an artist, and more recently, I am producing projects for others. I have learned a few things and, (after seeing the good, the bad, and the ugly side of the music “biz”) I have tried to develop my own style in producing projects.
What makes a good Producer? Maybe it’s better to start with what is not a good producer. A bad producer is:
#1 A Check Casher – the guy who takes your money and makes no personal investment into your project.
#2 A One Trick Pony- this guy makes every artist sound the same.
#3 THE BOSS – It’s his way or the highway!
I have discovered, and put into practice, the act of consulting with any artist that approaches me about producing. Getting to know what they are about, who they are as people, and what they want to do with their music, even beyond this next project. Going out to hear a group(when possible) or at least hearing some recordings of them outside of a studio setting is crucial as well.
My philosophy is simple. Your next recording should capture who you are; stylistically AND emotionally. I also avoid the “one fix fits every artist” trap that some others have fallen into. Individuals should not be forced into “Package Deals” that may work for others, but not for you.
A good producer will HELP you find great songs, tweak any originals you may have, and select a good mix of feels, styles, and melodies to record. I try to “Minister” to my artists in this regard. Ultimately, you are the customer(unless you have a record deal or someone else calling the shots). I will give you advice and support, but in the end; I work for you!
As you enter into the actual recording phase a good producer will be your coach, cheerleader, waterboy, and biggest fan! I personally invest myself into my projects by scrutinizing the details of the process. Which songs to record in what order, what time is lunch, is this song as “done” as it’s going to be, or do we need one more keyboard track, and on and on. Worrying about the details so my artist can do what they do best; Make Music!
In closing, a good producer is an “outside” ear and voice of reason. He will bring out the best that you have to offer, and HELP you to make a project that you will be proud of. If you are in the planning stages of your next project, take the time to seek out a producer. Interview them like you are hiring someone to watch over you baby. After all, isn’t your music worth the attention.
Ron Short, NGS Media Group firstname.lastname@example.org 855-793-MILL(6455)