A Music Producer's job is to guide you through the process of making a song or record. With expansive knowledge and experience in audio engineering, audio mixing, writing and the actual costs associated with making a record, a music producer can set you and your music on a path to reach your true sonic potential.
The process will begin with pre-production. This is a series of meetings to discuss what you are trying to achieve musically and career wise as well as going through all the material for your project in great detail.
Every project is unique and has its own set of challenges and processes. These challenges and characteristics should be identified in pre-production so we can select the correct process to achieve your goals. Once this has been established a realistic budget can be established. With the budget out of the way there should be few surprises and the creative work of making a record can be carried out in a relaxed productive environment.
Some of the topics to be covered in pre-production are:Song KeySong ArrangementTarget AudienceReview LyricsBudgetMusicians that will be neededEnvironment of the recording process
The best key for your song is a crucial decision. There are several factors to consider. If there is a vocal is this the best key for the vocalist? Is this the best key for the instrumentation? Just because you sat at the piano and wrote the song in F major does not mean that is the best key for the other instruments or vocalist. This needs to be looked at.
Song form is a very important element of good song writing. A producer will help you decide whether your song is in its strongest state or if choruses and verses need to be modified.
Often times a band will write a song and perform it many times before they record it. Quite often you have heard the song so many times in that form that you can't hear it any other way. A music producer is a fresh set of experienced and educated ears. He might be able to hear your song in a way that you had not thought of. A good music producer will not change a song for the sake of change but only in the best interest of the song.
Understanding who you want to buy your record is another crucial subject. If you are a singer songwriter who's audience relates to James Taylor, we will not be spending time or money on drum programming.
A good producer should understand the style of music you are creating and know how to attain and recreate the musical properties that are characteristic to that style. The overall sound that is inherent to a style is very important when reaching a target audience.
Having an experienced Music Producer go through your lyrics in pre-production is another key component. Depending on the style of music you are creating, lyrics might be a key component. Having another set of experienced ears can help make sure you are phrasing and conveying your message in the strongest, most musical way possible.
A big part of creating a record is budget planning. The recording process is very expensive and can get out of control without proper planning. It is part of the music producers job to understand the time and resources needed to complete your project. The proper amount of time and money will need to be assessed in pre-production and then allocate to each phase of the recording process. The music producer can then keep your project running on a pre discussed time frame and financial frame through the course of your project.
Recording projects are notorious for going over budget. This does not need to be the status quo. With proper planning and time spent in pre-production, a good music producer can keep your project on time, on budget and extra expenses to a minimum.
Musicians that will be Needed
A good music producer will have a good network of musicians in a multitude of styles that they work with. It takes years to build the relationships of a good working network of experienced musicians. With a good producer you will have this available to you. He will also be able to easily work with the musicians in your band. He will understand and speak the language of music as well as have a working technical knowledge of all instruments. A good producer will also understand that you need the right player for the right style and make sure this aspect is in place.
Environment of Recording Process
Most successful music producers have a background in audio engineering, performance and song writing. They will understand the importance of having the right equipment and the right environment to create a relaxed, productive atmosphere for the artist.
A professional recording studio usually has a large selection of studio microphones, pre-amps, studio software, hardware, outboard gear, professional recording equipment as well as a selection of instruments and sound producing gear. This usually creates an ideal environment for the recording process.
Professional recording equipment is very expensive and usually not affordable for the home studio.
Sometimes part of the recording process can be done in a home studio if some basic recording equipment is in place like a few high end studio microphones and preamps.
Again this will be discussed in pre-production and the appropriate environment will be chosen for each phase of the project.
Why You Need a Music Producer
Hiring a professional Music Producer might seem a bit daunting or just another added expense to an already expensive process, so why should you hire one.
Having an experienced music producer to navigate the recording process and help keep you on point through the process of creating a record can be invaluable. Not only can a record producer save you thousands of dollars from wasting studio time, he can help you reach your true potential as an artist.
Having an experienced ear on your side when faced with a multitude of creative decisions on a daily basis is a huge plus. There is a proverbial sea of small details and choices that you will be confronted with daily throughout the recording process. It is very easy to get overwhelmed with choices and loose site of the big picture. Having someone with experience who has done many records from start to finish can make these decisions knowledgeably. This can make the whole process of recording a record less daunting, more creative and far more enjoyable.
There is a reason why all of your favorite records have a music producer. It's how artist reach their greatest creative and sonic potential.
Jim Ebert is a Music Producer living in the Washington DC area. Jim has worked as a Music Producer, Audio Engineer and Audio Mixer with multiple platinum artist around the world. Jim Ebert continues to Produce and Mix artist as well as Teach Music Production. Find out more about Music Producer Jim Ebert at http://www.ebertaudio.com/
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