Production of Bands That Builds Something Amazing
The Beatles didn’t just have a great audio engineer, they had a great Producer and Arranger as well. At Blue Light we understand the importance of having strong musically compositions as well as great sounding recordings.
The Production of a song is something that often gets overlooks in discussing a great song. The artists talented is talked about, and the sound of the recording, but there is so much more that goes into the choice of all the parts, the tones of each instrument, and chord structure and register. All of these choices are by default made by the artist unless they have a Producer working with them on the project.
The Producers job is to help guide the musical process with the artist, and have a bigger picture of the overall project and guide the musicians through this process. This job can be confusing for artists who haven’t worked with a Producer before, partly because they don’t understand how much a Producer can help them, and partly because the term “Producer” is used very loosely, and is also in the Film and Television industry.
For the sake of music production, there are two main different types of Producers, and understanding this difference will help understanding which each does.
Traditional Artist/Band Producer:
This is what people have been referring to a Producer as for years, and a great example of this is George Martin for the Beatles. He didn’t play the songs, and he didn’t write them, but without him the Beatles would never have been the same.
Sometimes this type of Producer does play instruments, and often will play some elements if it’s a solo artist who doesn’t have a band, but sometimes they will just guide and coach through the recording process, and help make choices on arrangement and form. The idea is that this is an outside opinion from the artist who doesn’t have an emotional attachment to the songs, which can often cloud an artist’s judgment on what is best for the song.
This type of Producer will often help find session players when needed, and is the communication lead for arranging scheduling and such with all the players and the artist.
Very often in today’s industry this person is a Producer/Engineer, which means they are also engineering the session, as appose to an additional person engineering. It was more common in the old days to have one person engineering and one person producing, but recording budgets are much smaller than they use to be and this isn’t practical in most scenarios now.
This is where a lot of confusion comes in because the person making an electronic beat is also called a Producer. With the popularity of hip-hop, rap, and Trap music, artist recording over pre-made beats is extremely common. There are countless websites selling these beats, filled with bedroom producers making beats to sell online.
There is a variety of skill levels in this category, but because it’s so easily accessible with a laptop and garage band as a starting point, the ability for a Beat Producer to Produce in the same way as a Traditional Artist/Band Producer would, isn’t always possible.
In the same sense, a Traditional Producer is necessarily going to have the skills to create a Phat Trap beat on the spot.
Understanding the difference between these two types of Producers is going to be key to understanding if you need a Producer.
The other thing that is confusing is that Producer and Engineer gets thrown around interchangeable, when really they are different things. The engineer is responsible for the sound of the recording, and technical aspects of capturing the sound in the studio. This means things like mic placement, operating the DAW, and running the session, like headphone, talk back, edits, etc.
The Producer is thinking about the musical arrangement, and the tones and sound of each instrument and how they fit together. So the Producer might decide that they want the guitars brighter and more distorted. The engineers job would be to figure out how to do this and do it, but it wasn’t the engineers job to make this decision. Just like it wasn’t the producers job to twist the knob on the EQ to make the guitars brighter.
Now often the Producer and Engineer and the same person these days, but the roles can still be clearly defined.
At Blue Light we believe that understanding this difference, and starting a project with a clear definition of who is producing, is an important step to setting the project up for success. A producer isn’t always needed, but when it is, building trust between the artists and the producer is an important step, and clearly defining these roles is a great way to start building that trust.
Do you think you need a Producer? Let’s sit down and talk about it and figure out of using one of our Producers is the right choice for you.