What is a Music Producer?

A Music Producer is a specialized type of Executive Producer. Also known as: Record Producer, Executive Music Producer.

A music producer (or an executive music producer) is someone who makes sure that when recording a song or making a record, the end result is as good as it can be. He or she will ensure that a song is well produced and well recorded. It may mean giving the band or singer advice when it comes to certain aspects of their performance, or making sure the engineer is doing his job the best way possible.

A music producer understands every aspect of studio production, and is well-rounded when it comes to how instruments and voices produce recordable sound. The job may be as passive as merely listening and nodding approval, or as involved as placing microphones properly and even running a soundboard. A music producer is much the same as a director in a film, overseeing each and every detail with the hope of producing a potential hit.

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What does a Music Producer do?

A music producer is the visionary for the overall sound and feel of a record or album. They visualize and imagine the end result, so they must be able to listen, experiment, and explore all aspects of music. Since producers can have a diverse set of skills, there are several potential roles they can play. Though not exclusive, some of these roles are: 

Engineer -
in charge of the technical aspects of recording and mixing tracks

Composer -
writes and directs original music

Arranger -
collaborates and works for an artist to make the recorded version of the artist's song(s)

Remixer -
takes parts from a recording to make a new version

Musician -
performs the instrumental or vocal part of a track

Mentor -
passively follows and helps an artist make decisions on their record

Project Manager -
in charge of making sure the album gets produced; from hiring the right people to getting the job done and making sure all deadlines are met

A producer’s skill is not directly tied to their technical knowledge of music, like playing an instrument or understanding how the technology works, though that is a huge help. Their main role is overseeing the entire production of an album, from working with sound engineers, managers, songwriters and artists, and creating a cohesive environment where all parties can work together and produce an album that gets everyone excited. Most importantly, the producer is in charge of making a song sound the way he or she thinks it should sound to be competitive within its market.

How to become a Music Producer

The music industry is incredibly large and has a huge range of possibilities for a producer. A first step is figuring out what genre of music you would like to produce, though it is very important to note that you should be listening to all kinds of genres to give yourself a richer musical palette. When you begin producing music, you will be able to call on unique sounds and elements that could heighten the quality. Producing a great song takes experimentation, so having a wide range of knowledge when it comes to different sounds will be of great benefit.

There is no standard level of education in order to become a music producer, though many colleges and universities offer courses in musical engineering and production, usually at the bachelor degree level. While it is not necessary, knowing how to play several instruments is extremely helpful when it comes to working in a studio. You will be able to communicate better with others in the studio and understand the contribution that each instrument can bring to a song. 

Another helpful piece of advice in becoming a producer is getting yourself educated with recording software and the overall recording process. Since getting your foot in the door of this business typically means showing off your skill, having an understanding of a few types of software can be extremely helpful.

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