Music Producer Job Description
A music producer wears many hats, and the various duties of the job will change day to day. On some days, producers may work closely with sound engineers and audio technicians, while on other days they may be doing more managerial work for a band or solo artist. Additionally, the basic job description or a producer may also differ depending on whether he or she works independently or for a larger conglomerate.
Working with the Band
One of the jobs of a music producer is to work closely with the recording artist. A producer will listen to a band’s collection of songs, and help them determine which ones would work best on an albumand whichshould then be released as singles. The producer may also spend some time working on various arrangements, enhancements, and instrumental additions to a band’s existing tracks. After all of the details have been worked out and the necessary tweaks have been made to various aspects of songwriting, then a producer will schedule recording time with artists.
Mixing and Engineering
When people refer to the overall production quality of a song, they are in part referring to the layers of instruments and the mixing of sound in the track. While the sound engineer takes care of many of these details, the music producer will often be closely involved in the mixing and engineering process as well. Specifically, producers will oversee the recording and offer suggestions for various changes to volumes, instruments, beat, rhythm, etc. They also spend time with the band and the engineers polishing each recorded track.
Technical Responsibilities and Digital Knowledge
Advancements in the music industry also require producers to work with various digital technologies on a daily basis. In addition to the traditional mixing and engineering processes, producers will also oversee the digital mastering of any tracks. This might involve running the recorded music through a software program or using the now popular “auto-tune” effect to alter a particular track. Producers may also use programs like Apple Logic Pro or Cubase to add effects and digital sound to a pre-recorded track.
Independent vs. Corporate Producers
The various day-to-day responsibilities of a music producer will also vary according to the particular company they work for. Independent or self-employed producers are hired directly by a musician, oroccasionally, though more rarely, by a label; they will often have a hand in most aspects of a recording session, depending on the contract drawn up. Producers who work in-house for a particular record label will generally only work with those artists signed to that label, and they will operate according to the rules set by the company.
In some situations, music producers will also be involved the managerial or promotional aspects of a band’s day-to-day business. This is most often the case with independent producers who work with smaller, lesser-known bands who cannot yet afford a separate manager or PR officer. In any scenario, however, it is the producer’s responsibility to ensure that every track is mixed and mastered appropriately, and that it coheres with the band’s image and original sound.