There is no exact term to determine what a music producer does. There is a wide variety of different roles a producer can have, and we are going to talk about them in detail in this article.
Very generally speaking, we can say that the executive music producer is the one in charge of a music creation, studio recording, audio mixing or mastering process. He can be the general manager of a project and according to his level of experience the one that is going to lead the rest of the artists involved.
What does an executive music producer do
He is in charge of the main structure of a song or a project, so he is able to show the right direction and perspective his project wants to have by inspiring the musician, assist them and be helpful when needed.
The role of the music producer is to take the individual songs of a record and manage to unify them, so that he can present the result as a whole project.
Each producer has his own techniques and methods of working depending on the way he wants to approach each project, and uses them in combination to his knowledge in order to process his creations the best way possible.
The occupation of an executive music producer
The creation of songs that will finally reach their audiences is one of the many responsibilities of a music producer. He is in charge of the entire process, from writing, checking and rewriting the lyrics of a song to deciding which artists is the best fit to sing it.
What is more, the producer is there during the entire process of creating a song, he edits and corrects the parts that he things that need to be changed, so he can make sure that he promotes to the record labels and managers the best final product possible.
A producer is usually responsible for any new or already established band that are played on the radio, as well as many of the biggest festival that take place in large stages all over the world.
The typical day of a producer
During their days, music producers apart from creating their own music, they also listen to demos, songs or even entire projects suggested by composers, audio engineers, songwriters and lyricists.
Their opinion in is highly respected and they are the ones that can foresee if a song has the potential to become a hit or not.
They usually are the ones who make the decisions about changes on the current structure of a song, they rearrange the instruments when needed so that specific songs can fit successfully to specific markets they are going to be distributed.
Also, producer have a better understanding of the audience that each track or project is intended for, so making the appropriate rearrangements is a crucial step of their job. Sometimes the demands of certain markets and industries are so high, that they have to recreate the music for entire songs themselves.
One of the main responsibilities for music producers is the fact that they have to decide which artists is capable to make the best interpretation of each song. They get to examine the singer and determine whether they will be able to fit into the track according to their vocal potentials and genre.
This process requires a big time investment, due to the fact that there are many singers they can choose from and the auditions they have to attend so that they are able to examine each of the singers in detail and determine whether they have the potential they are looking for or not.
In addition, sometimes they are the ones who decide which artists should work together to create a successful result. For example, they would audition songwriters and listen to the creations that they present them, and they would decide which singers they could work with.
Duties in the recording studio
Most times when artists record the songs, music producers are in the studio to supervise the process. Their job is to provide assistance especially to newcomer artists and give them tips on how to improve their performance.
What is more, they work with audio engineers during the mixing and mastering process of the song, or they edit, mix and master it themselves. This requires technical and sound engineering experience, which are very valuable skills for those producers who acquire them.
Jobs and work
Most common jobs for music producers are being self-employed, working in a recording studio or for a record label. Producers who work in a recording studio that they own or as employees will have recording, editing, arranging, audio mixing and mastering duties.
Producers that work for record labels are responsible for searching and finding newcomer artists so that they can promote and eventually sign a record deal with the label. Labels are always looking for new artists that have the potential to become stars, for an opportunity to sign them.
Self-employed producers usually have their own studios, many times home-based, and they often represent and work with artists. When they prepare songs with these artists, they present them to record labels and with the ambition to get a record deal.
Promoting artists and individual songs is another duty many producers acquire. Promotion of an artist has a wide range of responsibilities for a producer, such as being able to schedule appearances on TV and radio shows or live performances in live stages or festivals.
Sometimes, producers have the role of the manager and are able to organize tours and festivals locally or internationally, with intention to promote their artists as much as possible.
Producers are responsible for the financial success of their artists. They need to have financial skills so that they can have the appropriate control over the budgets available for their artists when it comes to producing song or entire albums, which tend to be rather expensive.
Contracts and record deals are a very important part of the music industry. Music produces have to ready carefully and understand every part of a contract they sign with their artists. Contracts explain in detail what their responsibilities towards their artists are and they state their salary.
Both artists and producers need to be sure of what they intend to sign, so that both parties are satisfied and can work together without problems.
Roles of an executive producer
The most commonly known role of a producer, is that of the audio engineer. It involves a recording studio and all the appropriate equipment such as consoles, studio monitor, computers, microphones, music software and every kind of instrument.
In this situation, the producer does edit, structure, mix and master songs and entire records or projects.
The next role is a less technical one, that of the mentor. When a music producer has this role, he usually gets to choose other audio engineers to work with him or for him, even though he does have the technical knowledge and experience to work on his own.
Mentors are often there to determine which artists have the greatest potentials, focus on assisting them, and provide tips to get the best out of them, in order to turn them into successful established names in the music industry.
Their purpose is to dig and find which the strongest abilities of each artist are, get them to practice harder to improve them and inspire them to create the best music they can.
Most producers’ main skill is the ability to make good music. In order to be able to provide advice and tips for artists and musicians, producers have to be skillful musicians with a strong sense of what good music is and what not.
Most of those music producers tend to participate in the records or songs that they engineers, in order to restructure them in a better way or to add sounds and melodies necessary to take the songs to the next level.
Furthermore, one other very common role for a producer is to be the artist himself. Those type of artists are capable of working on every level of a single record, such as creating the music and writing the lyrics to mixing and mastering the entire project, as well as performing the songs all by themselves.
Some producers work as managers or representatives of artists. This type of producers work day and night to make sure that their artist will become successful so that their time was well invested. T o be able to achieve this, they have to work in genres they know well and understand the specific audiences.
The general role of a producer
A producer is not limited to one these roles. Many music producers have excellent skills in every field and can use them all simultaneously, according to what they need to focus on.
Their main purpose is to oversee the entire process of the record creation and provide assistance whether this is creating the music, mixing audio or writing the lyrics. They are there to make sure that the appropriate environment is created for musician, artists and sound engineers to work together harmonically.
How to become a music producer
Fortunately, there are countless possibilities for music producers, as the music industry is a large and very demanding field.
Starting out, you have to love and respect music. You need to know what the genre you want to work with is. Most producers however, are great music lovers and they have a very large range of music genres that they listen to in order to expand their knowledge limits.
In the beginning, you will need to practice so that you can start recognizing high quality sound and distinguish them from the lower quality ones. Being able to produce a song requires musicality, constant practice and a certain level of experience.
There are no education requirements whatsoever. Many well-known and established producers have never had music education. A large number of them did not even know how to play a single instrument.
That being said, there are also a lot of music schools and colleges that offer great courses in audio engineering and music production. Learning how to play one or multiple instruments, will prove to be a very valuable skill along the way.
As a result, you will acquire better communication with other musician and it will be much easier for you to understand the musical terms. Furthermore, you will be able to enrich your music production by adding natural organs and creating riffs and melodies.
Being familiar with music software and Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) will also help you speed up the process of learning. This knowledge will help you create, edit, mix and master your songs and acquire a better perspective over the entire recording and editing process.
Knowing your way around music software will be useful especially when you start your career as a music producer, as you will be able to showcase your skills much sooner.
Producing music today
Nowadays, becoming a music producer is not as hard as it used to be. With the help of a laptop and some basic equipment, everyone can start practicing and creating from their home.
The hardest part for music producers today is the competition. Because it is extremely easy to start producing your own music due to the inexpensive equipment and the use of the internet, more people are willing to become producers.
This makes it very hard to get recognized even when the level of your work is better than what most people have to offer. You have to work hard and believe in yourself, although you should have in mind that when it comes to music no one know everything. You have to keep studying, learning and gaining experience.
Producing music requires time investment, practice and dedication. Recognition in most cases is a hard thing to gain and you have to work long term to achieve it. You have to commit to your music and improve your talents and capabilities with every chance you get in order to get ahead of the competition.
In the end, it is all about creating beautiful music.