Types Of Music Producers
The music producer is generally defined as a person who makes original, creative musical recordings across various genres. A producer usually works in the recording studio and/or production environment to create or arrange tracks with ideas, lyrics, melodies, or beats from scratch. The role has evolved and broadened in its scope as technology has progressed, allowing them to be involved in implementing virtually any process one can conceive within the music industry.
Music producers may specialize and work within an established genre such as hip-hop, pop, or metal; they may also use their skill set to develop new styles in any of these genres. With advances in technology, music production has become increasingly professional, and extensive record labels and production houses have taken over.
The process of producing a song or album can be broken into two primary stages. First, artists will create a demo or demo version of their work through which producers may record ideas for possible additions to the original recording. The demo typically consists of musical composition with an appropriate amount of energy behind it.
Once the recording is complete, producers may begin to apply their skills by arranging or editing the tracks recorded in the demo and applying fixes such as cutting vocals or replacing instruments to alter and improve different aspects of a song’s sound.
Once the song is recorded, it is sent to an engineer for the final mixing process and adjustments. While this stage can vary depending on whether a producer is working with an independent artist or with a well-known and successful artist such as Rihanna, it usually involves correcting any issues with the instruments or vocals to allow them to work in unison.
Mixing may occur in a studio, but it may also be done at home over computer software such as Logic Pro, FL Studio, etc. Songs are usually mixed digitally rather than on tape because they are generally mastered within a relatively short period and can be easily changed later, thus reducing the risk of re-mix songs months after they have been recorded.
Music producers play an extremely prominent role in the recording industry. They are essential to the success of a large number of artists and to the evolution and growth of different genres. A music producer has a great deal of influence over which artists are successful, who gets signed to a label, and which songs are released as singles.
There is a fine line between being too powerful and manipulative, and their power can often lead them to become egotistical with outsized egos. This can also be fraught with danger when it comes time for them to work on their projects or develop new ideas for other artists.
The majority of producers will take credit on tracks that they have produced. Where the producer is not credited on a track, they are often credited as a mixer. While a producer may be listed as either an engineer or a mixer, the difference between these types of credits is usually negligible to listeners.
The other common credit that producers will receive is for co-writing songs with artists or for writing the lyrics to their own tracks and being credited with composition and performance.
The role of a music producer has gone through several changes throughout history. During the 1960s and 1970s, the functions were more limited. They included instruments such as an organ, piano, or guitar, and they often worked in conjunction with other musicians on backing tracks for singers.
During the 1980s, producers began to increasingly use electronic equipment such as synthesizers and drum machines to replace real instruments to create more original sounds.
By the 1990s, music producers were involved in virtually every aspect of a recording project; their responsibilities had evolved into any one of many roles which could be divided by level of expertise or designated by type:
- Mastering Engineer
The mastering engineer is responsible for mixing studio recordings when artists have completed them. They also convert the music into a usable form through analog or digital domains.
- Ensemble Vocalist
Such a music producer performs with backing vocalists on a track and is a master of blending the vocals to make the music piece seamless. They may be handling the whole group of vocalists or are the lead vocalist in addition to taking the producer’s responsibilities.
- Lyrics Co-writer
When a music producer is a lyrics co-writer, they write and perform lyrics on a track. Lyrics are what actually make a song. To contribute to songwriting is one of the most creative and extensive exercises.
- Entertainer or Performer
A music producer who acts as an entertainer or performer creates an original performance for a song or album. They attach to the true spirit of music creation and closely engage in each aspect of the creation of music.
- Orchestration Co-writer
An orchestration co-writer writes musical arrangements in addition to lyrics and performing duties. This is in addition to their responsibilities as music producers. The more activities the music producer is engaged in, the more closely they are connected with the music creation.
- Arranger Co-writer
An arranger co-writer writes musical arrangements and lyrics for a track. Music is much more than what a layman makes out of it or expects it to be, and a music producer understands this. So, they contribute to song and arrangement writing.
When music producers work with recording artists during live performances to adapt songs as needed, they become much more than music producers. Live shows are crucial to any album or song’s success, and to manage these ideally is what is needed from a music producer.
Redoing old tracks or making them sound fresh again is a part of a music producer’s skill set as well. To make a track timeless, various versions of it can be launched mixed with different artist and arrangement schemes.
Directs the overall process of creating an artist’s album or single that is being released. The role of director can be filled by multiple people but is most commonly one of the top-tier producers on a team.
Many producers in the recording industry also perform regularly in front of audiences during live music shows and tours. These musicians are often world-renowned to rival some of the best-known rock stars and pop idols. The ability to be a successful music producer requires a great deal of patience and hard work. Still, it is also an enriching career with the potential to make one a very wealthy person. Many top producers are also able to secure highly lucrative film and television contracts.
Several companies specialize in providing the public with information about popular music, including producers who have worked on some of the most famous albums and songs in history. These websites offer biographies for many artists and include interviews with them and link to purchase their albums online. These sites can help you learn more about your favorite artists, discover new performers, and even find out which high-profile producers have helped them craft their award-winning hits.