Bands often ask why they need a producer. This isn’t an unfair or uncommon question, especially today with bands having access to the same technology that was traditionally reserved for boffins in white lab coats. Through the musical grapevine bands often hear stories from friends of friends about a bad experience with a producer which can convince a band that they would be better off self producing their own recordings. Whether it was an overly agressive producer looking to make the band in their image or an ineffective producer who mishandled the project, these examples are completely at odds with what an effective producer who stays true to the artist’s recording can do for a band. A producer has the ability to bring objectivity, contact networks, budget management, personnel, and experience to a project can ultimately translate into a more successful project and sustainable career for an artist or band. While that sounds like something copied out of a “how to” guide for producers, it is actually pretty accurate. Let’s take a look at each of those points in a little more detail.
Objectivity: A producers position of absolute objectivity is unique in the record making chain. No one else involved has quite the vantage point the producer has and it’s a position that comes with a large responsibility. It’s a large part of why producers are necessary.
You need to be able to make tough calls at all times, to decide when a performer has given the best that they can – and to decide if their best is good enough or whether it’s something else that’s wrong that’s preventing them from being at their best – whether it’s a musical issue or a personal one.