How should an artist go about selecting the right music producer for their next studio project? What qualities should you be looking for? Consider these five (5) key factors when choosing the producer that’s best for you.
We discussed different types of producers in our last two posts. Do you need someone who can co-compose with you?; someone who’s more of a technical guru?; someone who can bring the best team onboard to reach your sonic goals?; or someone who can transform your beatmaker’s concepts into a complete song? Your needs will help determine the type of producer you choose.
The form, style and category of your composition also play a huge part in helping you select the right producer. Are you familiar with their work? Do they have experience producing your preferred musical genre? Don’t ask a seasoned classical producer to oversee the sonic direction of your next EDM track, or a veteran rock producer to work on your latest hip-hop single!
It’s extremely important to know your producer well. Aim to build a good artist-producer relationship outside of the confines of the recording studio. Relationships build trust, freedom and understanding. Friendship comes before function. How can two walk together unless they are agreed? The same is true when selecting a producer. What’s more, can your producer relate and work well with other producers? A collaboration of co-producers might just be what you need for your next release! Spend time building your team before building your track.
Who has the producer done previous work for? Are they great beatmakers but relatively limited in their ability to unlock an artist’s full performance potential? Do they know how to balance the tension between giving the artist freedom of expression and maintaining creative quality? Are they all about serving the artist well or is it important for them to have their work recognised? How well do they know their equipment? Experience is a key factor.
This ingredient is hard to tie down. In one sense, it’s a combination of factors. It’s an intangible “golden touch” that turns an artist’s demo into a highly praised work of art. It may be a signature sound that compliments the artist beautifully. Yet, producers with this quality do not superimpose their sound onto a record, or squeeze the artist into their mould – unless they are asked to!! They value collaboration and are not threatened by creative input from the recording artist. They are able to enhance their clients’ work; their genius is in enabling artists to be the best they can be.
Various producers give expression to these 5 factors in different ways, so wise artists select different producers for different projects, depending on their unique needs! Still, whatever those needs may be, type, genre, relationships, experience and the intangible X-factor are vital considerations to make when selecting a producer for your next project.
Have you found someone to produce your music? Do they exhibit these 5 qualities?
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