The Role of The Record Producer
In a nutshell, the producer turns art or creativity into a 'product' that
can be sold to the masses. Thus, the producer always has his/her
mind set on the finished product. The record producer should have a
clear understanding of the consumer their recording will be marketed
to, and what that consumer enjoys listening to. For decades this role
has been crucial to the recording process, because artists (by nature)
are not in tune with the masses. If they were, they would loose that
which makes their art unique. Also, musicians are stereotypically bad
executers. The record producer insures that the work gets done on
time, and within budget, and also 'translates the creative to the
collective' as musicians do not understand the collective.
It’s the summer of 2001, Power Pye Studio’s control room,
in Carnegie, Pennsylvania. The engineer, lead singer/co-producer
and I stand in the control room, listening to the songwriter/lead
guitarist/rhythm guitarist/background singer/co-producer butcher a
backing vocal line on the other side of the window.
Take 27 – “Oh madam, you are eve.”
The lead singer/co-producer has become tired of tracking
this line.
“Again,” I announce via the intercom.
My 1st co-producer chimes in, “I thought that sounded
good. Come in here, let’s listen to it again.”
Being an effective record producer
Thus, we once again solidified the failure that album was. It was a
collaborative production attempt. It combined the production
knowledge of a singer, songwriter, and producer.
The Moral of this story is... Never collaborate on production, never accept anyone else’s opinion in the studio, and make sure that
your word is final before embarking on a new project. Today, when I say, “Again,” don’t argue with me, just do it. Otherwise, you
will be fired. Producers not only need this power, but must exercise this power, to be effective. This concept delves deeper than
shallow egos. On other projects, I have played the role of the performer. On some, I have worked as an engineer. Still, I allow the
producer to have the absolute final say in any decision that is made even if I am paying studio bill. If you cannot trust your
producer with absolute power, than they should not be your producer.