Musicians

Published on March 9th, 2013 | by Dylan Lott

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4 Reasons Why A Producer Might Help You Suck Less

Producers can be three different parts of the production process. At the very minimum, they simply record your material and make it sound good, and this mostly qualifies them as engineers rather than producers. The next level gets them a little bit more involved and begins to pull them into the producing definition. This would be where they help with arrangements, create, edit, or delete certain parts, and make changes to the general feel of songs. The third and deepest level that producers work on happens when they take a look at the entire direction of the band, the sound, genre, and image of the band, and change it to what they feel is best. Depending on where the band is and where the producer sees them, these changes can be huge or barely noticeable at all. So what are the reasons?

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1. They’re A Fresh Set Of Ears. 

You’ve been listening to your song for countless hours. You’re used to it, and because of that you hear it in a completely different way. A fresh set of ears with the ability to critically listen to a track is more helpful than most people ever understand. They pick out problems in the mix, EQ settings, add in small touches with reverb, etc… as well as changes to the overall arrangement and composition of the song.

Producers make their entire livings with their ears.

2. They’re Better At Writing Than You Are

Most people don’t realize how stuck in their song they are. You’ve spent hours perfecting your song, you’ve written it all yourself, and every piece in your head sounds perfect. Why would you need to change it?

Because you suck.

You-Suck

Part of being in the music industry is remembering that you suck. And you suck a lot. That’s not to say that you’re not talented, it’s just that you suck at being talented. Getting a good producer will make you suck less. That’s their whole job. They polish you, mentor you, and help you out wherever they can musically.

This also ties back into reason #1. You’ve heard your song so many times that you can’t really imagine it arranged or written any other way. A producer can hear possibilities of where a song could go and they can help you make the song take that form and direction and mold it to that.

So after you’ve gone to the trouble of getting a producer, writing songs with him, and working with them very closely, then what? Well that leads us to the next reason. Which is…

3. They Have Connections

When you score a big name producer, they’re going to have big name connections. In music, everybody knows everybody else one way or another. Getting a producer is a great way to make more connections, and most producers want to help the bands they work with as much as possible.

Why, you might ask? Because it looks better for them when their bands go farther, so naturally they’re going to be inclined to help you out where they can. Mostly this help will come in the form of referring you to some other people, maybe making a few calls, or shooting your music around to other people they work with.  This not only makes your band bigger, but it’ll usually kick back more business to them down the road, which again is good.

Again, as a band, this kind of exposure is more valuable than you realize. Even if it doesn’t seem like it right now, connections usually pay off more in the long run than they do in the short one. Having a good producer that you’re friends with is great.

4. They’re Masters of Their Genre

Most producers work within a select genre or area of the music industry. There are a few exceptions to this, such as Rick Ruben, but you’re not going to be working with him anytime soon. Most stay within their own genre though, and this is generally good. They become masters of writing in that style, and they learn how to make the best music possible out of what you have.

Another benefit to them staying within a select few genres is that they’re up to date on the trends within the industry, they know the other big players in that industry, and they make this all tie together in an even better way for you. They know the right gear to use, the right studios to go to, and other right moves you should make.

Never forget that someone else can always do it better than you can, and paying them to do exactly that is usually worth it as long as you’re not overpaying them. Having a DIY mentality is fine if that’s what you want.

This is all great, but…

  • “Producers are too expensive!”
  • “That sounds a whole lot like selling out!”
  • “I can’t get in touch with any big producers though!”

These are just excuses. Is a producer too expensive? Save up. If you really want to make great music, you’re going to need help. Even if you don’t plan on making music your living, you’re going to need help and that’s exactly what a producer does. Saving up money for your producer and recording time isn’t that hard. Break it down into monthly amounts and create a plan for your album production.

Selling out? Not in my opinion. There’s a lot of different things that people think are “selling out” but in my opinion, selling out is changing your band for money. If you’re paying someone else to help grow your band and help you write better music, that’s not selling out. It’s just natural progression.

And thirdly, if you can’t get in touch with any big producers, then you’re not sending out enough emails, you’re sending out emails in the wrong format, or you’re simply not sending out any emails at all. Emails need to be correctly formatted, professional, and sent to the correct person.

 

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