Record Producer jobs(Also known as Recording producer, Music producer, Artist production supervisor)
A music producer is the manager of the music creation process in a recording studio. They are responsible for working with an artist or band and committing a quality recording to the studio equipment with the assistance of the sound engineer. In a studio environment where a band or artist is working with a sound engineer to create a recording, the producer takes the role of both project manager and executive overseeing the recording project. The producer is responsible for making sure the artist or band co-operates with the engineer to achieve the required mix, and will work within the framework of the song or composition to tweak and improve its structure and soundscape. A good producer has a vast impact on the quality and the composition of the finished piece. Often he or she will have to take a “rough and ready” live band and produce a polished recording which is suitable for commercial release.
SalaryThe producer will normally be self-employed, and will either be paid per day or per track, depending on the arrangement they have in place with a particular record label. At a lower level, the producer will freelance to unsigned bands who are funding their own recording project. At this “grass roots” stage, producers will normally bill themselves at £100-£250 per day, and depending on whether they have access to a studio, this may or may not include the cost of studio hire and an engineer. Often, the producer will offer an “all-in” price to encourage the artist to go ahead with a recording. An additional benefit for the producer in doing this is that they can create a synergy with a local engineer and/or studio. This reduces costs for both parties and helps in securing future business. Artists who approach the engineer directly to enquire about studio hire can then be “sold” the producer as part of the package. It works both ways too, and is therefore beneficial to both producer and sound engineer. For established producers working with internationally renowned artists with the backing of major record labels, the payment for their services can easily breach £5,000 per day or £20,000 per track. Again the arrangement is flexible, and the studio cost itself can be negotiated in or out. Whichever way the label chooses to play it, a top engineer is a very well remunerated talent. Some producers are registered with production management companies who will pitch their services to labels on behalf of the producer. This “end game” is normally reserved for the top-level producers, and the figures can become quite dizzying.
- Timely arrival at studio (or other meeting point) with artist or band.
- Prepare a production plan and discuss with artist (if relevant).
- Liaise with engineer regarding equipment that may be required, and hire extra kit if needed.
- Organise the hire of session musicians if required, and brief them on arrival at the studio.
- Communicate with record label regarding development stages and time-scale of the recording.
- Work with engineer on mixing down recorded tracks into a polished multitrack recording.
QualificationsAlthough there are no formal academic barriers to entry, candidates who wish to join a large professional studio at assistant engineer level will often be expected to be in possession of some form of certification. This could be a GNVQ (higher education) certificate in sound engineering or music creation, or even an HND. For those wishing to work freelance, it is not generally assumed to be important to have academic certification. Most working producers stand by their track record, so a new producer who is happy to work with aspiring artists for low remuneration can quickly build at least some form of portfolio to show to other artists, studios and labels. Producers will often be working on their own musical projects in between producing bands or soloists, which makes sense given their ownership or access to professional quality studios. The chance of these “white labels” being published or released is quite low, but it is useful for a producer to keep the musical fire burning between studio work on paid jobs.
- Fundamental understanding of the principles of sound recording and sound engineering.
- Must be musically creative in order to advance and improve an artist's music.
- Be able to develop strong working relationships quickly, as time with the artist is often limited.
- Be able to deliver against a predetermined development plan if working with a major record label.
- Broad musical and music production vocabulary, to enable explanation of concepts to be used within a certain recording.
- Must be a good manager of time as allowance made for studio time is often limited (and expensive).