25-step music production process checklist and video workshop >>>

What is a Music Producer? It Depends!

Producer in Studio - What is a producer? Hero Image

Different Music Producers Defined:

Yes, the answer to the question, "What is a music producer?" has become vague in our times.  Let's take a quick look at what it could mean to be a music producer today.

The Traditional Definition of a Music Producer:

The traditional music industry's definition of a music producer or record producer was of an individual hired by a record company to plan, direct and execute the production of a recorded music track or album.

This type of producer handles the budget, directs or contributes to the recording process and work with the artists and engineers to get the best recording possible.

This producer often has a background as a musician or an engineer and would know what makes a good quality recording which will sell many units for the label.

An Updated Definition of a Music Producer:

Today you'll often hear the term music producer used for electronic artists and beat-makers.

Puritans might argue that these aren't "real producers" but this is arguing about semantics.

So, to make it simple, I see any person who is able to produce viable music as a music producer.  It doesn't matter if the producers does it all in a home studio on a DAW or works with a label.

How Do You Define Viable Music?

Simple.  Viable music is quality music people want to listen to and share,  in a format they can easily share.  Music which gets attention and spreads itself.

How you create the music doesn't matter as much as how it sounds when you're done.  You can create viable music by yourself or with other artists in your home studio,  or you can do it in a professional studio.

A Producer Needs Skills

You want to learn as much as you can about music performance, music production, sound engineering,  and at the same time improve your music business related skills as you advance.

The role of a music producer varies,  and can be difficult to pin-point.  Flexibility and the ability to attract attention from the right people will serve you well in your business as a music producer.

The Renegade Producer to my mind is part musician, part songwriter, part audio engineer, part producer and part entrepreneur. 

So,  instead of asking...

"What is a music producer?"

... I suggest you rather ask yourself...

"What type of music producer do I want to be?"

The answer to your question may evolve over time. Do you want to focus on your own music?  Other people's music? Both?

Do you want to focus on one music genre or develop your production skills and techniques across many different genres?

Define your own personal vision as a music producer and you will,  with work and practice become exactly what you envision.

In the end all that really matters is your ability to produce viable music and that starts with your producer skills.

Check out the Producer Skill Stacks series to learn more about the specific skills you need to become a music producer today:

You might also like these related posts:

Hand on mixing desk with text. Text reads: What's that? You want more?

Learn to understand equalisers and frequencies to supercharge your mixing skills and get results, fast...

New producer? Learn everything you need to produce your first professional track right now...

Would you like to discover the simplest and easiest way to learn music theory as a music producer?

Share this post. Spread the knowledge so other producers can benefit too:

ⓘ Some pages contain affiliate links so I might earn a commission when you buy through my links. Thanks for your support! Learn more