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
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: