Does Your Band Need A Producer?By
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
When your band is looking at recording its music, there will be many factors to consider. One of the most important decisions for independent musicians to make is who participates in the process with them. Do you find a manager? What about a producer? Do you even need a producer? If you truly are an “indie band” and are self-made, the idea of getting a producer can seem a little hypocritical. On the other hand, once you’ve recorded with a producer, it can be difficult to imagine recording without one.
It is important to deliberate these issues before you begin the music recording process. As a band, you will need to make a collective decision about whether or not you’ll have a producer. If your band has been working with a manager (of any form), this person or group should probably also have a vote in the decision.
Pros and Cons of Music Producers
Many of the potential pros of working with a music producer are also potential cons.
A producer should guide your band through the recording process, maybe asking you to step outside your band’s comfort zone and try new things. This could be helpful, especially for bands unfamiliar with the recording process or uncertain of the direction they want to go. For other bands, this potential micromanagement might be frustrating, and the suggestions might push your band in a direction you don’t want to go. Be open to new ideas, but know yourself; if the results don’t fit with your band’s sound or goals, say something.
Producers can also pull strings to get you a good deal on recording time; this might mean working on their schedule or at their studio, though.
Some producers may dip their toe outside the music recording process, handling record labels, venues, contracts, and marketing. Again, this might be helpful, or it might push your band in a direction you don’t want to go. Be open, but speak up if needed.
Making The Choice
Working with a producer can open up your sound in ways you’ve never known before. This is why producers are such a vital component to the music recording process for virtually all professional bands. That said, if you decide to use a producer, make sure everyone is clear about every step of the process up front. If your band doesn’t agree with what’s happening, speak up before you sign anything… and never sign your rights away.
Has your band recorded music? Did you use a producer or go it alone? What factors led you to that decision?