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producers in studio Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 3rd September 2011
  #1
Gear Nut
 
BATTLEFIELD's Avatar
 

producers in studio

Hey Guys, got a producer coming in the studio, and he wants to produce a cd for me of my material. I know this guy has contacts but what kind of experience should he have from studio experience. I mean, should he know about doubling vocals and panning and what mics to use and compressors, whats the best reverb , what kind of reverbs. and so on. Now he does want to get someone else to mix the cd. and i guess they would decide on reverb and compressors, but im still skeptical of him, what does he need to know, thanks
Old 3rd September 2011
  #2
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
If you're skeptical before starting, that does not bode well for a great record. Trust is paramount. Perhaps you should have an "exploratory" session with him to see if you match up well.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #3
Gear Addict
 
davedarling's Avatar
 

Do some research.
Listen to some of his previous work. If he doesn't have any previous work,
I might be a bit concerned.

When I have meetings with perspective clients, I play some of my work that
relates to the artist, and talk about my process.

ask questions, and get comfortable - otherwise you may second guess your
decision - never a good thing in the studio.

good luck DD
Old 3rd September 2011
  #4
Gear Nut
 
BATTLEFIELD's Avatar
 

ok, cool, but thinking what is producer 101? do they usually tell the engineer to double tracks for vocals and guitars layering?
Old 3rd September 2011
  #5
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davedarling's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BATTLEFIELD View Post
ok, cool, but thinking what is producer 101? do they usually tell the engineer to double tracks for vocals and guitars layering?
yes. While the engineer may make suggestions,the producer ultimately
makes the decisions.

dd
Old 3rd September 2011
  #6
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Levi's Avatar
 

If he says "I make beats," RUN!!!! lol heh

Seriously, he should have a great working knowledge of arrangement, instrumentation, a bag full of correct players for the project, budgets, equipment appropriate for the song, etc. I think doubling of vocals and guitar layers would be presumed for the process and the least of my worries. The PARTS that he suggests for doubling and layering... THAT'S where the rubber meets the road!

Anyone can double and layer crap. If he's not forward-thinking, encouraging, knowledgable in many different parts of the process, etc. you might as well look elsewhere or learn how to do it yourself. If he's not making you be a better artist in the translation of your songs, and figuring out how to make the songs as strong as possible, punt.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #7
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jmikeperkins's Avatar
Some producers have engineering experience and will get into the technical details about equipment, reverbs, mic choice, mic placement, compression etc. Some producers leave the engineering details to the engineer (assuming there is an engineer) and they concentrate more on musical arrangement. They might offer suggestions on when to double a vocal, when to add a harmony part, etc. The producer should also be able to objectively decide when to re-do a part, such as lead vocal, or leave it alone. They need to be able to hear when something is out of tune or out of time. Some producers specialize in the psychological aspects of working with musicians and know how to coach the players to get the best performance possible. The producer also normally makes the final decisions as to which takes get used on the record and in what order the songs will appear. If the producer is workng with an unsigned band or artist, then they may use their connections (assuming they have some) to promote the record. With some artists who have minimal involvement in their music, the producer picks all the songs and does just about everything and the artist just shows up near the end to put some autotuned vocals down.

The "right" producer should bring something to the table that you need. If you have a weakness in any one area, such as musical arrangement, engineering or promotion, then the producer should have strength in that area. Sometimes it really helps to bring in a good producer, but some artists don't need one and a bad producer can certainly ruin a record (and charge you to do so). Levi is right, if the producer starts talking about "making beats" I would run away.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #8
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BATTLEFIELD View Post
... but im still skeptical of him, what does he need to know, thanks
If you are skeptical of him, then without a doubt, find somebody else.

a Producer does NOT necessarily have to be a "super engineer". The idea that he needs to be ultra-technical is based on a misunderstanding of the role.

Many producers come not from engineering, but from backgrounds as arrangers, or recording artists themselves. Or they could even be DJs or label guys with an understanding of markets, genres and what the public wants (and what radio stations will play.)

He needs to know what he wants - - and how to get the right people in place to make it happen. Just because he is Boss of the engineer, does not mean he needs to know more about "reverbs" than the engineer, it means he needs to know more about what the final product must sound like in order to be commercially successful. He may "give orders" to French Horn player too, yet no one would expect him to be able to play the French Horn part himself.

A wise producer knows when to hand off certain jobs to a specialist. If he has a mix engineer in mind, choosing that mix engineer is well within his job description. Think of him as more 'contractor' than 'carpenter'.


Whatever his background, he needs your cooperation and trust to do his job

You would evaluate the producer on the basis of other Product that he has made. What has he done that you have heard?

What is he charging you? Is he taking a %age? What are these 'contacts' specifically? Can he get your CD directly to labels? What is his track record? What else has he done (that you are impressed with)?

Also, how many OTHER producers are offering you the same (or better) deal? heh


Are you anticipating fighting with this guy? Are you going to question his every decision? The whole point of having a producer is to FREE you from having to worry about the logistics of making a record and just PLAY. If you do not have the confidence in this producer to gladly "hand him the keys", do yourselves both a favor and get someone else.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #9
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spectacular g's Avatar
 

Listen to his work, if you don't like it then you have a decision to make. If it's good let him do his thing it may work out really well, you'll know soon enough.

Good luck,
G
Old 3rd September 2011
  #10
Lives for gear
IMO the best producer is always a musician first, and an engineer second.

Which really means that if you're a musician with a vision, then you probably don't need one.

Old 3rd September 2011
  #11
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
A producer can be as hands off as just creating a mood, and putting all the right people in the right place at the right time. Or as micromanaging as co-writing, arranging, playing instruments, engineering and even mastering. Most fall somewhere in the middle.

Sounds from your thoughts like you may be getting ahead of yourself here. Best to figure out what your weaknesses / limitations are and hire someone that can help you fix those. Worrying about who says it's right to double a guitar or vocal part is akin to wondering whether or not the contractor building your house is going to use screws or adhesive or nails to attach your drywall. Maybe important, but so far down the scale in the scope of things as to be completely trivial.
Old 4th September 2011
  #12
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691 View Post
IMO the best producer is always a musician first, and an engineer second.

Which really means that if you're a musician with a vision, then you probably don't need one.

very very very very few people can self produce. A lot THINK they can - and for that we had Myspace.
Old 4th September 2011
  #13
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Aisle 6's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
very very very very few people can self produce. A lot THINK they can - and for that we had Myspace.
Amen! Most musicians find it very difficult to step back and be objective. The producer is detached emotionally from the individual parts but hopefully not the song as a finished piece.

Check his credentials/previous work and work out what he brings to the project. Think of him/her more as a management role than a technical one.


www.aisle6.com.au
[email protected]
Old 4th September 2011
  #14
Gear Nut
 
BATTLEFIELD's Avatar
 

well found out he co-wrote some tunes when his band was signed, and did arrangement on there cd, in 2006, but i think thats about it. they were signed to infinity records then. wants 500 per song, the deal i like about him is that he has contacts, but honesty i think i could engineer, produce and mix the album or least have someone else mix it. but i dont have contacts
Old 4th September 2011
  #15
Lives for gear
 

nothing in 5 years
so what are his contacts worth
offer him a percentage and no money up front
on the first album
if his contacts are for real then be flexible for the next one
Old 4th September 2011
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
If you're skeptical before starting, that does not bode well for a great record. Trust is paramount. Perhaps you should have an "exploratory" session with him to see if you match up well.
.

Agreed.

Pre-production is a MUST.

.
Old 4th September 2011
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
very very very very few people can self produce. A lot THINK they can - and for that we had Myspace.
.



.
Old 4th September 2011
  #18
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BATTLEFIELD View Post
well found out he co-wrote some tunes when his band was signed, and did arrangement on there cd, in 2006, but i think thats about it. they were signed to infinity records then. wants 500 per song,
So he has nothing to play for you that he can say: "I produced this"?? Not something he was ON, but something where he was The Producer.

Even an unreleased something? He could be great, he could be horrible, you have no way of knowing. Does that mean you are his First Client?

If that is the case, then maybe he should produce you for free just to have something on his reel!

Quote:
the deal i like about him is that he has contacts, but honesty i think i could engineer, produce and mix the album or least have someone else mix it. but i dont have contacts
perhaps you should hire him as your Agent, instead of as your Producer.
Old 4th September 2011
  #19
Lives for gear
$500 per song? How many hours will he need to spend on each song to get them polished up? I would imagine at least a half day or more. I would want a producer to spend even more time than that. So he's working for $30 or $40 an hour for you? That's what I pay freelance amateur graphic designers. Not sure someone can make that big of a difference with that little time to get to know your music. Unless he's a very adept and experienced producer who can really bang out value quick. Seems like he means well but his premise is flawed. Find out how many hours he's contracting to give you.
Old 4th September 2011
  #20
Gear Nut
 
BATTLEFIELD's Avatar
 

thanks for the advice, im gonna really check him out.
Old 4th September 2011
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by BATTLEFIELD View Post
thanks for the advice, im gonna really check him out.
.

Just do a pre-production session. One session - AT LEAST! I promise you, you won't regret it.

And if he's a real producer, he'll probably WANt to do this.

You can decide right then and there what you're getting for your money, and whether or not this guy is just full of crap.

Maybe he's the real deal, and it will be great and all work out amazingly, and you'll get a great recording.

I hope this is the case. Good luck!


.
Old 4th September 2011
  #22
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Where is he now?

Walk briskly in the opposite direction.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 4th September 2011
  #23
Gear Addict
 
Mr. Light's Avatar
$500 a song is pretty cheap......or it could be a total rip off. Depends. If you're already questioning his ability tho, it's probably a rip off.
Old 6th September 2011
  #24
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
very very very very few people can self produce. A lot THINK they can - and for that we had Myspace.
+1.

I explain it to clients that a producer is the recording artist's coach. And just like there are different styles of coaching (autocratic, in your face, "player's coach", etc.), there are different styles of producing. A producer does all the functions of a coach: planning, training, correction, support, motivation, etc....

Just like there are extremely few athletes with the knowledge and self-control to acheive their best without a coach, very few musicians will produce their best possible work without a producer.

Also agreed that trust is fundamental... without it, neither musician or producer can do their job, or it's just excruciating.
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