Some artists are keen on touching up the final finishes of a record by themselves. But admittedly, getting the Midas touch from a pro can be the difference between a flop and a platinum record.
To make a record come alive beautifully, we need a meticulous music production that is comprised of a variety of processes. It could be said that it is almost always necessary to have a producer oversee and manage the production. They are a great force to enhance and unlock artists’ creativity during the record making process.
What they do:
The output from a record production is shaped by the collaboration between artist and music producer – and also everyone in between, e.g. personal manager, A&R, art director, studio engineer, mixing engineer, mastering engineer, marketing, PR, etc, whom the producer may also need to manage or work with. The artist and producer could start from scratch together by gathering musical ideas for the project, or start from anywhere in between from composing to arranging, editing, mixing, mastering, and even selling the record. Sometimes, they are more than that – a counselor, a babysitter, a motivational speaker, a mirror, a slavedriver or a shoulder to cry on – depending on their personalities, personal techniques and attention to the littlest detail.
Producers charge large fees. Traditionally, they are hired by record companies and paid monthly salaries, but some work on a project basis. Many of them are freelancers having their own agents assisting on fee and deal negotiations with record companies. However, the advancement and cheapening of new recording technologies have resulted in many producers achieving more roles such as studio owners and sound engineers.
A producer is one of the most competitive roles in the music career. Producers need to attain their reputation – some might start off with home studio work, and later could get involved with bigger projects once their previous works speak for themselves. Having a formal music education background is a plus as many great producers possess knowledge in music theory and composition. They also need to be able to perceive the music from the perspective of certain audiences to allow them to create ear-pleasing arrangements. More prolific producers often are multi-instrumentalists and have in-depth understanding in audio engineering. Another trait that might be overlooked is psychology. Great producers know how to talk to artists to bring out the best in them.
For aspiring producers looking for bands or artists to work with, with keen eyes and ears you can simply seek emerging talent and offer your services while collaborating to benefit each other. Alternatively, you can produce a record yourself and find the right engineer to hone your technical knowledge.
Notable record producers:
Apart from labelled as one of popular music’s most influential and innovative figures, the former member of legendary band – Roxy Music, produced so many remarkable albums in the history of modern music for names such as David Bowie, David Byrne, U2, Talking Heads, Coldplay, Slowdive, Jon Hopkins, and Damon Albarn.
Danai Thongsinthusak or Dano was behind the rising of Thailand’s Genie Records circa 2000s. He was Thailand’s best producer in the game as being behind the deck for many famous Thai rock bands such as Klear, Sweet Mullet and Retrospect. In 2016, he was recruited to head Wayfer Records – a subsidiary of Warner Music Thailand, which is on the quest to export Thai emerging artists onto the global stage, managing artists such as my life as ali thomas, BOOM BOOM CASH, ANNALYNN, TELEx TELEXs, and WonderFrame.