A music producer is traditionally responsible for overseeing the entire process of music production, from the initial concept to the final product.
…but do you really need a producer to make music?
No, you don’t need a producer to make music because it is very possible to learn all of the skills needed to self-produce your own music to a professional standard. With that said, a producer can help you refine your ideas, suggest new ones, provide technical expertise, and help you achieve the sound you’re aiming for.
I’ve personally self-produced and self-released over 50 songs and have had pretty awesome results like having multiple songs pass 2 million streams on Spotify, getting added to 20+ official Spotify playlists, and having several songs signed by smaller record labels.
In this guide, we’ll explore the role of a producer in music production, the benefits of having a producer, and whether or not it’s necessary to have one.
The Role Of A Producer In Making Music: 3 Main Benefits
A music producer is someone who oversees the entire process of music production, which can include:
- Working with the artist to develop the concept of the song or album
- Selecting the right musicians and engineers
- Providing creative input throughout the process.
You can almost think of a music producer as similar to a film director, as they are responsible for bringing together all the different elements of a project to create a cohesive final product.
One of the most important roles of a music producer is to provide creative input and ideas because a good producer can help an artist refine their ideas and take them to the next level.
They do this by suggesting new ideas to explore as well as by providing feedback on song structure, lyrics, melodies, and instrumentation based on their experience helping hundreds of other artists and bands in the past
Collaboration is also an important aspect of music production, and a producer can help facilitate collaboration between different artists and musicians (ie: bringing in a session musician to play a certain part on a song or working with external songwriters to develop the lyrics for a track).
The Pros & Cons Of Self-Producing Your Own Music
While having a producer can be beneficial, it is not necessarily required to make music, and personally, I really see having a music producer working on a track to be more of a luxury than a necessity.
Pros of self-producing
With the accessibility of music-making software and equipment as well as a neverending stream of new tutorials on YouTube, many artists are now able to create and produce their music entirely on their own.
If you’re a bit of a control freak (like me) or want to be able to produce and release music quickly and without spending too much money (also like me), then this can really be a massive advantage for artists.
Cons of self-producing
However, self-producing music also has its disadvantages, for example when an artist does not have technical expertise in music production, they may struggle with recording, mixing, and mastering their music.
Although this may result in a low-quality final product at first, through practice and experience it’s possible for new artists to continue to improve from song to song until they are self-producing at a more professional standard.
Should You Self-Produce or Hire a Music Producer?
If you are trying to decide if you should self-produce or hire a music producer, you should ask yourself 3 main questions:
- What is my ultimate vision for this project?
- Do I have the budget to be able to hire a music producer to realize my vision?
- Do I have the skills needed to self-produce this project in a way that reaches my vision?
Personally, I’m a hardcore D.I.Y. person and absolutely love everything about music from the technical side of production to the music business side so I’ve taken the time to learn all the skills needed to be a music producer for my own projects.
But by asking yourself those 3 questions, you’ll be able to more clearly see which path you should take.
And remember that it doesn’t have to be black or white:
You can hire a producer for 1 project to help you see how things are done so that you can later self-produce.
You can also self-produce yourself to start and then look to outsource a music producer when you feel like your overall music career is ready for that step.
There’s no right or wrong step here, as long as you make sure you keep working on putting new music out into the world and moving towards your goals regardless of how 1 project or 2 turns out, my friend. 🙂