As a pubescent teen in high school who had just fallen in love with music, I realized exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up: a producer!
In my underdeveloped mind, I thought that meant getting to record and mix entire albums and get a phat paycheck at the end of the week. Of course, my friends told me I was wrong – “a producer makes beats!” I thought they were idiots for thinking that, but my mind was at least open to being wrong.
It wasn’t until my Music Business class at Azusa Pacific University in California that my definition of producing dramatically changed.
Mr. Beatty told our class that the producer is just the guy with enough money to make stuff happen. I thought that was a rather cynical approach to the term, but most of my other professors wholeheartedly agreed, and who was I to go against the grain of professionals, right?
But here I am.
And what has experience taught me? Well, all of those previous definitions had some truth, and the major thing that I’ve learned from being in the studio for a couple months is that being a producer means having all the answers.
Any question that can be asked in the studio must be answered by the producer. “What are we doing at 3:43pm? Are there snacks for everyone? What are the different mic setups that we’ll be using?” The real challenge comes from the fact that some questions deal with things you wouldn’t ever think about. But it all comes together to make music happen.
So as an aspiring (and working) producer, it is my duty to continue to look for all the answers.