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A record producer or music producer oversees and manages the sound recording and production of a band or performer's music, which may range from recording one song to recording a lengthy concept album.[1] A producer has many, varying roles during the recording process.[2] They may gather musical ideas for the project, collaborate with the artists to select cover tunes or original songs by the artist/group, work with artists and help them to improve their songs, lyrics or arrangements. A producer may also:

Select session musicians to play rhythm section accompaniment parts or solos Co-write[3] Propose changes to the song arrangements Coach the singers and musicians in the studio The producer typically supervises the entire process from preproduction, through to the sound recording and mixing stages, and, in some cases, all the way to the audio mastering stage. The producer may perform these roles themselves, or help select the engineer, and provide suggestions to the engineer. The producer may also pay session musicians and engineers and ensure that the entire project is completed within the record label's budget.

Contents

1 Function 2 History 3 American women and record producing

3.1 Notable women record producers (who produce other artists)

4 Equipment and technology 5 Studio application 6 Influential record producers 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 10 Further reading

Function[edit] A record producer or music producer has a very broad role in overseeing and managing the recording and production of a band or performer's music. A producer has many roles that may include, but are not limited to, gathering ideas for the project, composing the music for the project, selecting songs or session musicians, proposing changes to the song arrangements, coaching the artist and musicians in the studio, controlling the recording sessions, and supervising the entire process through audio mixing (recorded music) and, in some cases, to the audio mastering stage. Producers also often take on a wider entrepreneurial role, with responsibility for the budget, schedules, contracts, and negotiations. For Grammy
Grammy
qualification The Recording Academy
The Recording Academy
definition of a producer is:[4]

The person who has overall creative and technical control of the entire recording project, and the individual recording sessions that are part of that project. He or she is present in the recording studio or at the location recording and works directly with the artist and engineer. The producer makes creative and aesthetic decisions that realize both the artist's and label's goals in the creation of musical content. Other duties include, but are not limited to; keeping budgets and schedules, adhering to deadlines, hiring musicians, singers, studios and engineers, overseeing other staffing needs and editing (Classical projects).

Writer Chris Deville explains it, "Sometimes a producer functions like a creative consultant — someone who helps a band achieve a certain aesthetic, or who comes up with the perfect violin part to complement the vocal melody, or who insists that a chorus should actually be a bridge. Other times a producer will build a complete piece of music from the ground up and present the finished product to a vocalist, like Metro Boomin supplying Future with readymade beats or Jack Antonoff letting Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift
add lyrics and melody to an otherwise-finished “Out Of The Woods.”[5] The artist of an album may not be a record producer or music producer for his/her album. While both contribute creatively, the official credit of "record producer" may depend on the record contract. Christina Aguilera, for example, did not receive record producer credits until many albums into her career.[6] In the 2010s, the producer role is sometimes divided among up to three different individuals: executive producer, vocal producer and music producer. An executive producer oversees project finances, a vocal producers (also known as a vocal arranger) oversees the vocal production, and a music producer oversees the creative process of recording and mixings. The music producer is also often a competent arranger, composer, musician or songwriter who can bring fresh ideas to a project. As well as making any songwriting and arrangement adjustments, the producer often selects and/or collaborates with the mixing engineer, who takes the raw recorded tracks and edits and modifies them with hardware and software tools to create a stereo or surround sound "mix" of all the individual voices sounds and instruments, which is in turn given further adjustment by a mastering engineer for the various distribution media. The producer also oversees the recording engineer who concentrates on the technical aspects of recording. Noted producer Phil Ek described his role as "the person who creatively guides or directs the process of making a record", like a director would a movie. Indeed, in Bollywood music, the designation is actually music director. The music producer's job is to create, shape, and mold a piece of music. The scope of responsibility may be one or two songs or an artist's entire album – in which case the producer will typically develop an overall vision for the album and how the various songs may interrelate.

History[edit] At the beginning of record industry, the producer role was technically limited to record, in one shot, artists performing live.[7] The immediate predecessors to record producers were the artists and repertoire executives of the late 1920s and 1930s who oversaw the "pop" product and often led session orchestras. That was the case of Ben Selvin
Ben Selvin
at Columbia Records, Nathaniel Shilkret
Nathaniel Shilkret
at Victor Records and Bob Haring at Brunswick Records. By the end of the 1930s, the first professional recording studios not owned by the major companies were established, essentially separating the roles of A&R man and producer, although it wouldn't be until the late 1940s when the term "producer" became widely used in the industry. The role of producers changed progressively over the 1950s and 1960s due to technology. The development of multitrack recording caused a major change in the recording process. Before multitracking, all the elements of a song (lead vocals, backup vocals, rhythm section instrument accompaniment, solos and orchestral parts) had to be performed simultaneously. All of these singers and musicians had to be assembled in a large studio where the performance was recorded. With multitrack recording, the "bed tracks" (rhythm section accompaniment parts such as the bassline, drums, and rhythm guitar could be recorded first, and then the vocals and solos could be added later, using as many "takes" (or attempts) as necessary. It was no longer necessary to get all the players in the studio at the same time. A pop band could record their backing tracks one week, and then a horn section could be brought in a week later to add horn shots and punches, and then a string section could be brought in a week after that. Multitrack recording
Multitrack recording
had another profound effect on music production: it enabled producers and audio engineers to create new sounds that would be impossible in a live performance style ordering. Examples include the psychedelic rock sound effects of the 1960s, e.g. playing back the sound of recorded instruments backward changing the tape to produce unique sound effects. During the same period, the instruments of popular music began to shift from the acoustic instruments of traditional music (piano, upright bass, acoustic guitar, strings, brass and wind instruments) to electric piano, electronic organ, synthesizer, electric bass and electric guitar. These new instruments were electric or electronic, and thus they used instrument amplifiers and speaker enclosures (speaker cabinets) to create sound. Electric and electronic instruments and amplifiers enabled performers and producers to change the tone and sound of instruments to produce unique electric sounds that would be impossible to achieve with acoustic instruments and live performers, such as having a singer do her own backup vocals or having a guitarist play 15 layers of backing parts to her own solo.[8] New technologies like multitracking changed the goal of recording: A producer could blend together multiple takes and edit together different sections to create the desired sound. For example, in jazz fusion Bandleader-composer Miles Davis' album Bitches Brew, the producer cut and edited sections together from extensive improvisation sessions.

Phil Spector
Phil Spector
producing Modern Folk Quartet, 1966 Producers like Phil Spector
Phil Spector
and George Martin
George Martin
were soon creating recordings that were, in practical terms, almost impossible to realize in live performance. Producers became creative figures in the studio. Other examples includes Joe Meek, Teo Macero, Brian Wilson, and Biddu.[9]

Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson
at a mixing board in Brother Studios, 1976 Another related phenomenon in the 1960s was the emergence of the performer-producer. As pop acts like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys
and The Kinks
The Kinks
gained expertise in studio recording techniques, many of these groups eventually took over as (frequently uncredited) producers of their own work. Many recordings by acts such as The Rolling Stones, The Kinks
The Kinks
and The Who
The Who
are officially credited to their various producers at the time, but a number of these performers have since asserted that many of their recordings in this period were, either wholly self-produced (e.g. The Rolling Stones' Decca recordings) or collaborations between the group and their recording engineer (e.g. The Small Faces' Immediate recordings, which were made with Olympic Studios
Olympic Studios
engineer Glyn Johns).[nb 1] The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys
are probably the best example of the trend of artists becoming producers – within two years of the band's commercial breakthrough, group leader Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson
had taken over from his father Murry, and he was the sole producer of all their recordings between 1963 and 1967. Alongside The Beatles and Martin, Wilson also pioneered many production innovations – by 1964 he had developed Spector's techniques to a new level of sophistication, using multiple studios and multiple "takes" of instrumental and vocal components to capture the best possible combinations of sound and performance, and then using tape editing extensively to assemble a perfect composite performance from these elements. At the end of the 20th century, digital recording and producing tools and widespread availability of relatively affordable computers with music software made music producing more accessible.

American women and record producing[edit] According to a 2018 study covering by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, "The ratio of male to female producers across 300 popular songs is 49 to 1."[10] In 2019, The Recording Academy's Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion announced the "Producer & Engineer Inclusion Initiative." This initiative asks musicians, record labels, studios and others to consider at least two women for each producer or engineer position. Major artists, producers and organizations have signed on including Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Quincy Jones, Pearl Jam, John Legend, Pharrell Williams, Pink, Cardi B, Maroon 5
Maroon 5
and over 200 others.[11] In 2019, record producer Linda Perry
Linda Perry
was nominated for a Grammy
Grammy
for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical. She was the first woman in over 15 years to be nominated for the award. When asked about the disparity between male and female record producer by Billboard, she attributed it to many women not being interested in record production.[12] Previous Grammy
Grammy
nominees for Producer of the Year include Lauren Christy (2004), Sheryl Crowe, Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill
and Janet Jackson. None have won the award.[13] In the classical music field, Judith Sherman has won Grammy
Grammy
for Producer of the Year, Classical, five times and has been nominated twelve times. Anthony Tommasini, a music critic for The New York Times is quoted as stating, "In the struggling field of classical recording, it's the producers who take the real risks and make things happen."[14] Wilma Cozart Fine produced hundreds of recordings for Mercury Records. Producer Wendy Page describes being a record producer, "The difficulties are usually very short-lived. Once people realize that you can do your job, sexism tends to lower its ugly head. I tend to create a happy studio 'family' where everyone is glad to be there, especially the artist. Good communication and diplomacy usually sort any little problems out."[15] The path to record producing for many female singer-songwriters is through self-producing their own albums. Major artists who are "record producers" (on their own albums) include Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Toni Braxton, Lady Gaga, P!nk, Adele, Lauren Hill, and Missy Elliott.

Notable women record producers (who produce other artists)[edit] Sylvia Moy (Motown's first female record producer) Gail Davies
Gail Davies
(First female record producer on Nashville's Music
Music
Row) Ethel Gabriel (First major label record producer; 40-year career with RCA) Lillian McMurry (Producer/Label owner who produced historically significant blues records) Linda Perry Sylvia Massy Equipment and technology[edit] Mixing console. There are numerous technologies utilized by record producers. In modern-day recordings, recording and mixing tasks are commonly centralized within computers using digital audio workstations such as Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Ableton, Cubase, and FL Studio, which all are often used with third party virtual studio technology plugins.[16] Logic Pro
Logic Pro
and Pro Tools
Pro Tools
are considered the industry standard DAWs.[17][18] However, there is also the main mixer, outboard effects gear, MIDI
MIDI
controllers, and the recording device itself. While most music production is done using sophisticated software, some musicians and producers prefer the sound of older analog technology. Professor Albin Zak claims that the increased automation of both newer processes and newer instruments reduces the level of control and manipulation available to musicians and producers.[19]

Studio application[edit] Production has changed drastically over the years with advancing technology. While the producer's role has changed, their duties continue to require a broad knowledge of the recording process.[20] Tracking is the act of recording audio to a DAW (digital audio workstation) or in some cases to tape. Even though digital technologies have widely supplanted the use of tape in studios, the older term "track" is still used in the 2010s. Tracking audio is primarily the role of the audio engineer. Producers work side by side with the artists while they play or sing their part and coach them on how to perform it and how to get the best technical accuracy (e.g., intonation). In some cases, the producer will even sing a backup vocal or play an instrument. Many artists are also beginning to produce and write their own music.[21]

Influential record producers[edit] In 2012 NME
NME
identified 50 of the greatest producers ever.[22]

DJ Shadow Paul Epworth George Clinton Pete Rock RZA Roy Thomas Baker Jerry Wexler Jimmy Miller Steve Albini Trevor Horn Steve Lillywhite Trent Reznor Prince Mark Ronson Max Martin Jeff Lynne Biddu Danger Mouse Jimmy Iovine Tom Dowd Sam Phillips Berry Gordy J Dilla Mutt Lange Teo Macero John Leckie DJ Premier Jim Steinman Babyface Chris Thomas Andrew Weatherall Daniel Lanois Todd Rundgren Stephen Street The Neptunes T Bone Burnett Nigel Godrich Timbaland Arif Mardin Lee Scratch Perry Dr. Dre Butch Vig Brian Wilson Brian Eno Rick Rubin Phil Spector Nile Rodgers Quincy Jones George Martin Joe Meek

See also[edit]

Business and economics portal Music
Music
portal Audio engineering Electronic music Hip hop production Music
Music
executive Musician Producers and Midi Notes[edit]

^ Similarly, although The Beatles' productions were credited to George Martin throughout their recording career, many sources now attest that Lennon and McCartney in particular had an increasing influence on the production process as the group's career progressed, and especially after the band retired from touring in 1966. In an extreme example of this, Martin actually went on a two-week vacation as The Beatles were recording The White Album; production of several completed tracks on the album were credited to The Beatles on internal paperwork at Abbey Road Studios, although the released LP gave sole production credit to Martin.

References[edit]

^ "What does a music producer do, anyway ? – Production Advice". productionadvice.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-01-09..mw-parser-output cite.citation font-style:inherit .mw-parser-output .citation q quotes:"""""""'""'" .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration color:#555 .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help .mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg/12px-Wikisource-logo.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output code.cs1-code color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error display:none;font-size:100% .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error font-size:100% .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format font-size:95% .mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left padding-left:0.2em .mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right padding-right:0.2em

^ "What Does a Music
Music
Producer Do?". Recording Connection Audio Institute. 2013-05-20. Retrieved 2017-01-09.

^ Weissman, Richard: Understanding the Music
Music
Business "[1]." (2016) Retrieved 9 June. 2017.

^ Burgess, Richard James. The History of Music
Music
Production. Oxford University Press. p. 13.

^ "The Rise Of The Producer As A Lead Artist". Stereogum. 2016-08-04. Retrieved 2019-02-13.

^ Smith, Courtney E. " Christina Aguilera
Christina Aguilera
Is Making A Power Move On Her Next Album". www.refinery29.com. Retrieved 2019-02-13.

^ Yuval Gerstein The role of the music producer - A short historical overview

^ "Game Changer Beats Trap Beats and Type Beats Home Page - Game Changer Beats". Game Changer Beats. Retrieved 2017-07-11.

^ Kot, Greg (2016-03-10). "What does a record producer do?". BBC. Retrieved 2016-01-09.

^ "Inclusion in the Recording Studio? Gender and Race/Ethnicity of Artists, Songwriters & Producers Across 600 Popular Songs from 2012‐2017" (PDF). January 2018.

^ "Female Producers & Engineers Initiative Announced". GRAMMY.com. 2019-02-01. Retrieved 2019-02-13.

^ Newman, Melinda. "Where Are All the Female Music
Music
Producers?". Billboard. Retrieved 4 June 2019.

^ Leight, Elias; Leight, Elias (2018-12-07). "Linda Perry's Grammy Nomination 'Is a Win for all Women Producers and Engineers'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2019-02-13.

^ Tommasini, Anthony (February 23, 2003). "Music: The Grammys/Classical; Fewer Records, More Attention". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 4 June 2019.

^ James., Burgess, Richard. The art of music production : the theory and practice (Fourth ed.). New York. ISBN 9780199921737. OCLC 858861590.

^ "Digital Audio Workstations" (PDF). Center for Computer Research in Music
Music
and Acoustics. Stanford University. Retrieved 2016-05-15.

^ "Which DAW is the Industry Standard?". Agenda Red. Retrieved 2016-05-15.

^ Joseph, Kiesha (Feb 11, 2016). "AUDIO RECORDING SOFTWARE: AVID PRO TOOLS VS APPLE LOGIC PRO X". F.I.R.S.T. INSTITUTE BLOG. first.edu. Retrieved 2016-05-15.

^ Zak,Albin J., I.,II. (2002). Reviews: "strange sounds: Music, technology, and culture," by Timothy D. Taylor. Current Musicology, 159-180.

^ Pras, Amandine, Caroline Cance, and Catherine Guastavino. "Record Producers' Best Practices For Artistic Direction—From Light Coaching To Deeper Collaboration With Musicians." Journal of New Music
Music
Research 42.4 (2013): 381-95. Academic Search Premier. Web. 7 Sept. 2015.

^ Casetti, Chris. "Triple Threats: 13 Female Singers Who Write And Produce Their Own Work". VH1
VH1
News. Retrieved 20 September 2018.

^ Chester, Tim (14 March 2012). "50 Of The Greatest Producers Ever". NME. Retrieved 4 April 2019.

Further reading[edit] Gibson, David and Maestro Curtis. "The Art of Producing". 1st. Ed. USA. ArtistPro Publishing, 2004. ISBN 1-931140-44-8 Burgess, Richard James. The Art of Music
Music
Production. 4th Ed. UK. Music Sales, 2005. ISBN 1-84449-431-4 Edmondson, Jacqueline, ed. (2013). Music
Music
in American Life: An Encyclopedia of the Songs, Styles, Stars, and Stories that Shaped our Culture. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-39348-8. Hewitt, Michael. Music
Music
Theory for Computer Musicians. 1st Ed. USA. Cengage Learning, 2008. ISBN 1598635034 Gronow, Pekka and Ilpo Saunio (1998). An International History of the Recording Industry. Cited in Moorefield (2005). Moorefield, Virgil (2005). The Producer as Composer: Shaping the Sounds of Popular Music. Olsen, Eric et al. (1999). The Encyclopedia of Record Producers. ISBN 978-0-8230-7607-9 Zak, Albin. The Poetics of Rock: Cutting Tracks, Making Records. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001. vte Music
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