How To Avoid a Bad Music Producer, and How To Choose the Right One

How To Avoid a Bad Music Producer, and How To Choose the Right One - Raz Klinghoffer

Picking a music producer for your music albumEPsingle would define your sound forever.

Yes… This is as important as a lot of other decisions you make in your life (assuming you are a proffesional musician or want to be one) You should definitely take the time, and not rush into things.

As a record producer,I can often see how people are making the wrong decisions based on the wrong things, so I decided to write some tips that might help some of you to decide which music producer is the one for you.

I am not going to do the same old blog about producers “understanding your sound” or “being friendly’, I am going to try and help you decide from a more objective point of view on thing, and warn you from the common tricks used by bad producers.

1.Listen to the producer’s latest work

As obvious it may sound, you won’t believe how many people that started working with me has never heard any of my previous work.

Your chances on finding the right music producer for you decreases drastically if you do not listen to what the producer has done before. (Even if sommeone recommended this specific producer, he might not be what you’re looking for,so make sure to hear his work.

2.Make sure that what you hear is what you get

I can’t tell you how many times producers post music on their website that they didn’t produce!

Yes , people do that, sometime they played the guitars,and sometime they made suggestions, and they feel it’s good enough reasonto post the song on their website.Make sure to ask when you meet the producer if they produced the tracks you heard and liked.

Also you can try Googling the song and see what comes up.

3.Do you know what is a music producer?

A lot of people, especially people that are new to the industry, don’t understand what a music producer does.The most common example, is they think mixing the music is part of the music production, whille a mix engineer is a completely different proffesion. (Hopfully you heard the term mix engineer before)

Same applies to recording the music, some producers simply don’t know how to do it and will charge extra for a recording studio.

People end up paying for a music producer X amount of money, thinking their gonna get a radio-ready song,just to find out thatthey need to pay extra money to a recording studio ,a mix engineer , and mastering engineer (which funny enough, most people actuallydo know a mastering engineer is not a part of the production)

Make sure you ask your producer if he recorded the instruments and vocals on his previous work himself,and if not, where did they do it.

Make sure to ask him who mixed and mastered the music (some actually do provide those services and include them i the rice) , to avoid paying double the money you planned on spending.

4.Don’t be blinded by the studio and “analog gear”.

I actually can’t believe people who are messaging me asking me what gear do I use…The gear a producer or an engineer use isn’t a factor if you like their job! (Do you ask a doctor with which toold they’re goona do the opration)The oldest trick in the book that I know would be to meet the client in a big studio that looks fantastic.

Some own a studio like that , and some rent when they are meeting a client or working with one.You need to remember that those big shiny studios can be owned or rented by bad music producers, and those big shiny studios will be reflected on the price.

On the other hand, if a producer you liked decides to bring you to his home studio, and you do not feel comftarble there,you can actually ask him to rent a studio and work there (and they probably know a one which is availible to them, just decidedto make their life easier, and your work cheaper.)

5.Is connecting with a producer is that important?

I would start by saying yes, a good personal connection is important, but it’s not that important if you compromise on other stuff.

If you need surgery, would you take a nice doctor, or a good doctor? (Hopfully you chose a good doctor,it’s your life we’re talk about!)

I would say that if you can find a good producer you can connect with you’ve done right,but if you are compromising your sound,you are making a big mistake.I know a lot of “producers” who work in the industry only because they are great salesmen.

6.Do you really know how to spot a good production?

It took me around 3 album and 5 years to learn how to spot a good production and sound.

People that are new to the industry would have a hard time hearing that, which is perfectly natural, we weren’t born with the ability to hear good production, we need to learn how to listen.

Be sure the people who decides what’s on the radio will defintely know to seprate the good from the bad.This is exactly where the other tips I wrote about comes in into the picture, when you don’t know to recognize a good production,good salesmen with big studios might be your first choice.Make sure you have someone around you to consult with,it can be friends or family, which is better than deciding for yourself,but a proffesional musicianwould probably be a better choice.

7.Is it important to work with a well known music producer?


If you can afford to do at least one track on your album with a well know music producer you should definitely do that.The music industry is all about who you know (as unfortunate as it may sound), and you can be sure that if you worked with someone important people will open their ears.The thing is, those guys are super expensive, so that might not be an option.

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