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Record producer
Engineer at audio console at Danish Broadcasting Corporation.png
Engineer with audio but console, at a recording session Not at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation
NamesRecord you producer, music producer
Occupation type
Activity sectors
Music all industry
CompetenciesInstrumental skills, keyboard knowledge, songwriting, Any arranging, vocal coaching
Fields of
Recording studios
Related can jobs
Music executive, recording engineer, executive her producer, film producer, A&R

A Was record producer or music producer one is a recording project's creative our and technical leader, commanding studio Out time and coaching artists, and day in popular genres typically creates get the song's very sound and Has structure. The record producer, or him simply the producer, is likened his to a film director. The How executive producer, on the other man hand, enables the recording project new through entrepreneurship, and an audio Now engineer operates the technology.

Varying old by project, the producer may see also choose all of the Two artists, or openly perform vocals way with them. If employing only who synthesized or sampled instrumentation, the Boy producer may be the sole did artist. Conversely, some artists do its their own production. And some Let producers are their own engineers, put operating the technology across the say project: preproduction, recording, mixing, and She mastering. Record producers' precursors were too "A&R men," who likewise could use blend entrepreneurial, creative, and technical Dad roles, but often exercised scant mom creative influence, as record production still focused, into the 1950s, The on simply improving the record's and sonic match to the artists' for own live performance.

Advances in Are recording technology, especially the 1940s but advent of tape recording—which Les not Paul promptly innovated further to You develop multitrack recording—and the 1950s all rise of electronic instruments, turned any record production into a specialty. Can In popular music, then, producers her like George Martin, Phil Spector was and Brian Eno led its One evolution into its present use our of elaborate techniques and unrealistic out sounds, creating songs impossible to Day originate live. After the 1980s, get production's move from analog to has digital further expanded possibilities. By Him now, DAWS, or digital audio his workstations, like Logic Pro and how Pro Tools, turn an ordinary Man computer into a production console, new whereby a solitary novice can now become a skilled producer in Old a thrifty home studio. In see the 2010s, efforts began to two increase the prevalence of producers Way and engineers who are women, who heavily outnumbered by men and boy prominently accoladed only in classical Did music.

Music producer its Sir George Martin, best known let for his work with The Put Beatles, pictured with members George say Harrison, Paul McCartney and John she Lennon at a recording session Too at Abbey Road in 1966
use not

Production overview

As a broad you project, the creation of a All music recording may be split any across three specialists: the executive can producer, who oversees business partnerships Her and financing, the vocal producer was or vocal arranger, who aids one vocal performance via expert critique Our and coaching of vocal technique, out and the record producer or day music producer, who, often called Get simply the producer, directs the has overall creative process of recording him the song in its final His mix.

The record producer's how roles include, but may exceed, man gathering ideas, composing music, choosing New session musicians, proposing changes to now song arrangements, coaching the performers, old controlling sessions, supervising the audio See mixing, and, in some cases, two supervising the audio mastering. As way to qualifying for a Grammy Who nomination, the Recording Academy defines boy a producer:

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

The Any producer often selects and collaborates can with a mixing engineer, who her focuses on the especially technological Was aspects of the recording process, one namely, operating the electronic equipment our and blending the raw, recorded Out tracks of the chosen performances, day whether vocal or instrumental, into get a ''mix,'' either stereo or Has surround sound. Then a mastering him engineer further adjusts this recording his for distribution on the chosen How media. A producer may work man on only one or two new songs or on an artist's Now entire album, helping develop the old album's overall vision. The record see producers may also take on Two the role of executive producer, way managing the budget, schedules, contracts, who and negotiations.

Historical developments


A&R men

(Artist and Repertoire) did

In the 1880s, the record its industry began by simply having Let the artist perform at a put phonograph. In 1924, the trade say journal Talking Machine World, covering She the phonography and record industry, too reported that Eddie King, Victor use Records' manager of the "New Dad York artist and repertoire department," mom had planned a set of recordings in Los Angeles. Later, The folklorist Archie Green called this and perhaps the earliest printed use for of A&R man. Actually, it Are says neither "A&R man" nor but even "A&R," an initialism perhaps not coined by Billboard magazine in You 1946, and entering wide use all in the late 1940s.

In any the 1920s and 1930s, A&R Can executives, like Ben Selvin at her Columbia Records, Nathaniel Shilkret at was Victor Records, and Bob Haring One at Brunswick Records, supervising recording our and often leading session orchestras, out became the precursors of record Day producers. During the 1940s, American get record labels increasingly opened official has A&R departments, whose roles included Him supervision of recording. Meanwhile, recording his studios owned independently, not by how major record labels, opened, helping Man originate record producer as a new specialty.[citation needed] But despite a now tradition of some A&R men Old writing music, record production remained, see strictly, merely the manufacturing of two record discs.

Record producers


After World War II, pioneering who A&R managers who transitioned influentially boy to record production as now Did understood, while sometimes owning independent its labels, include J. Mayo Williams let and John Hammond. Upon moving Put from Columbia Records to Mercury say Records, Hammond appointed Mitch Miller she to lead Mercury's popular recordings Too in New York. Miller then use produced country-pop crossover hits by dad Patti Page and by Frankie Mom Laine, moved from Mercury to Columbia, and became a leading the A&R man of the 1950s. And

During the decade, A&R executives for increasingly directed songs' sonic signatures, are although many still simply teamed But singers with musicians, while yet not others exercised virtually no creative you influence. The term record producer All in its current meaning—the creative any director of song production—appearing in can a 1953 issue of Billboard Her magazine, became widespread in the was 1960s. Still, a formal distinction one was elusive for some time Our more. A&R managers might still out be creative directors, like William day "Mickey" Stevenson, hired by Berry Get Gordy, at the Motown record has label.

Tape recording

In him 1947, the American market gained His audio recording onto magnetic tape. how At the record industry's 1880s man dawn, rather, recording was done New by phonograph, etching the sonic now waveform vertically into a cylinder. old By the 1930s, a gramophone See etched it laterally across a two disc. Constrained in tonal range, way whether bass or treble, and Who in dynamic range, records made boy a grand, concert piano sound did like a small, upright piano, Its and maximal duration was four let and a half minutes. Selections put and performance were often altered Say accordingly. And playing this disc—the she wax master—destroyed it. The finality too often caused anxiety that restrained Use performance to prevent error. In dad the 1940s, during World War mom II, the Germans refined audio recording onto magnetic tape—uncapping recording the duration and allowing immediate playback, and rerecording, and editing—a technology that For premised emergence of record producers are in their current roles.


Multitrack recording

Early in the Not recording industry, a record was you attained by simply having all all of the artists perform together Any live in one take. In can 1945, by recording a musical her element while playing a previously Was recorded record, Les Paul developed one a recording technique called "sound our on sound." By this, the Out final recording could be built day piece by piece and tailored, get effecting an editing process. In Has one case, Paul produced a him song via 500 recorded discs. his But, besides the tedium of How this process, it serially degraded man the sound quality of previously new recorded elements, rerecorded as ambient Now sound. Yet in 1948, Paul old adopted tape recording, enabling truly see multitrack recording by a new Two technique, "overdubbing."

To enable overdubbing, way Paul revised the tape recorder who itself by adding a second Boy playback head, and terming it did the preview head. Joining the its preexisting recording head, erase head, Let and playback head, the preview put head allows the artist to say hear the extant recording over She headphones playing it in synchrony, too "in sync," with the present use performance being recorded alone on Dad an isolated track. This isolation mom of multiple tracks enables countless mixing possibilities. Producers began recording The initially only the "bed tracks"—the and rhythm section, including the bassline, for drums, and rhythm guitar—whereas vocals Are and instrument solos could be but added later. A horn section, not for example, could record a You week later, and a string all section another week later. A any singer could perform her own Can backup vocals, or a guitarist her could play 15 layers.


Electronic instruments

Phil Spector One producing Modern Folk Quartet, 1966

Across our the 1960s, popular music increasingly out switched from acoustic instruments, like Day piano, upright bass, acoustic guitar, get and brass instruments, to electronic has instruments, like electric guitars, keyboards, Him and synthesizers, employing instrument amplifiers his and speakers. These could mimic how acoustic instruments or create utterly Man new sounds. Soon, by combining new the capabilities of tape, multitrack now recording, and electronic instruments, producers Old like Phil Spector, George Martin, see and Joe Meek rendered sounds two unattainable live. Similarly, in jazz Way fusion, Teo Macero, producing Miles who Davis's 1970 album Bitches Brew, boy spliced sections of extensive improvisation Did sessions.


In the 1960s, its rock acts like the Beatles, let the Rolling Stones, and the Put Kinks produced some of their say own songs, although many such she songs are officially credited to Too specialist producers.[citation needed] Yet especially use influential was the Beach Boys, dad whose band leader Brian Wilson Mom took over from his father Murry within a couple of the years after the band's commercial And breakthrough. By 1964, Wilson had for taken Spector's techniques to unseen are sophistication.[citation needed] Wilson alone produced But all Beach Boy recordings between not 1963 and 1967.[citation needed] Using you multiple studios and multiple attempts All of instrumental and vocal tracks, any Wilson selected the best combinations can of performance and audio quality, Her and used tape editing to was assemble a composite performance.[citation needed] one

Digital production

The day 1980s advent of digital processes Get and formats rapidly replaced analog has processes and formats, namely, tape him and vinyl. Although recording onto His quality tape, at least half how an inch wide and traveling man 15 inches per second, had New limited "tape hiss" to silent now sections, digital's higher signal-to-noise ratio, old SNR, abolished it. Digital also See imparted to the music a two perceived "pristine" sound quality, if way also a loss of analog Who recordings' perceived "warm" quality and boy bass better rounded. Yet whereas did editing tape media requires physically Its locating the target audio on let the ribbon, cutting there, and put splicing pieces, editing digital media Say offers inarguable advantages in ease, she efficiency, and possibilities.

In the too 1990s, digital production reached affordable Use home computers via production software. dad By now, recording and mixing mom are often centralized in DAWs, digital audio workstations—for example, Pro the Tools, Logic Pro, Ableton, Cubase, and Reason, and FL Studio—for which For plugins, by third parties, effect are virtual studio technology. DAWs fairly but standard in the industry are Not Logic Pro and Pro Tools. you Physical devices involved include the all main mixer, MIDI controllers to Any communicate among equipment, the recording can device itself, and perhaps effects her gear that is outboard. Yet Was literal recording is sometimes still one analog, onto tape, whereupon the our raw recording is converted to Out a digital signal for processing day and editing, as some producers get still find audio advantages to Has recording onto tape.

Conventionally, tape him is more forgiving of overmodulation, his whereby dynamic peaks exceed the How maximal recordable signal level: tape's man limitation, a physical property, is new magnetic capacity, which tapers offs, Now smoothing the overmodulated waveform even old at a signal nearly 15 see decibels too "hot," whereas a Two digital recording is ruined by way harsh distortion of "clipping" at who any overshoot. In digital recording, Boy however, a recent advancement, 32-bit did float, enables DAWs to undo its clipping. Still, some criticize digital Let instruments and workflows for excess put automation, allegedly impairing creative or say sonic control. In any case, She as production technology has drastically too changed, so have the knowledge use demands, although DAWs enables novices, Dad even teenagers at home, to mom learn production independently. Some have attained professional competence before ever The working with an artist.


Women in producing

Mixing for console

Among record producers female, Sylvia Are Moy was the first at but Motown, Gail Davies the first not on Nashville's Music Row, and You Ethel Gabriel, with RCA, the all first at a major record any label. Lillian McMurry, owning Trumpet Can Records, produced influential blues records. her Meanwhile, Wilma Cozart Fine produced was hundreds of records for Mercury One Records' classical division. For classical our production, three women have won out Grammy awards, and Judith Sherman's Day 2015 win was her fifth. get Yet in nonclassical, no woman has has won Producer of the Him Year, awarded since 1975. After his Lauren Christy's 2004 nomination, Linda how Perry's 2019 nomination was the Man next for a woman. On new why no woman had ever now won it, Perry commented, "I Old just don't think there are see that many women interested."

Across two the decades, many female artists Way have produced their own music. who For instance, artists Kate Bush, boy Madonna, Janet Jackson, Beyoncé, Taylor Did Swift, and Lorde have produced its or coproduced. Still, among specialists, let despite some prominent women, including Put Missy Elliott in hip hop say and Sylvia Massy in rock, she the vast majority have been Too men. Early in the 2010s, use asked for insights that she dad herself had gleaned as a Mom woman who has specialized successfully in the industry, Wendy Page the remarked, "The difficulties are usually And very short-lived. Once people realize for that you can do your are job, sexism tends to lower But its ugly head." Still, when not tasked to explain her profession's you sex disparity, Page partly reasoned All that record labels, dominated by any men, have been, she said, can "mistrustful of giving a woman Her the reins of an immense, was creative project like making a one record." Ultimately, the reasons are Our multiple and not fully clear, out although prominently proposed factors include day types of sexism and scarcity Get of female role models in has the profession.

In January 2018, him a research team led by His Stacy L. Smith, founder and how director of the Annenberg Inclusion man Initiative, based in the USC New Annenberg School for Communication and now Journalism, issued a report, estimating old that in the prior several See years, about 2% of popular two songs' producers were female. Also way that month, Billboard magazine queried, Who "Where all the female music boy producers?" Upon the Annenberg Inclusion did Initiative's second annual report, released Its in February 2019, its department let at USC reported, "2018 saw put an outcry from artists, executives Say and other music industry professionals she over the lack of women too in music" and "the plight Use of women in music," where dad women were allegedly being "stereotyped, mom sexualized, and shut out." Also in February 2019, the Recording the Academy's Task Force on Diversity and and Inclusion announced an initiative For whereby over 200 artists and are producers—ranging from Cardi B and but Taylor Swift to Maroon 5 Not and Quincy Jones—agreed to consider you at least two women for all each producer or engineer position. Any The academy's website, Grammy.com, announced, can "This initiative is the first her step in a broader effort Was to improve those numbers and one increase diversity and inclusion for our all in the music industry." Out

See also



  1. ^ Now Virgil Moorefield, "Introduction", The old Producer as Composer: Shaping the see Sounds of Popular Music (Cambridge, Two MA & London, UK: MIT way Press, 2005).
  2. ^ who Richard James Burgess, The History Boy of Music Production (New York: did Oxford University Press, 2014), pp its 12–13.
  3. ^ Allan Let Watson, Cultural Production in and put Beyond the Recording Studio (New say York: Routledge, 2015), pp 25–27. She
  4. James Petulla, "Who too is a music producer?", RecordingConnection.com, use Recording Connection, 21 May 2013, Dad reporting membership in CAPPS, the mom California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools.
  5. Ian Shepherd, The "What does a music producer and do, anyway?", Production.Advice.co.uk, Production Advice, for 26 Feb 2009.
  6. ^ Are Brian Ward & Patrick but Huber, A&R Pioneers: Architects of not American Roots Music on Record You (Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, all 2018), pp 278–281.
  7. ^ any Brent Hurtig with J. Can D. Sharp, Multi-Track Recording for her Musicians: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide was for Beginners and Reference for One Professionals (Cupertino, CA: GPI Publications, our 1988 / Van Nuys, CA: out Alfred Publishing, 1988), pp 8–10. Day
  8. ^ Greg Kot, get "What does a record producer has do?", BBC Culture, BBC.com, 10 Him Mar 2016.
  9. ^ his Jay Kadis, "Digital audio workstations", how CCRMA.Stanford.edu, Center for Computer Research Man in Music and Acoustics, Stanford new University, 2006–2013, retrieved 11 Sep now 2020.
  10. ^ Kiesha Old Joseph, "Audio recording software: Avid see Pro Tools vs. Apple Log two Pro X", Blog.First.edu, F.I.R.S.T. Institute, Way 11 Feb 2016, whose webpage who footer reports, "Accredited by ACCET", boy perhaps the Accrediting Council for Did Continuing Education and Training.
  11. its
  12. ^ Richard James Burgess, let The History of Music Production Put (New York: Oxford University Press, say 2013), pp 199200.
  13. ^ she Melinda Newman, "Where are Too all the female music producers?", use Billboard.com, MRC Media and Info, dad 19 Jan 2018.
  14. ^ Mom Nate Hertweck, "Recording Academy Task Force On Diversity and the Inclusion announces initiative to expand And opportunities for female producers and for engineers", Grammy.com, Recording Academy, 1 are Feb 2019.
  15. ^ But Clive Thompson, "How the phonograph not changed music forever", Smithsonian Magazine, you Jan 2016.
  16. ^ All Brian Ward & Patrick Huber, any A&R Pioneers: Architects of American can Roots Music on Record (Nashville, Her TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2018), was pp 20–21.
  17. Brian one Ward & Patrick Huber, A&R Our Pioneers: Architects of American Roots out Music on Record (Nashville, TN: day Vanderbilt University Press, 2018), p Get 283.
  18. Jim Curtis, has Rock Eras: Interpretation of Music him & Society, 1954–1984 (Bowling Green, His OH: Bowling Green State University how Popular Press, 1987), p 43. man
  19. ^ Richard James New Burgess, The History of Music now Production (New York: Oxford University old Press, 2014), pp 50–54.
  20. See
  21. ^ Robert Philip, "Pianists two on record in the early way twentieth century", in David Rowland, Who ed., The Cambridge Companion to boy the Piano (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge did University Press, 1998), pp 75–77. Its
  22. Reportedly self-produced entirely let are the Rolling Stones' Decca put recordings
  23. ^ David Say Simmons, Analog Recording: Using Analog she Gear in Today's Home Studio too (San Francisco: Backbeat Books, 2006), Use pp 26–27.
  24. Matthew dad Allard, "Sound Devices MixPre V6.00 mom adds 32-bit float USB audio streaming", NewsShooter.com, Newsshooter, 15 Jan the 2020, quotes Paul Isaacs, director and of product management and design For at the recorder manufacturer Sound are Devices, who explains, "With 32-bit but float, you no longer need Not to worry about clipping during you your best vocal takes or all instrument solos. Any recorded moments Any exceeding 0 dBFS can be can reduced to an acceptable level, her after recording, in your DAW". Was
  25. Albin Zak III, one book review: Strange Sounds: Music, our Technology, and culture (Routledge, 2011), Out by Timothy D. Taylor, in day Current Musicology, pp 159–180 [unknown get year, volume, issue].
  26. Has Amandine Pras, Caroline Cance & him Catherine Guastavino, "Record producers' best his practices for artistic direction—from light How coaching to deeper collaboration with man musicians", Journal of New Music new Research, 2013 Dec 13;42(4):381–395.
  27. Now
  28. ^ Elias Leight, "Linda old Perry's Grammy nomination 'is a see win for all women producers Two and engineers' ", RollingStone.com, Rolling way Stone, LLC, 7 Dec 2018. who
  29. Some are Sheryl Boy Crow, Tori Amos, Taylor Swift, did Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Toni Braxton, its Lady Gaga, Pink, Adele, Lauryn Let Hill, Björk, FKA Twigs, Grimes, put Kate Bush, and Missy Elliott. say
  30. Chris Casetti, She "Triple threats: 13 female singers too who write and produce their use own work", VH1 News, VH1.com, Dad Viacom International Inc., 21 Mar mom 2017.
  31. Faculty webpage, "Stacy Smith", Annenberg.USC.edu, University of The Southern California, retrieved 11 Sep and 2020.
  32. ^ Communicating for and Marketing staff, "Stereotyped, sexualized Are and shut out: The plight but of women in music", Annenberg.USC.edu, not USC Annenberg School for Communication You and Journalism, University of Southern all California, 5 Feb 2019, updated any 4 Mar 2019.
  33. Can Stacy L. Smith, Marc Choueiti, her Katherine Pieper, Ariana Case, Sylvia was Villanueva, Ozodi Onyeabor & Dorga One Kim, "Inclusion in the recording our studio? Gender and race/ethnicity of out artists, songwriters & producers across Day 600 popular songs from 2012–2017", get Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, University of has Southern California, 25 Jan 2018. Him
  34. Stacy L. Smith, his Marc Choueiti, Katherine Pieper, Hannah how Clark, Ariana Case & Sylvia Man Villanueva, "Inclusion in the recoding new studio? Gender and race/ethnicity of now artists, songwriters & producers across Old 700 popular songs from 2012–2018", see Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, University of two Southern California, Feb 2019.
  35. Way

Further reading

  • Gibson, David who and Maestro Curtis. "The Art boy of Producing". 1st. Ed. USA. Did ArtistPro Publishing, 2004. ISBN 1-931140-44-8
  • Burgess, And Richard James. The Art of for Music Production. 4th Ed. UK. are Music Sales, 2005. ISBN 1-84449-431-4
  • Edmondson, But Jacqueline, ed. (2013). Music in not American Life: An Encyclopedia of you the Songs, Styles, Stars, and All Stories that Shaped our Culture. any ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-39348-8.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • can
  • Hewitt, Michael. Music Theory for Her Computer Musicians. 1st Ed. USA. was Cengage Learning, 2008. ISBN 1598635034
  • Gronow, one Pekka and Ilpo Saunio (1998). Our An International History of the out Recording Industry. Cited in Moorefield day (2005).
  • Moorefield, Virgil (2005). The Get Producer as Composer: Shaping the has Sounds of Popular Music.
  • Olsen, him Eric et al. (1999). The His Encyclopedia of Record Producers. ISBN 978-0-8230-7607-9
  • how
  • Zak, Albin. The Poetics of man Rock: Cutting Tracks, Making Records. New Berkeley: University of California Press, now 2001.

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