How to Find a Music Producer (10 Tips)
Whether you are in a band, a solo artist, or like to do everything by yourself, sometimes it’s easy to lose perspective of your music. This is when a music producer can be your fairy godmother and elevate your music to the next level.
Also, as a musician, you have your strengths and your weaknesses. Having a producer on board can help you in areas that you aren’t very competent in. It can be a tweak to your mix or even help with arrangement and composition.
Here are some of the ways to find your ideal music producer:
- 1. Ask Experienced Musicians Around You
- 2. Look Online and on Social Media
- 3. At Recording Studios
- 4. Dig Deep On Soundcloud And Bandcamp
- 5. Delegate Certain Parts Of The Job
- 6. Learn Certain Aspects Of Production Yourself
- 7. Network Widely
- 8. Play Your Music Live
- 9. Do Extensive Research
- 10. Search For A Record Label
- What is A Music Producer?
- Do I Need A Music Producer?
1. Ask Experienced Musicians Around You
A seasoned musician can share their expertise with you and be your producer. If there is someone you know locally whose sound is similar to yours then you can always ask them to produce your music.
They will be able to mentor you and help make better compositional choices. Additionally, if needed, they can also play instruments on your music.
Working with someone who can join in on your rehearsals will save you a lot of time and money when you hit the studio. Your arrangements will be ready and you will have a clear vision. This will also ensure smoother post-production.
Musicians often work as producers for other people’s music because they have the ability to bring in a fresh perspective. Butch Vig from ‘Garbage’ was also the producer for The Smashing Pumpkins (Gish) and Nirvana (Nevermind).
2. Look Online and on Social Media
These days you can find pretty much anything and everything on the internet. If you are okay working with someone remotely, then you can always look for a producer on the internet.
To find someone ideal for you, you can ask around on your social media for recommendations and connect with someone you think would be a good fit. You can also search for producers on websites such as SoundBetter, Fiverr, Upwork, etc.
Collaborating with someone over the internet has become a widely used practice these days. A good way to ensure that both parties are on the same page is through regular and detailed virtual meetings.
3. At Recording Studios
A good place to find a producer is at a recording studio. Chances are they will be able to point you in the right direction. Many recording engineers also double as music producers.
Having a studio engineer as your producer certainly has its advantages. Not only will they be able to help shape your sound but they can also take on post-production duties.
4. Dig Deep On Soundcloud And Bandcamp
Soundcloud and Bandcamp are treasure mines of talent. As long as you have a clear vision of your own music, you will be able to find someone whose taste and genre fit yours. You can always ask them to produce your music.
Websites like these are ideal for solo artists, rappers, and vocalists who need help with all aspects of the music track. Additionally, if there is an instrumental track that you already like, you can always ask the artist if they would like to produce a version with your vocals/lyrics on it.
5. Delegate Certain Parts Of The Job
Since music producers are responsible for many different things, you can also divide the responsibilities among yourselves if you are in a band.
Make a list of all the things that need to be done and go over whose strength lies in which of those tasks. Dividing up tasks will not overwhelm anyone and still get the job done.
If you work alone, you can also take help from your music peers to help you out.
6. Learn Certain Aspects Of Production Yourself
Whether it is playing an instrument, knowing how to use a DAW or even the basics of mix and master is always a good thing. A good artist is never crippled by a lack of a producer. The more skills you have as an artist, the easier production will seem.
While it is not possible to do everything by yourself, understanding things like music theory and production will equip you with the tools to be able to communicate with other musicians.
A great example of this is David Bowie. Not only was he a brilliant musician and songwriter, but he also co-produced his records. The album ‘Let’s Dance’ was produced by him and Chic’s Nile Rodgers. When you listen to it, you can clearly hear the deep understanding Bowie had of his own music.
7. Network Widely
Being a musician is not an easy task. Apart from making music, you also need to network regularly. Getting to know people in the industry and having contacts is key to a successful career.
Networking can often work wonders. Even if you don’t know any producers, you can be pointed in the right direction by peers and other music professionals you know. The music business survives with people, so making friends in it will result in much-needed help in the future.
8. Play Your Music Live
Performing your music live is not only a good way to gauge whether it resonates with the listener, but also a great way to showcase your music to producers who might be in the audience.
If there’s one thing that music professionals like to do, it is to attend gigs, no matter how small or big the audience.
Ted Templeton, who produced music for the Doobie Brothers, Van Morrison, Van Halen, and others, described his meeting with the latter in 1977 when he went to their shows and was completely enamored by their sound.
So yes, although situations like this sound like fairy tales, they do happen in real life.
9. Do Extensive Research
Just because a music producer is great at what they do, does not necessarily mean they are the one for you.
Start doing a whole lot of homework on the genre of music you want to make. You can start by listing artists and albums that you are inspired by and then looking up who produced those records. The idea is to find someone in the same vein as them.
If and when you get some leads, try and contact them directly and send over demos if you have them.
10. Search For A Record Label
Record labels are in contact with multiple music producers and can help connect you with someone who would be a good fit for you.
While major record labels that employ celebrity producers are hard to get a hold of, artists have also complained about the lack of freedom they have experienced while being signed to them.
The best way is to find a more local record label that will not just connect you with a producer but also give you enough artistic freedom and attention. Some even offer to fund the record and producer fees, which they usually recuperate later from tours and live performances.
However, do be careful before you sign any contract with a record label. Have your lawyer or law student friends take a look at the documents before you agree to bring them on board for your career.
What is A Music Producer?
The main job of a music producer is to bring an artist’s vision come to life. They help shape the sound of an artist and often help with arranging and composing music. A producer may sometimes also step in to play instruments.
Additionally, a producer can also double as a mix engineer or a recording engineer for an artist.
To put it simply, music producers understand the story an artist is trying to tell and they have the necessary tools to bring them to fruition.
In electronic music, a music producer is someone who composes, arranges, and mixes their music. They are different from DJs, who play music made by other people.
Do I Need A Music Producer?
You want help with arrangement and composition, someone to ideate additional instruments if and when needed.
You want someone to understand your vibe when they mix your music. While there are many mixing and master engineers, not everyone will get what you are trying to say through your music. A producer has the necessary technical language to communicate with mixing engineers even if they are not the ones mixing your sound.
You are a solo artist who needs help bringing your vision to life.
While there are many music producers today, specializing in different things. It is important to find someone who can understand your creative vision and whose work ethos matches yours.
A good music producer can make or break your career. Artists have often compared producers to finding their musical soulmate.
When looking for a producer, the most important thing to remember is that you must have a good time with them. Don’t chase big names just because they have many hit albums in their discography. Find someone who understands who you are as an artist and has the ability to turn your music dreams into reality.
Finding a great producer who checks all the boxes can be hard. But don’t give up hope. Keep looking and you will surely find the perfect match!