Wind Beneath Their Wing: The Role of a Record Producer

wind beneath

Record producers are underappreciated in my estimation.  There’s just not a lot of glory being in the wings.  Being a producer requires as much or more hard work and dedication as the band members put in, but there are no fan clubs, no audience dancing before you and no lighters lit begging for your encore.

The life of a record producer is spent in the shadows.  It’s like being the woman behind the man.  It’s like the soccer player who gives the assist that ultimately wins the game.  Being a producer requires being a team player with little or no recognition.  But that is what I find so appealing about them.

Can you name five record producers?  Most people can’t even name one, much less five.  Can you name five bands?  Of course you can.

Who was the Beatles’ producer?  George Martin was the one behind the band who originally discovered and unleashed the talented group although initially, he was not greatly impressed by them.  He did see potential and liked them as people so he gave them a go.  While Martin did receive more credit than most producers, he still remained in the background, never to be the household name that the Beatles became.

Record producers wear many hats.  There are many jobs that go along with being a producer.  A producer is the visionary, so to speak, of the end result.  He is the one who makes it happen from point A to point Z.  He is responsible for putting together the talent, promoting the talent and delivering it as well.  He is a master of recording, mixing, reverbing and bringing the sound to perfection.  He motivates the musician or musicians and helps them to attain and keep their exalted position. Some producers are even musicians themselves and some musicians produce their own labels.  Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys not only was in the band, he was the co-founder of the group and a famous producer as well.

Some producers excel in one or more areas and are not as strong in other areas.  They may be really strong in the field of public relations but depend upon help when it comes to the actual production of the music in the sound area.  Or, they may be excellent in the technical areas but not so much in the social setting.  Some are like Midas, everything they touch turns to gold.   As long as they have their bases covered, the area of expertise is not an issue, as long as they have one and can ultimately make their product (the musician or group of musicians) shine, that is the only thing that really matters.

A record producer can be compared to the coach of a pro sports team.  Lots of work and little to no glory.  They recruit, enhance performance, promote the team and ultimately are in charge of making sure the game is won.  A record producer is the master behind the masterpiece and the method to the madness.  To sum up the individual job details of a record producer is difficult but it is easy to sum up his ultimate responsibility…he must make greatness happen, period…the end.