Audio producers are degenerates and psychic vampires by nature.
I decided to start writing a blog which is fundamentally against a lot of things I believe in. First and foremost, I hate the damn word. "Blog". Awful. It has joined the same spot in my vocabulary as words such as "selfie" or "bae" or "Youtube channel". However, as a constantly aspiring artist and producer in my own right, my constant encounters with multi-media artists on all platforms have forced me to use these words and even utilize their meanings to further my own missions. I digress.
I love being a producer. I have the God complex the size of J.J. Abrams' with about a trace fraction of the resources. The life of an audio producer as I see it is full of more heartbreak than anything. This heartbreak comes in all forms. From hours spent on projects that never see the light of day to the constant encountering of artists that don't really understand what a producer does.
This is probably a great time to point out that I have no formal training and kind of fell into audio production accidentally. About 10 years ago, I downloaded ProTools LE (music production software) for the first time because as a multi-instrumentalist, I wanted to create my own music. I thought it would get me chicks. For the first 4 years, I didn't share my music with anyone for fear it just wasn't good enough even though I produced constantly. I wanted it to sound like something you'd hear on the radio and any artist can relate. Over time, trial and error, furious notes, independent study, and putting songs out for people to hear, I carefully crafted a style that most agree is a professional sound. I at one time thought about going to Capital University in Ohio to major in music technology, but pivoted away from this idea after learning the cost of the education and seeing what other non-educated producers were doing in the industry.
So what is a producer anyway? Speaking in terms of audio and how I look at it, it's someone who takes an audio snap-shot of the moment and does everything in their power to make sure that it reaches an identified audience through the sonic medium of a recording (easy, right?). This statement can mean a lot of things and changes based on the project, but it's important to also point out here that a producer is only as good as the artists he/she is surrounded by.
I compare myself to artists I'm working with as an audio photographer, putting the artist in the mindset as an audio fashion model. My job is to "take the photo" and sharpen it. Make it clear. Put emphasis on the right parts to make a great picture that represents you ... and also to tell you to arch your back when I feel you're faking it. Or take off your clothes. C'mon, Coco. You want to be a star, don't you?
I get paid to produce, but with that being said, I don't take on all projects. The artist has to have their shit together before I even bother. Money doesn't make a great album, it helps, but talent is really at the focus of making a good audio product. As a producer, nothing makes me happier than when I'm recording a talented saxophonist or violinist or rapper or impressionist.
So why are producers sluts, prostitutes, vampires, etc.? The short answer is this ... artists feed us.
Why do most artists have horror stories about dealing with producers? Because most of us, once we get what we want from you, we move on. So make sure you have a good producer! And that isn't always the product they put out. Sometimes it's about project management and being completely honest about what you want in the long run. Have a vision and stick by it. Set deadlines and adhere to them. And just like any good fashion model, know when you're getting fucked.