Music producers oversee the development of songs. They ensure that musicians' and investors' visions for a song are fulfilled in terms of vocals, sound effects and instrumental arrangements. Technical skills are necessary to operate soundboards, playback tracks and utilize requisite computer software to edit sound. Management duties involve booking compatible background vocalists and/or session musicians, coordinating studio time and hiring sound engineers to mix and master final recordings.
A music producer also must interact well with others to ensure that everyone involved with a track or album shares a vision for success. They should also have the ability to articulate complex musical concepts in simple terms and tactfully resolve creative differences.
Music producers use their extensive musical and technical studio experience to oversee all aspects of a recording session, including assisting with mixing, mastering and recording. This occupation is ideal for those with a keen ear who love keeping up with the latest songs and recording artists. Although educational requirements vary, a bachelor's degree in music production is the most common credential for aspiring music producers. These programs sometimes include an internship that provides experience overseeing the entire production process. Music producers should be able to bring out the best in recording artists through their knowledge of vocal and instrumental arrangements. Some producers hire musicians and singers to perform selected songs; other producers are hired by bands or solo artists to oversee recording sessions. Music producers may also confer with directors of movies or television programs in order to determine the placement of a song.
Many producers are experienced recording engineers, which allows them to bring additional technical capabilities to a project. They can assist audio engineers in the mixing, mastering and recording process. Some producers may have expertise in a particular style of music, such as rock or classical; others may work for a recording studio producing the music of artists that are under contract.
Music producers oversee all aspects of a recording session, from planning the sessions to the finished product. As a music producer, you'll be responsible for providing instruments, scheduling studio time and handling funding, costs and negotiations. You'll also work with and coach musicians. The end result of this process is the creation and publication of a quality musical work. A major aspect of your job as a music producer is creating quality sounds that match both the musicians' and producers' plans.
Additionally, as part of your daily routine, you'll assist audio engineers with the mixing and recording process. Engineers primarily deal with the technical aspects of the recording, such as broadcasting and converting sounds. If you're working with a smaller record label, you may perform the music producer's and audio engineer's tasks. Finally, music producers also have an entrepreneurship role, in making sure business is successful and within the budget.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that employment of music directors and composers, a group that includes music producers, was expected to grow five percent during the 2012-2022 period (www.bls.gov). The BLS further noted that competition for full-time jobs in this field will be strong. Cities that feature a large concentration of recording studios, such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Nashville, offer better job prospects for all musicians
Although there's no standard level of education needed to become a music producer, many colleges offer music production programs - traditionally at the bachelor's degree level. These 4-year programs cover a broad range of courses to expose students to recording arts technology and the music business as a whole. Sample course topics include recording industry law and ethics, sound editing techniques, digital audio software and electronic music. Students may need to either produce a full-length recording or participate in an internship in order to graduate. Baccalaureate programs may result in a Bachelor of Science in Music Production or a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in production. Bachelor's programs in fine arts, music production and sound engineering are beneficial to aspiring music producers. These programs typically offer courses in musical history, business, ear training, copyright law, marketing and songwriting.
Your annual income would vary according to how successful you were and how much work you do.