The details of recording can be overwhelming and scare off many musicians who have a dream to be a recording artist. The role of a producer is to handle all of the details of recording so that you can just focus on music.
Here are some producer responsibilities:
1) Booking/negotiating with the studio
2) Hiring musicians, engineers, mixing/mastering services, and graphic design services
3) Handling licensing issues
4) Working with the musician on song and style selection
5) Coaching in the studio
6) Managing all people working on the project
7) Listening though mix/mastering process
8) Getting a project to production/duplication
I have extensive experience in the studio as an artist and producer on projects ranging from $5,000 to $120,000. I have personally produced and recorded 7 CDs and two live concert DVDs that have received extensive play around the world. I have worked as a guest artist and producer on many other projects as well.
Recently, I decided to start spend more time working with other musicians on projects as producer. If you need a producer, please contact me. I will ask you to send an audition of what you want to record and I want you to know up front that I will not take all projects. I am specifically looking for opportunities that meet this criteria:
1) The artist demonstrates significant talent.
2) The artist is willing to put in the necessary time up front before getting to the studio. All songs must be picked, planned and practiced ahead of time.
3) I like and am comfortable with the music itself (style and content).
4) The project is marketable and there is a legitimate chance for financial success (the artist should be able to recoup investment cost at a minimum).
Here are some questions you might want to ask…
Why are you doing this?
I simply enjoy working with great musicians. If it were about money, I would take on any project (there are plenty of producers that do). I am selective because I only want to work on projects that I will enjoy and that will be successful for the artist.
You are a pianist. Is this only for piano projects? How about videos?
No. I will produce solo instrumental projects, group ensemble projects, full orchestra projects, band projects, vocal projects, and anything else or in between. I will also produce your videos or live concerts.
You are a Christian musician. Is this only for Christian music?
No. However, I will only work on music that aligns with my beliefs and comfort level.
Is after the project support included? How about marketing?
Yes, I will help you with marketing every step of the way including creating buzz from the studio itself in social media. I am an expert at marketing music online and will do everything I can to make you successful. My goal is that the marketing advice I give you will by itself more than cover my producer fee.
What will it cost for you to produce my project?
My fee starts at $2500 for simpler projects. That includes pre-studio planning, two days in the studio, post-studio work (mix/master/design), and marketing. Larger projects with multiple musicians and other complexities will cost more.
If you record outside the Atlanta area, I will also charge travel expenses.
What kind of studios and equipment will be used? How about engineers and professional musicians?
You will have access to the same resources I use including the best recording musicians in the world (if you need them and are willing to go to Nashville) and Jason Prisk as engineer. I have used Jason Prisk as engineer on every project I have worked on and you will find his ear and expertise invaluable.
What does a sample budget for a project look like?
Very good question. Using 2013 rates, here is a worksheet that will give you rough prices for a variety of projects.
Can I do a project without a producer?
If I can do a project without a producer, why hire you?
Because I will make the process enjoyable and stress-free, allowing you to focus on your music. Because I will possibly save you enough money during the process to cover my fee. Because I will make your final product better. And because I will help you sell more CDs in the end by increased quality and my marketing systems.
Will you try to micromanage me in the studio or try to get me to change my music on the spot?
No. I know better than anyone that the work needs to be done before you get to the studio. I am not going to ask for new composition on the spot. However, I will encourage you to do things better or suggest small changes that are within your capability. That is part of my job and part of the value I bring to the table.
Will you waive part/all of your fee in exchange for ownership in the project?
That is a possibility but will be handled on a case-by-case basis. However, if you really believe in your music, it is not in your best interest to do that kind of deal.
Will you finance part or all of my project for me?
Not likely unless you win one of my studio contests. It is always best for the artist to have “skin in the game.” However, it is not out of the question.