In today’s world a music producer can be a lot of things. The producer today can make beats, do the recording and even do the mastering for the song. Basically these days an individual can do something that took a team of musicians, an executive producer, engineers and artist in a bedroom studio.
Back in the days all a music producer would do was to find an artist they think has potential and talent. Then find session musicians who will play instruments. At that time producers used to keep database of session musicians, the producer didn’t make the music. All they did was foresee the progress of the album.
They didn’t only do the recording, they also managed the budget of the entire project, mentor the artist and supervise the mixing and mastering process.
That’s exactly what a music producer would do back in the days but things have changed now. Everything is done digital.
Back then, major record labels used to spend millions building proper recording studios and hire professional musicians. It was really hard to get into the music industry.
Equipment and music instruments were also expensive so being independent was never an option. You had to really work hard and have great connections.
Things changed when people could have personal computers at home. Big companies like Steinberg saw an opportunity and grabbed it with both hands. They released a music making software called Pro-16 in 1984 and they started releasing cubase in 1990.
Even Pro-16 was a Multitrack Sequencer with MIDI functionality. Cubase was the 1st DAW to introduce VST (Virtual Studio Technology), effects, EQ and automation in 1996.
This was a game changer, but the real revolution happened in 2002 when Cubase could do everything without the need for outboard gear. That’s when the role of a music producer changed completely.
Music making equipment was becoming cheaper and hardware companies started making software to emulate their hardware.
These days a music producer can do everything from coming up with ideas for the album, doing the engineering and even do the promotion themselves.
The digital era has changed everything. A producer is free to express himself to the fullest without a lot of boundaries and rules. So these days a music producers role can be anything really.
But in a traditional world, a music producer is someone who makes sure the workflow of the project is as smooth and fun as possible. A music producer can be the DJ or a music band member, it’s totally up to you.
Only your imagination can limit you!