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What does a Music Producer do?

Jessica Ellis
Updated: Mar 02, 2024

A music producer is a jack-of-all trades, often with combining great personal skills with technical production knowledge. Depending on the type of project, a producer can find himself interacting with artists and musicians, editing music, or overseeing marketing strategies for a finished product. Many producers have backgrounds as musicians or recording artists, though this is not requisite for the job.

The paths to becoming a music producer are varied, but some experts say the most basic requirement is a love and understanding of music. Some producers may have college or graduate degrees in audio engineering, composition, or performance, but many also come from practical backgrounds with no formal training. Since producers will typically work on a wide range of projects, more experience can lead to greater opportunity and a wider range of work possibilities.

Music producing skills can open the door to a wide variety of jobs in the production field. Some producers work directly for a recording studio, managing the day-to-day operations of the studio and interacting with both artists and technicians. Others form relationships with specific bands or artists, and work to produce albums and live events for their clients. Producers who are excited about finding new talent may work as freelance scouts or for recording labels, identifying new artists and helping them develop their work into an album.

Producers must possess excellent communication skills, as they often serve as the go-between for recording artists, technicians, and studio or label executives. Since money is often at stake in music production, tempers can run high between different branches involved in the process. A good music producer can serve as a mediator and voice of moderation, working equally to protect the interests of all involved. Excellent people skills can be greatly beneficial to a producer, as they will help ensure continued healthy relationships with both artists and studios.

Although a passion for music is greatly helpful to a music producer, it is important to remember that a financially successful career usually involves excellent sales skills as well. While there is a wide variety of wonderful music, not all of it will return a profit. To survive financially, a music producer must be able not only to identify great music, but work with the potential to become profitable. Many successful producers study the industry market carefully, in order to help select artists that will be likely to create the greatest profits.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for Practical Adult Insights. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.
Discussion Comments
By Alchemy — On Dec 18, 2010

@ GenevaMech- What about the Juilliard school of Music? Does the school offer programs in music production, or does the school only focus on performing arts?

By GenevaMech — On Dec 17, 2010

@ Highlighter- In my opinion, Berklee College of music is hands down one of the best there is. The school has graduated talents like Dianna Krall, John Mayer, and one of the greatest producers ever, Quincy Jones (Michael Jackson). The school perennially graduates Grammy and Oscar winners; the top honors in music and film. The school has a very rich history that dates back decades, and you would be sure to learn volumes about the music business. Some of the graduates from this school have gone on to open music recording schools of their own.

If you want music producer information, I would suggest looking up their website and requesting information. Other schools that have good programs are USC, University of Georgia, and NYU. All of these schools are quality, but you will probably find that Berklee is cream of the crop.

By highlighter — On Dec 15, 2010

How do I begin a music producer career? I would like to get into the music business and I am looking at schools now, but I don't know what type of program to look for or what type of degree to pursue. Can anyone help me out?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
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