The role of a music producer is a bit of a mystery to most. Although it is a term thrown around a lot, the role of the producer can vary quite a bit. If you are a musician or artist in Melbourne and you have a song ready to take into your local recording studio to make it sound amazing, a producer is something you will definitely want to have. I guess the best way to explain this is to show the difference between a music producer and an audio engineer - both of which you might come across when making your recording studio booking in Melbourne.
An audio engineer is a technician that knows how to use all the gear in the recording studio. He will set up the mics, plug stuff in and mix your song for you at the end of the day. The main thing to remember with an engineer is that will not give you any advice on the direction or sound of the song, they leave that up to you. Their only job is to capture the recording well and mix it for you at the end.
A record / music producer is someone who takes a much more hands on approach to the development and writing process of the song. They will sometimes help with the writing of a new part the song needs, suggest and play new parts that improve the song and maybe suggest a different tempo or feel to send the song in a new direction. How much of this advice that you actually use is still up to you but they are there to throw new ideas around and end up with a better product.
They may also work on artist development. This is where the producer will work with the artist on developing a 'sound' and direction for their music and their careers. This can be very helpful if you are new to the game and unsure of where your music will fit in the music industry.
So do I want a producer or an engineer on my new recording session?
Well in the case of Beat Tank, Ben Hense the owner is an audio engineer and a music producer and is happy for you to decide how much of the engineers role he plays and how much of the producer. It's completely up to you to decide when planning the project. What some people do is ask him to throw some producer ideas into the mix where he thinks there is room, but you have the control in saying which ones you do or don't want. A good producer will never get precious or hurt feelings when you don't agree with one of their ideas. If you run into a producer that has a tissy-fit every time you don't use one of their ideas, run the other way!
Well I hope that helps you work out what you want when booking your next recording studio in Melbourne or anywhere in Australia. If you have any questions about this topic, I would love to give you some help with it anytime. You can email Ben from Beat Tank recording studios in Melbourne's Eastern suburbs any time at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are some other useful articles on the role of the producer in the recording studio.