When you're looking for an audio producer to record and mix your next album, the choices can be overwhelming if you haven't worked with the same producer for years on end. But if you're in the market for a producer, there are a few traits that you should be looking for. Here are five things to look for in an audio producer.
No matter what their studio setup looks like, professionalism is a key quality in a good audio producer. They should make you feel welcome in their studio, ask you lots of questions about what you're producing, and work carefully with you to choose appropriate equipment and recording techniques to best capture your vision. Overall, the producer should work with you to create a positive and communicative rapport.
Time is money, and that is especially true of the music industry. You should expect your audio producer to be on time for each and every session you have scheduled with them, barring emergencies or other unexpected circumstances. If your audio producer is consistently late – or simply doesn't turn up to a session – it's time to look for someone else.
Even if an audio producer has a particular specialty when it comes to genre or style, a good audio producer should be able to adapt to any style, equipment set, or number of instruments in an act or band. The producer should work with you to ensure the best in-studio setup for your particular musical style, whether you're a solo act or a ten-piece band. They should also be able to adjust on the fly during recording sessions, especially if something goes wrong.
Before definitively choosing to work with a particular audio producer, ask around or look online for positive reviews from other musicians who have worked with them. If there are more positive reviews than negative ones, you've almost certainly landed on a keeper – but if most of what you hear is mediocre or is even downright awful, keep looking.
Creativity is a vital quality in an audio producer, particularly when it comes to problem-solving. Audio producers are part of the creative process of creating an album, and should be adept at coming up with creative ways to bring out your best sound in each and every session. Whether it's suggesting alternative instrument techniques or the use of a different piece of equipment, creativity – thinking outside the box – is a must.
Looking for each of these five qualities in your audio producer will help you decide on a professional that will work well with you and the rest of your act – and can help you build a years-long professional.