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An Ode to the DIY Producer – By Brandon Bee

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An Ode to the DIY Producer – My Thoughts on Producing Yourself & Home Recording Gear

Ok. I believe that good bands/artists, and good songs develop more every recording. For some people it is good to record themselves to listen back to their voice or listen for what to change on the song. It’s even helpful for the producer to hear the songs in a semi polished state, “the way they hear it in their ears.” Although, most people do not possess the right gear or the ear to produce themselves to a serious level (sell, label shop, and/or book themselves). I’d hate to see a home recording reflect poorly on the band/artist.

There are two mentalities on your first demo:

1. “Recording a demo at your house will save money and help you get to know yourself, or each other and each other’s talents.” A good thought, and if that’s your only agenda it’s a great Idea. For solo artists, it is a great way to perfect your songs.

2. “If you record on your own, and it turns out bad, people will hear it (myspace, facebook, etc..), and first impressions are important.” So, make sure you’re being careful of what your releasing publicly.

Now, lets say you have done some demos and you’re thinking of recording an EP or full length record and releasing it on your own. Here are a few reasons why you should hire a producer:

1. Denying help and “wise council,” (lack of better words) is a big weakness. A fresh ear is key to a fresh sound. We (producers) are not dictators or know-it-alls. We are the ones who not only hear the song in our head done, but know how to achieve the end product.

2. A producer acts as another band mate in decisions that take the more democratic approach.

3. The experience and knowledge of music, the art of making a great record, and the music business is a big part of what we do, so it is a good idea to use that to your advantage.

4. Things will come together tighter, quicker, and better.

A producer is responsible to find the right musicians, drum techs, engineers, mix engineers, mastering engineers, and choose the fitting studio that will custom fit your project. A producer is dedicated to the arrangements, the emotion of the music, the heart of the songs, style and feel of the project as a whole. If you record it at home, you are an inexperienced engineer and might not possess the ear of a professional engineer. If you were to go to a studio with just an engineer, you will have a guy that can get the right sounds and possibly mix it well, but your missing the biggest key… …improvement (Besides, most producers are willing to work with your engineer of choice if your budget is conducive). What producers want to do is partner with you to create your ideal record. If your successful, we are too. I feel like every band/artist should leave there weaknesses alone and focus on their strengths. Basically, stick to being a GREAT BAND/ARTIST that writes GREAT SONGS. Leave the PRODUCING to the PRODUCER!

Thanks for reading, hopefully this info helps people make good decisions. There are a bunch of great producers out there. Make sure you find the right one for you. The next blog I will touch on, “Choosing the Right Producer!”

Brandon Bee
aka Producerbee