Why do I need one?
Producers are like the rap artist’s secret sauce, if you have a great producer who increases the quality of your song, you will be far better off than trying to produce a track by yourself.
Not only do producers help increase the quality of your track, but on top of that they also provide a crucial second set of ears. Having a second person to help you create your instrumental masterpiece can take your project to the next level.
If you have a second person in the room while composing, you have a greater chance of catching mistakes or getting constructive feedback on the composition.
Usually, if you’re the lyricist on a music project, you are not in charge of creating the actual beat. Your job is to create the lyrics while someone else worries about making the instrumental. These people are your producers.
Different from a mixing engineer, the producer composes the song by coming up with the actual music notes, vibe, and tempo of your track. If you have a producer that can produce, mix, plus master your song… That’s about as good as it gets!
What Makes A Producer Good Or Bad?
The difference between good producers vs bad producers will vary from artist to artist. Some rappers only want a composer, some need a potential business partner who will work on all of of the lyricist’s tracks and others still might just need a single song tweaked.
There are an infinite amount of needs out there so for today’s article we will be looking through the lens of somebody who needs a partner to work with consistently who can handle everything from pre-production to mastering. With that being said, let’s take a look at some defining qualities that you should consider when “shopping” for a new producer.
Once you select a producer to collaborate with, chances are you will be spending a lot of time with this person. There are certain things you can look for that will give you a glimpse of how both of you will interact.
Do you get along well?
One thing to consider is “Social Synergy”, how well do you get along with this person? Do you vibe? Is there any conflict of personality or humor? Do you like them? All of these questions are very basic but very important to consider when establishing a business relationship. Nobody wants to work with somebody they don’t like.
What is their work ethic like?
Another thing to look for is if they are taking you or this job seriously. Overtime you will find producers that work out of studios and some that prefer to stay in the bedroom closet.
Instead of judging them on WHERE they work, pay attention to HOW they work and what their attitude is when it comes to their craft. Do they take you seriously? Do they respect your time and abilities as an artist? When working on a project, are they they type of person to give and ask for feedback or do they just do it all on their own?
Find the right person
Observe their process, see what their work ethic is like. All of these will determine what kind of producer they are. If you are looking for a long term, go-to, signature beat producer, you will want to find somebody who positively interacts with you, respects you, your time, and also is very good at what they do.
If they aren’t serious, if they don’t vibe well, or if they seem like a garbage human being… Don’t work with them! These are some of the basic questions you can use to determine if you are talking to the right person.
What to look for in a quality producer
What Equipment Do They Have?
Along with the social side of your potential business partner, there are some other factors that determine how much quality they can bring to the table.
Make sure to check what production equipment they have available before you pay them. If they have cheap sounding instruments and low-end equipment, you have essentially wasted your money.
Will it cost more to find a producer with higher end gear than somebody who is just starting out? Of course, but keep in mind that what you pay for is what you get. Make sure to find somebody who matches your quality level.
Don’t go and pay someone who doesn’t know what they are doing, find someone who is serious.
Do they put effort into YOUR music?
Another key to look for is if the producer puts extra time and effort into YOUR projects. If you find that this person has multiple clients and wants to work on your stuff more than their other projects, that is a very good sign!
This shows they believe in you and your future. If you are able to find someone who really wants to work with you, keep that person or at least stay in contact with them.
Does their content match your style?
Style and Tone are extremely important to consider when hiring a beat musician! If you are a trap artist, you will want to find someone who makes killer trap beats. Make sure to evaluate the producers style before you decide to work with them.
If your music has a R&B type vibe to it, you won’t want to hop on an old school or gangsta type sound. If you have a more aggressive rapping style, find a producer who makes intense beats. Bottom line, make sure your Quality and Style matches with the beat artist you collaborate with.
Do they know what they are doing?
One small detail that may not matter to some is the education level of the producer. This doesn’t refer to highschool or college diplomas but rather industry certifications.
If they are “Certified” in their digital audio workstation program then it provides more confidence to you as their client.
Another good tip is to talk to the producers past clients. Listen to outside sources to find out if this person is who you think they are. It’s similar to reading product reviews on a website.
Not everybody will need a producer. There are definitely some artists out there who can do it all. For those who need to find somebody that can produce, this article was meant to help you figure out what to look for.
There is no ultimate way to find the right producer, it may take some trial and error but with this new information we at Smart Rapper hope to make your search much shorter.