The Agile Music Producer
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- Recording Connection graduate Andrew Marshala Overcomes Addiction & Gets Hired at Mentor Studio - October 8, 2020
Stockbrokers, money managers, professional athletes of all sizes, their success hinges on their ability to react on-the-fly. Not being able to read the market can cost a broker millions. In baseball, having a keen eye can make the difference between being a benchwarmer and an All-Star.
It’s no different for music producers. With the ability to read the room, feel the vibe, and make the right decisions at the right time, the best producers take control of the studio to get the most out of their clients. Without the cache of Dr. Dre, Rick Rubin, or Quincy Jones, they need to be quick on their feet.
The Agile Producer Personality
The music industry is jam-packed with creative, energetic, and larger-than-life characters: seasoned pros, jittery newcomers, and those who may be just a little too confident. Then there are those who go about their creative work in a near zen-like manner.
The agile producer knows how to handle all of these dispositions, knowing when to push, when to sit back, and when to rein an artist in. Acts come to an agile producer because they trust in their ability to be quick on their feet and deal with whatever comes their way.
Their ability to take in information and filter it through their knowledge of the current format and sonic possibilities can greatly improve the production value of a song or album. Be an agile producer who enables every band and artist they work with to achieve that sound and feel they’re after and the word can get around fast.
Unique individuals run with unique individuals. The same is true for those behind the glass. Depending on the studio space, friends, business associates, and hangers-on may want to congregate in the studio. The agile producer handles such situations expertly and wrangles people into shape so that they don’t disrupt the process of making a great sounding recording i.e. an aural work of art.
The Agile Producer’s Recording Studio
When new technology or software development is introduced to the music business, the agile producer doesn’t view it as one more piece of drudgery to learn. They see it as one more tool to help the singer, band, or other act sound that much better.
They say a rolling stone gathers no moss. Recording studios that don’t roll with the times gather no (or far fewer) clients. Does this mean every new app or digital audio workstation or microphone will be used for every session? Of course not.
It allows the agile producer to be prepared for what’s next and to stay on top of what’s hot in the industry. That being said, sometimes that 25-year-old mic that’s got zero hype is the way to get the sound quality you need. Sometimes recording to tape is just the right way to go.
The Agile Booker
Surprise, surprise, musicians work funky hours. Between traveling and performing, late-night hours may be the only free time artists have to get that next album going. The agile producer makes themselves available to meet the needs of the client. Today’s sizzling hot artists often need to lay down tracks when they’re touring and are known to book sessions for the wee hours of the morning. Recording Connection grad Scott Johnson recently recorded Charli XCX over two weekend nights when she was in the U.S. to show her support for the Me Too Movement.
Who would turn down Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, or Lady Gaga away from doing a session at any hour? Definitely not the pro who knows longevity in the business is all about building trust, good reputation, and a stellar body of work.
The Agile Learner
Agile or not, a music producer has to be able to take total control of their studio. This is done through learning how sound travels through the air, understanding how the tools of the studio can manipulate that sound, and how microphones can pick up that sound.
Agile producers are lifelong learners, not merely because they have to be but because they want to be. As we’ve mentioned before, this is done by learning new software, hardware, processes, and keeping an eye out for other ways to improve the studio and one’s sessions.
Let the Recording Connection jump-start that learning. With our Audio Engineering and Music Production Program, aspiring engineers and producers are placed inside a real-world recording studio, learning one-on-one with an industry expert. Your mentor is there to give you guidance, answer your questions, and give you the opportunity to experience how a professional, working studio functions as both a business and hotbed of creation.
With Recording Connection you can become familiar with setting up the mics, working with acts, learning digital audio workstations, and a host of other day-to-day studio duties. But if you’re working your way towards being an Agile Producer, you’ll need to put in the work. Our mentors are here to help you but they’re here to work, too. So… don’t waste their time or energy. Make the most of every moment you’ve got to soak up the knowledge and see them in their element. Apply today.