With technology having such a profound impact on the music industry, we asked Grammy winning producer, David Kershenbaum how he saw the role of the Music Producer has been impacted. And it seems that the core functions are like the golden rules that have not changed.
David identifies two different kinds of producers that he’s seen over his career.
“The Arranger/Writer producer that pretty much makes and plays the tracks, and then puts artists vocals in those tracks, and they come and go with the styles, because they’re all style driven.
“Enhancement producer or and A&R which I have been known for, which has really allowed me to stay “on the game” and “in the game” for many years because I’m not really style dependant. I pretty much have great artists and enhance what they already have and to make it more focused and hopefully more commercial and keep the integrity of it without loosing that part of it, but at the same time make it sound like a more finished record and in that regard, there’s so many functions”
David goes further to break down the functions of a producer
“Music Function: which involves understanding and appreciating melody and chord changes and structure and lyric and so forth.
“Mixing Function: which is understanding presentations as far as dynamics and spacial characteristics
“Preproduction Function: Structuring songs and picking songs that should be recorded, and picking songs that fit(and don’t fit) together.
“Pshycologist Function: Where you basically are trying to clinch the fear that artists have of recording when the red light comes on, so your constantly setting up an atmosphere to reassure them and make them feel safe so you can get the best performance from them.
“Executive Producer Function: Where you have to administer a budget.
“All of the functions of a production are still the same. The budgets have gotten smaller, and in that regard I think that the pros, the producers that have been doing it for a while, have an edge because we’ve been through all of the problems and hopefully have known some shortcuts along the way that help make quick decisions and get some good sounding records made for not spending a lot of time.
“It’s basically a functional activity that hasn’t changed. It all starts and ends with a great performance and a great song.”