Very special thanks to Johnny Jaskot of Babblefish.com for his superb work in making this feature possible and to Jack Hale for sparing his valuable time.
There are so many producers and ways to produce it may seem there are too many choices to make. "That is why picking the right producer for your own project will save you time, money and frustration while giving you more for your project than you could imagine. If a producer says they want to work with you, and gives you a price without getting you in the studio or listening to your material, be wary. For me to taking on a project requires that I believe in the project – maybe it’s not going to sell millions, but it will have integrity and a musical statement I will stand behind in front of the world. If you don’t believe something is ever going to sound good, leave it alone."
When you first start out, you take what you can get say's Jack. "You have to in order to build your 'archive' to show others and get more work. Even at the early stage, you can’t hide behind 'there was no money…no time, the guy couldn’t sing, whatever". “That’s where creativity and knowing your craft can at least give you something that has some unique elements to it.” "Think of the public – when they buy a track, they do not know that one artist may have a 6 million dollar budget and another may be recording on a shoestring. All they know is one sounds good and one sounds not so good – you can’t put disclaimers in there saying I ran out of time and money. This starts the first time you call yourself a producer, so it’s good to know before you get involved."
Sensibly, Jack rented expensive mic pre’s before buying his own in order to get the sound he wanted. "I ended up either going in the hole or making very little but I got stuff I could use as examples. Look at it as paying for education – plus you are building your reputation. Never allow others to influence you to the point of “producing by committee” if your name is going to be the only one on the record as producer, you are the person who gets the glory or gets slammed. I have found that pets, boyfriends, girlfriends, wives, husbands, children, strangers on the street, trees, bushes – everyone and everything has an opinion. I only give out early mixes for work purposes and only include what is necessary. You can assume the work track is going to be scrutinized by the entire community, so keep it extremely raw and/or minimal!"
"I know the material better than the artist who may have written it before we hit the record button. After careful thought I’ll discuss my ideas and gather other ideas that may have developed from the artist. I know what I want it to sound like in my head and know how to achieve that sonically and through the music/arrangement end. I like to write a lot of notation and make a lot of notes – even if it’s is just for me. That’s producing in a nutshell as far as I’m concerned."
"Know what you are doing, know your craft, be overly prepared for all projects – trust your ears" say's Jack.
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