When you approach a producer to produce your record, chances are you will leave everything up to the producer to decide and just take what he / she says and run with it. Wrong approach. Why do i say this? you’re a creative person and you need to know what you want. Know how you want your song to sound. You’re paying them to produce so ensure you get what you want. Here are a few tips on how to do this.
Know what a good mix and master sounds like
This is a big big thing. You need to train your ears to good mixes. Listen to everything and find stuff that is similar to what you do and use it as a reference point. Have a good listening environment so you can judge the mixes you get from your producer. It ensures you get quality work every time. Be your own quality control.
Know what you want and provide references
This is a big issue i always find when working with artist. You do the track then they call you up and say i want it to sound like the new avicii record for argument sake. The drums too low i want it more bass heavy. This goes on and on for the longest while. To minimise this have one or two reference tracks and give to your producer with instructions. Keep in mind you’re paying money to get this done. if your self producing just keep it in mind of your goal for the song you’re working on. You’re not copying anything you’re just using it as a benchmark for your own ideas.
Allow the producer to bring their ideas to the table
We all have different influences and we will interpret what you want differently. It can be good and it can be bad. All in all collaborate to make the song better. Unique ideas different from your own can be strange at first but when you look at the bigger picture things can go smoothly when you respect other peoples opinions and ideas.
Be willing to put in the work required
Don’t just do things half heartedly. Be prepared to do the work to get the song sounding right. Take the time to practice your vocals. Pay the musicians needed to play on the record. Be there when you’re needed to give your input. Respond the producers messages.
Know how to explain yourself
Lastly explain yourself as clearly as possible. Miscommunication can make or break the relationship you have with your producer. It is very important you say what you need clearly. If there’s changes to be made to the mix, don’t say “the song is not mixed properly” say the bass is too loud, i can’t hear the vocals clearly. Be specific about the areas of the song you don’t like. This will in turn make the mix sound better and closer to what you originally wanted.
Hope this helps you get the most out of your producer.