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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Should you Produce yourself?

Hi there,

I am the person who, in between hairdresser visits, hacks at and colours their own hair. I got down on my hands and knees and sanded and stained the damaged floorboards in the kitchen rather than call a professional and I decided I could produce, direct and edit my latest music video all by myself. So I'm no stranger to do-it-yourself.

One area I don't go near, however, is my own music production. I have lots of ideas and I put all those ideas in a multi track demo that I give to a producer. He sees through my suspect sounds and mootable mixing, sprinkles some fairy dust and suddenly what I hear in my own head comes to life. I've heard a lot of self-produced artists recently and each time I've come away thinking: great singer, great songs, but there is something missing. I'm not suggesting that there are no great artists who are also great producers - Michael Carpenter at Love Hz Studios is one of those and Floyd Vincent did a great job on his recent live album. But I think that a lot of artists aren't equally good producers and, while hair does grow back, no-one really looks at the kitchen floor and I might get away with a DIY film clip for one of my songs, I know my home baked production would be half baked. Just like I think singers need singing lessons, I think artists need producers. If nothing else, it's a second brain and pair of ears to prod you out of your comfort zone... or perhaps reign in the wilder reaches of creativity and lend some consistency to a group of tunes that will end up as an album or EP. 

Songwriter's songs are like their babies and we don't take kindly to criticism of our offspring - but let's face it, often it is required. And you might think the little tacker would look terrible in a stripey onesie but it could just be that the pattern brings out the absolute best in their complexion. It takes a lot of years to become a good singer. It takes just as long to become a good producer. So if you have been spending most of your time working on your singing and songwriting, why not leave the knob twiddling and audio magic to the guys and girls that have been spending so many of their waking hours on that craft?

By the way, you can judge for yourself, my DIY filmclip (this is the remix version).

'Till next time,