I now have enough songs I consider worthy of a full-scale album. I’m currently recording an EP, but it’s stripped-down– just acoustic guitar, violin and voice. What I’m talking about here is a full-sized record where I bring in other musicians to play and create arrangements for the songs. This could happen as early as next fall, but most likely will be done over the winter.
Step One is to select a producer– the person overall in charge of the project. In my case, I’m looking for the following:
1. Someone who likes my songs and is passionate about making this record. Sure, I could hire any number of experienced producers, but I don’t want someone who is just going through the motions because they’re getting paid.
2. A producer who is also a songwriter, who will challenge me to make the songs as best as they can be, both musically and lyrically. Someone who might even co-write a song or two with me for the record.
3. A producer who is a singer, who will work with me to help me sing the songs as best as I can.
4. Someone who will be creative about the arrangements, the instrumentation, and the selecting of the musicians who play on the record. I don’t want a generic-sounding singer-songwriter record, where you bring in studio musicians, go through the song once, give them a chart, and then they play generic, conservative parts. I want the musicians to listen to the songs several times before coming into the studio, try different things, take chances, be creative. I want a producer who knows these kind of musicians and has a pool of them to draw from.
As you can see from the above criteria, I’m looking for a *musical* producer as opposed to a *techical* producer. While some producers are also recording engineers, in my case they just have to know good recording engineers that they can hire (and good studios).
So the search begins. Ideally I’d find the right person in Colorado, but if I have to go elsewhere, so be it.