Music production is the process of creating a recorded music project. A record producer usually handles music production, managing every aspect. That can include being a critical part of the creative process, such as deciding what instruments are used and contributing to song arrangements.
Since music production plays a vital role in the quality of the final product, it can make or break the success of an album.
Record producers give recommendations on which songs are best to record; manage financial aspects of recording; hire outside performers, if needed; and work with sound engineers in the recording process.
Educational training (college or specialized schools) can help with getting a job as a record producer, but it may be more important to have the drive, networking skills and a little bit of luck to have a successful career in music production.
In addition to a base salary, music producers often get “points,” a royalty percentage of the record sales. Three percent is an average rate.
Here is a short list of producers and a few artists that they have worked with: John Hammond (Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday), George Martin (The Beatles), Phil Spector (The Ronettes, The Ramones), Bob Rock (Metallica, Aerosmith), Brian Eno (U2, Talking Heads), Rick Rubin (Beastie Boys, Johnny Cash), Timbaland (Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z).