#1
What are your thoughts about the differences between a studio engineer and producer? It seems like the two jobs aren't set in stone and have a lot of overlap in what they do, if what I've read is correct.

How are the two different? Is the engineer the one who sets the mics and levels, and the producer the one who records and guides the band? Do either of them do the mixing? I didn't realize there was a difference until recently, since I've always done both "jobs" recording at home.
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#2
Producer is more likely to come up with some creative content... eg make a synth line or something
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#5
Engineer does the tech side of things like choosing equipment, setting up, mixing etc
The producer is more like the supervisor who looks after the band, has creative input, making schedules/bookings. The one you'd often see behind the control desk, talking to the band telling them what works where and how.
#6
Engineers are the guys who handle the actual recording.

Producers handle the band and assist with creative direction. Their overall job is to make sure everything goes smoothly.
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#8
Engineer, theoretically, has only a technical input to the process. His job is to ensure that the recording is clear, that there is adequate headroom etc. An engineer should have a neutral effect on the sound of the product.

A Producer has artisitic input, he often says how it should sound and will often work on the musical arrangement, putting in other instruments and effects etc. A producer will have his/her own tricks and preferences in these respects and the finished porduct will often identifiably belong to that producer - Listen to stuff by produced by Phil Spector, Martin Birch, Andy Sneap or Jim Steinman for example - even with different artists and song writers there is a sound belonging that producer.

There's an in-between job, often called a mix engineer, where the engineer will have input into mix and effects. This often occurs where the band are self-producing, and need more help. The mix engineer can be creditted with co-production. In smaller studios, the same person does engineering and production or co-production.
#9
So the engineer does the tech-y stuff (tracking, mixing, mics) and the producer helps the band get the song together?

Sorry, I forgot to specify in the original post that I want to know how the positions relate to the recording process specifically.

Edit: Thanks PSimonR, that's what I was looking for, I posted this comment before I saw yours. Any more input is still appreciated, I'd like to continue discussing this if possible.
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Last edited by OfCourseNot at Dec 20, 2011,
#11
Or you can be a boss like Devy and do it all yoself.

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#12
So, for larger bands who don't self-produce/engineer, would you have the Producer and Engineer in the room together while recording? I've seen videos of the recording process for different bands, but I don't usually see two guys with the band, usually just one.
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#13
Quote by Floods_Solo
Engineer should be a protected title for real engineers.



I tend to agree, but there are definitely legitimate Audio Engineers out there. With so much gray area, where do you draw the line between "engineer" and "faux-engineer"?
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#14
Quote by wyldething
I tend to agree, but there are definitely legitimate Audio Engineers out there. With so much gray area, where do you draw the line between "engineer" and "faux-engineer"?


Audio falls in the signal processing realm. You're not a real audio engineer if you don't know LTI system theory, Fourier and Laplace transformation of signals and systems, and digital signal processing techniques. The 'faux-engineer' type of people are audio technicians, not engineers...

That being said, you don't need to have gone to school or have gotten a paper degree to be an engineer. If you studied the material yourself and know what it means to manipulate signals and tailor systems, you are an engineer, regardless of what anyone else says.
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Last edited by darkstar2466 at Dec 20, 2011,
#15
Quote by darkstar2466
Audio falls in the signal processing realm. You're not a real audio engineer if you don't know LTI system theory, Fourier and Laplace transformation of signals and systems, and digital signal processing techniques. The 'faux-engineer' type of people are audio technicians, not engineers...

That being said, you don't need to have gone to school or have gotten a paper degree to be an engineer. If you studied the material yourself and know what it means to manipulate signals and tailor systems, you are an engineer, regardless of what anyone else says.

Why not? I could say the same about being a doctor. I might know how to surgically remove ones arse through their mouth successfully but not have studied it. Doesn't mean I can strut about calling myself a doctor.
#16
Quote by Floods_Solo
Why not? I could say the same about being a doctor. I might know how to surgically remove ones arse through their mouth successfully but not have studied it. Doesn't mean I can strut about calling myself a doctor.


I've participated enough in this argument to no avail - not gonna start again. It starts with whether you believe in intellectual property or not.

My final statement: "A guy who knows the design of signals/systems is an 'engineer,' whereas a guy who knows only the functional use of signals/systems is a 'technician.'"
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#17
Quote by darkstar2466
I've participated enough in this argument to no avail - not gonna start again. It starts with whether you believe in intellectual property or not.

My final statement: "A guy who knows the design of signals/systems is an 'engineer,' whereas a guy who knows only the functional use of signals/systems is a 'technician.'"

Fair enough. The guy who cuts my grass advertises himself as a "Garden Engineer". That takes the piss.
#18
Quote by Floods_Solo
Why not? I could say the same about being a doctor. I might know how to surgically remove ones arse through their mouth successfully but not have studied it. Doesn't mean I can strut about calling myself a doctor.



So before degrees there were no doctors?
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#19
Quote by Floods_Solo
Fair enough. The guy who cuts my grass advertises himself as a "Garden Engineer". That takes the piss.


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#20
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So before degrees there were no doctors?

It's not the case nowadays though is it. Stop being a smart ass.
#21
Does the producer have any intellectual property if they assist the writing process?
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#22
Quote by darkstar2466

That being said, you don't need to have gone to school or have gotten a paper degree to be an engineer. If you studied the material yourself and know what it means to manipulate signals and tailor systems, you are an engineer, regardless of what anyone else says.


I know you said you've been through this a lot, but it's just plain not true. By almost ever standard, you DO need an ABET accredited degree to call yourself an engineer. Moreover, many organizations require FE and PE completion before you can be called an engineer.

I get the whole "is he an engineer at heart vs. engineer on paper" thing, but if you're going to get into semantics, then I can too.
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#23
Quote by wyldething
I know you said you've been through this a lot, but it's just plain not true. By almost ever standard, you DO need an ABET accredited degree to call yourself an engineer. Moreover, many organizations require FE and PE completion before you can be called an engineer.

I get the whole "is he an engineer at heart vs. engineer on paper" thing, but if you're going to get into semantics, then I can too.


Yep, I know that. I am well aware of contemporary educational and professional qualification-setting standards. According to semantics, I am not a real engineer because I didn't take my EIT and get a professional Engineer's license, though I have Engineering degrees. You are most welcome to discredit my Engineering opinions from here forth because I am not a real Engineer.



p.s. not talking about this anymore. Stay on topic.

Quote by OfCourseNot
Does the producer have any intellectual property if they assist the writing process?


Historically, we've usually separated the authoring credits into 'lyrics' and 'music,' so yeah, if the producer did assist with either of the two, he/she will and should get credit. Like Steven Wilson with Opeth.
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Last edited by darkstar2466 at Dec 20, 2011,
#24
So darkstar2466, since you're an engineer (I'm ending the degree semantics here), do you have any tips for someone wanting to become one as well? I'm about to take the Music/Recording Technology degree at the University of Texas at Austin next year and don't completely know what to expect.
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#25
They describe the high-level details pretty well in their prospective student brochure:

www.music.utexas.edu/getFile/pdf.aspx?id=424

This area of study is the practical use of what you learn as an Electrical Engineer and Computer Scientist. They learn the theory and implementation - you learn practical use. You will not learn the theory behind what makes these devices tick and how you can modify the devices to satisfy your custom spec, but you will become apt at using contemporary tools created to record music professionally.
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#26
Every studio is different, but large ones will work like this...

A producer is in charge of making sure the general sound of the album sounds its best given the objective, ie. the style/character of the sound rather than the quality. They also have input on the structure and style of the songs themselves, and which songs make the album.

The recording/tracking engineer is in charge of technically recording the artist at the highest possible technical quality - little creative input into the actual character of the sound.
Sometimes the main engineer will only be in charge of the equipment (the instruments, mics and recording/outboard gear) and there will be another engineer who's job it is to just run the DAW... a 'pro-tools engineer'.

Then there's usually a separate mixing engineer and/or mastering engineer, or even a completely different producer for the post stage. The mixer would usually be responsible for the levels and processing the individual captured audio to sound polished and 'studio like'.
The mastering engineer will finally make sure the track as a whole sounds at its best and is of the correct volume (usually as loud as possible without distorting)
#27
Holy crap darkstar2466, I can't believe I missed that file! I thought I saw everything for the degree, I guess not. That really helps a lot, I wasn't completely sure what I was getting myself into, now I'm glad I'm doing this.
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#28
There was a Music/Recording Technology class I signed up for last semester thinking I was gonna actually get to use some software and expand my horizons on DAWs and what not.

then I read the syllabus and realized that the class was made to turn people into the Music Department's bitch and record all their performances and burn them on CD's for them to sell.

I dropped it like it was hot.
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