What’s the Difference Between an Engineer and a Producer?

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Whether you’re new to the industry or have been around for a while, the various terms and titles can be confusing, especially as there’s a lot of crossovers in roles. So who does what and how does it work?

While both work with artists on the sound and one person can take on roles, there is a marked difference between an engineer and a producer. Each has their own expertise and the higher profile the album is, the more specialised the skills required will be.

In this article, we’ll unravel any confusion you may have, unpack the technical terms of sound and production, and explain who does what at every level.

What’s the difference between an engineer and a producer?
In a nutshell, an engineer operates the soundboard and looks after the technicalities, under the direction of the producer’s overall vision – in line with the artist. The role of the producer is project management, so they juggle lots of tasks at one time, rather than concentrating on purely the sound creation, like the engineer. But there’s a good deal more to it than that, and we’ll be exploring the roles and opportunities in detail.

Watch as the difference between both roles is explained in the video below;

What does production mean in music?
This refers to the process of making music and incorporates the stages of things like writing, tracking, editing, mixing and mastering. Songs can be remastered and remixed at a later stage too, to give them a new lease of life, or an updated sound. This often happens when a studio plans to re-release a classic hit. Production is a process of perfection, and those working in the field have to be prepared to put in long hours and keep going until its absolutely right.

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