Music production is an involving job that works better when a producer has an assistant to help and carry out certain activities in place of the producer.
A music production assistant helps the producer achieve their goal by performing tasks such as setting up all equipment, help artists record, adjusting levels for suitable recording, recording, engineering sessions, mixing and mastering.
The assistant producer simply helps the producer carry out processes that he/she would normally carry out by themselves. Which is very essential in achieving efficiency in the process of music creation.
Usually the Music producer hand picks their assistant, trains and nurtures them in readiness for the assistance they’ll be offering the producer.
They usually start out as low level employees, and then eventually become the apprentice of the producer.
Tasks performed by Production assistants in music:
Setting Up Equipment
Production assistants in music have to be trained to handle all duties that involve music production.
The most basic duty that requires production expertise is setting up equipment in readiness for production work.
Setting up equipment will include, the selection of equipment to be used, mic placements, handling the relevant connections, testing various equipment to check if it is hooked up properly and gathering all necessary equipment for the session.
The assistant will also handle all trouble shooting of the equipment. Such as fixing faulty cables, finding better equipment and identifying areas that need fixing.
Usually a producer working alone will have to handle all these processes by themselves which can be a lot of work to handle, therefore delegating certain activities to an assistant can help make the processes simpler and smoother.
Help artists record
The traditional music producer’s duty is to facilitate the recording process as much as possible.
This duty can be easily delegated to an assistant after being trained.
Artists usually have ideas of how they want the final song to sound like. With the help of an assistant producer they can achieve this.
Producers will usually provide the direction of which the assitant will follow.
If the producer doesnt like the way a certain vocal was captured they’ll signal this to the assitant so he/she can re-record.
The assistant producer in this case will help in the coaching of the artist, assisting in the creation of the song to make it more appealing for the listener.
Music production is very technical and requires a great deal of precision when handling equipment.
Assistant producers may also be responsible for making sure the levels on all equipment are set to the right parameters.
This will allow for clear recordings and precise representation of audio.
Adjusting levels is a very key function in music production because it determines the quality of the end product which is the song.
When levels are set the wrong way, recording clean audio may become a challenge for the producer.
Therefore the producer has to oversee that all the necessary level adjustment is done the right way by the assistant.
One of the most important steps in music production is the recording process itself.
Assistant producers can help in the recording process, they would be doing the job that a traditional recording engineer would do.
All this would be carried out under the supervision of the producer, who would oversee that the recording is done right.
The artist would have the help of the recording engineer in the recording process whilst getting feedback and suggestions from them.
This can help in the creation of high quality recordings that don’t call for too many headaches in the mixing process.
Mixing in music is the process of taking the recorded audio elements, improving them by adding various effects and finally blending them together to create the desired outcome.
Assistant producers may sometime be tasked to mix recorded vocals to have it ready for mastering.
The producer will provide the approval for all mixing and will use this task as a way to train and mentor the assistant.
Mastering is the last process in the music production process.
It improves the mix by adding a variety of effects to make the song sound better and be ready for release.
Assistant producer’s can be tasked with handling mastering, so long as they have proven to be have the ability to pull it off with fewer errors.
The Full Session
Once an assitant produxer has been mentored and trained long enough.
The producer can now vet them by letting lead a full recording, mixing and mastering session.
With enough hardwork, the assistant producer can move from the assistant position to the co-producer position.
This can help them progress in the music production world and be able to work independently.
The main goal that most producers have when it comes to assistants is to train them enough for them to be able to handle sessions on their own.