At a time when the financial side of the Music Industry wasn't plagued by internet piracy the Music Producer role had very specific music production duties that differ from the Music Producer role of today.
What Music Producers Did In The Past
The most important of these duties was to captain the creative direction of a music production. The sole Music Producer responsibility was to lead and manage the creative thinking and processes from everyone involved in the production of a song or album.
Another main Music Producer role was to inspire their artists to be creative in constraints of budgets, deadlines, quality expectations and label/audience expectations. The role also came with managerial responsibilities. This was at a time when the Music Industry had many separate creative roles that would be involved in the music production, such as:
- Lyric/Melody Writers
- Session Musicians
- Recording Sound Engineers
- Mix Engineers
- Mastering Engineers
- Studio Employees and Assistances
- Artist Management
What A Present Day Music Producer Does Now
Since the millennium the Music Industry has been losing a huge amount of income from falling records sales due to piracy and subsequent streaming services. As a result, many of these separate creative roles listed above don't commonly exist anymore and have been completely taken on by the modern day Music Producer.
A modern day Music Producer now wears a lot of hats in music production, such as:
- Session Musician
- Recording & Mix Engineer
- Mastering Engineer
Very few Music Producers today work in the Music Industry in the old model of Producer. Many of those producers came from the successful era when record sales funded the growth of the Music Industry.
As the next generation of Music Producers step into the shadows of the greats I believe it to be a good idea to one day ditch the term "Music Producer" and think of something new, more fitting - maybe Music Creator.