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How is a Record Producer Different than an Engineer?

Imagine singing your heart out. Then, after the take, you turn to the recording engineer and ask for his or her opinion on your performance.

9 times out of 10, they’ll say:

“Well… I don’t know… I think it was good… What do you think?”

And you won’t know.

It’s Extremely Difficult To Judge Your Performance While It’s Happening Or Even The Moment After.


I produce music for other people every day. Yet, when I try to produce myself, I end up frustrated because I have no idea if my performances are any good.

It seems that recording in a commercial studio should be better than recording at home.

It isn’t. It’s just different. And it’s certainly worse when you don’t have a producer.

To illustrate, here’s a home building analogy:

To build a house you need a carpenter…

…but you also need a plumber, an electrician, a painter, etc. And you need someone to make sure these people are doing their job and working toward a common goal. That’s the general contractor’s job when building a house…

…and it’s the producer’s job on a recording project.

If you book time at a recording studio without a producer, it’s like hiring a carpenter and expecting to end up with a house.


A good producer figures out where the artist wants to go then maps out the most efficient and cost-effective way to get there.

Sometimes the artist doesn’t need a big, fancy studio or session players.

Sometimes they do.

The point is: you need to know what tools and personnel are necessary to take you where you want to go. Or you’ll never get there.

Sound is very subjective. One man’s masterpiece is another’s unlistenable junk.

If you walk into a recording studio without a plan and ask for a “good” sound, who knows what you’re going to get?

For example, an engineer might know ten different ways to record an acoustic guitar. The producer is there to choose the ONE TECHNIQUE needed in that situation.

‘Good’ must equal ‘good for the project’.


A recording engineer might know what your project needs but, more often than not, he’ll just use his go-to techniques.

You’d better hope those techniques serve your music!

More importantly, wouldn’t you like to know if your song and/or performance is up to snuff while you can still fix it?

A Producer Offers Much Needed, Real-Time Feedback On Performances.

An engineer ensures the equipment is ready to capture those performances.

My friend and client JP Ruggieri is a world-class singer-songwriter and guitarist. He knows what good music is. He’s plays on other people’s records and is perfectly capable of critiquing a performance. But when it comes to recording his own tunes, he struggles to see the forest for the trees. Here’s what he had to say about working with me:

My favorite part about getting to work with Chris is how he obsesses over everything. Those are the type of people that I love to work with. He gives it everything he’s got! I don’t know enough about sound and audio to say why, but I know that when I work with Chris, I can trust that he knows what I want. And that’s totally kickass! —

Happy Hunting,




It is no exaggeration to say that without Chris Jacobie we wouldn’t be a band today. He has been with us since we were playing for 6 people in Austin & was there a few nights ago when we played for 1,000.

Penny & Sparrow

Austin, TX & Florence, AL

“Chris has some of the best ears and ideas in the business! Plus, he makes an artist feel at ease and welcome in a studio environment.”

Decca Recording Artist: Jarrod Dickenson

Nashville, TN

As a producer, Chris just gets the big picture of where you are coming from and where you want to go. He helps protect the sound you want while at the same time exploring new ideas. We cannot wait to go back!”


Lexington, KY

"The questions Chris asked and the challenges he posed along the way broadened my understanding of myself as a songwriter, and of the craft itself.”

Nick Dahlquist

St. Louis, MO

“I don't know enough about sound and audio to say why, but I know that when I work with Chris, I can trust that he knows what I want. And that's totally kickass!”

JP Ruggieri

Nashville, TN

“We love Chris's creativity in the studio. Working with him is like a360-degreee musical experience. It's AWESOME!”

Willow City

Fredericksburg, TX

Chris Jacobie

Hi, my name is Chris Jacobie. I'm a music producer from San Antonio, TX. I help musicians make better records ...even if they don't have much money.

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