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Which Type of Record Producer Do You Need?

When my clients Sam & Jenn from Ryvoli, came to me they were understandably a little apprehensive…


Because they’d already attempted to record their songs with three other producers. They weren’t happy with any of these recordings. In fact, they were even ashamed of some of them.

Luckily, they were smart enough to keep searching but still…

How often have you tried to work with someone on your music and it just wasn’t a good fit? If you want to avoid this painful situation in the future, read on there’s hope.

You start by understanding…

The Two Ends Of The Producer Spectrum

On one end, there’s the “my way or the highway” producer and on the other end the “where do you want to go?” producer.

The “my way or the highway” producer does “their thing” regardless of if they’re producing you or any other artist.

It’s their record and, to them, you are a means to an end.

A perfect example of this type of producer is Berry Gordy, the creator of Motown. Before founding Motown, Gordy worked on a Lincoln-Mercury assembly line in Detroit, MI.

When Gordy quit, he applied the assembly line principles to music production. It looked something like this:

  • Songwriters write formulaic pop songs.
  • Session musicians crank out the instrumental recordings.
  • An endless stream of young kids sing on the recordings.

These types of producers still operate in many mainstream genres. With this type of producer, it’s very important that they work in the genre you’re looking to work in.

If you go to a producer that works this way, it’s important that you’re okay with forfeiting your opinion 100% of the time.

If you have a strong vision for your music, this will be clash central.

However, if your only goal is stardom, this could be a perfect fit for you.

On the other end of the spectrum is the…

“Where Do YOU Want To Go?” Producer.

This type of producer asks the artist, “where do you want to go?” Then guides them there.

This type of producer doesn’t have a sound. Instead, they manipulate the different production variables to achieve your goals.

That’s not to say that this producer doesn’t have an opinion….

…they do and they’ll be happy to voice it when you need it. Otherwise they’ll keep their thoughts to themselves.

A perfect example of this is Sir George Martin aka “The Fifth Beatle.”

Sir Martin produced nearly everything the Beatles put out. Before that, believe it or not, he produced comedy albums and classical music.

You see, no matter which type of project he took on, he figured out how to make it as good as it could be.

After working with the Beatles, he did work with quite a few bands that sounded Beatle-esque. That’s not because he couldn’t work in other genres but because he was typecast as “The Beatles Guy.”

If you have a strong vision for your music…

Working With This Type Of Producer Will Be Heaven!

Of course, no one falls perfectly into either camp. It’s a spectrum.

What’s important is that YOU find a producer that complements how you work.

It’s all about that perfect fit.

Here’s what Ryvoli had to say after working with me:

“Working with Chris was the perfect balance of planning and then just seeing what the hell happens! His posture and home-studio environment were so welcoming and professional. For our band, it was an absolute dream working with this next level producer. Chris is an insanely talented audio engineer and musician. He fostered a very laid-back, creative space where we could let the songs really take shape in the moment. As a producer, he 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!!” – Ryvoli (Lexington, KY)



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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