If you’re like me, as a producer, you’re probably being asked all the time by bands or artists to produce you for free or on Spec. What does that mean? It means the artist has no money and wants you to invest in them with your production talent and time.
Early in my career, I worked at at least a half dozen studios with a very modest microphone collection. During that time, I fell in love with the AKG 414 as a vocal mic. It was the best that most of those studios had at the time. And it was certainly better than the 57s I was using at home.
Have you ever had a prospective client call you up and ask if you’re willing to work with their band on spec? Or at a really reduced rate? Or worse, they really want you to work at the same rate as a few other producers, mixers or engineers had worked with them before?
When you’re producing, mixing, engineering or even songwriting for an artist, there will be moments where that artist wants you to do things to the product that you disagree with. Something that is not just different but that you perceive to be bad. Or worse. That the thing that you’ve been working on for months is now destroyed. At least in you mind.
One of the more common arguments I see on audio forums and in audio groups is this idea that “the audience can’t hear the difference”. Or that they’re listening to an mp3 on earbuds and that everything you’re doing won’t ever be appreciated or matter anyway.