For so many good reasons, you've decided to hire a music producer. Now you're starting your search for candidates. It's exciting, a bit like a first date. You're not hiring a plumber; you're trying to find your partner in art. Someone you'll have to
Traditional producers can take your song or song idea and turn it into a great sounding track that you can record your vocals to. This category of producers is fantastic if you’re a songwriter and when working remotely. These folks are typically good at taking a written song, and creating arrangements - deciding which instrument will play on which song and what part each instrument will play. They are instrumentalists or multi-instrumentalists that may end up being your ‘band’ on the recording. In some cases, they know how to oversee and coordinate a project and locate the right talent at the best price and just ‘make it happen’, not unlike a musical Project Manager or Director. In some cases, they also do ‘vocal coaching’ to the artist, helping identify the best key for the vocalist and guide the artist through the vocal takes, lending their experience to when you have it nailed, when to try again and how, what types of harmonies or doubles to do etc.
Beatmaker Producers are common in the EDM, Hip Hop and Pop world. They are known for - making beats, often song-starters in these genres. This type of songwriting - where the beat or music bed comes first and then a topline is written to it - started in the world of Hip Hop but now is common in much of Pop music. Since Pop music has become more beat oriented, many pop songs are written as toplines (vocal melodies) over pre-existing beats by Beatmakers with a particular sound. When working with Beatmakers you’d typically either choose from an existing project they already have (and lease it for use or buy it for exclusive use), and then write a vocal melody and lyrics over it (this is the more common use case), or you would pay the Beatmaker to create a custom beat based on your specifications or around a melody you already wrote.