There was a guy who was very resentful when the band he was in hired a producer for their album. They never worked with a producer before. His position was understandable he thought the band just needed to be recorded as is but the producer questioned everything; the arrangements of each song; the distribution of the instruments from piece to piece; questioned the main lyricist about why they said what they said. He even tried to create background vocals which weren’t there in the first place to add more layers to the lyrical ideas of the song. The producer mainly wanted to be surprised by the intricacies of the production, how the song revealed itself on record.
Engineering is an art form, selecting the best mic for getting the sound, placing it creatively for getting the sound and producing is another art form, like choosing a director for the film, the director steers the way the project is imagined. Hard to not think of George Martin when one talks about the role of a producer, he was as significant to the Beatles creations as they were themselves. Seemed a pity when they made the reunion song Free As A Bird that George Harrison insisted on Jeff Lynne instead of George Martin but so it goes.
The guy who resented the producer was very bothered by his methods which in his estimation were dragging out the recording experience. He also became grumpy that his bandmates weren’t taking his side and enjoyed the new things generated from the collaboration. Eventually he broke down and told the producer he despised everything about him and added everyone knows the best records are made live off the floor. The producer tried to reassure him but this was an oil and water situation. Later he had an epiphany: there wasn’t one live record that had ever been among his faves. Live records were not as powerful as multitrack records, he would take the unnatural any day. He was with Glenn Gould, Conrad Nancarrow, Joni Mitchell, Weather Report or Frank Zappa circa We’re Only in it For The Money.