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Butch Walker is a music industry veteran with more than twenty-five years of experience. During that time he has worn several hats, including performing artist, singer, songwriter, and record producer. The last of those roles has earned him a Grammy Award nomination and a County Music Association award nomination. His new album Afraid of Ghosts is out February 3rd.

As he knows, a lot of people are not really clear about what a music producer does. "I am one of the few people that still love singing and touring my own music," he says, "but love making it for others as well... two great jobs."

Making music for others is one way to describe the role of the music producer. As Butch Walker knows, one of the things that he does as a music producer is come up with ideas. A typical album might be a collection of a dozen or more songs, and one of the things that a record producer such as himself does is to pull it all together into a cohesive whole. A classic example of a record producer who turned a group of songs into a whole is George Martin, the renowned producer of the Beatles, who helped to turn a collection of songs into a related series.

Just as important as ideas, however, is the business end of the music. Another role of a record producer is keep the production of the album on schedule. That may entail anything from finances and the recording schedule, to helping the recording artist maintain morale.

The record producer also gets to oversee the mixing and mastering of the final product once the recording is done. This can involve bringing a lot of diverse elements together.