This is a great question because it seems to depend on whether the project has a budget or not!
Record Labels almost always have an album producer for artists, unless they are proficient enough to do it themselves which even if you can do it, its misses the point of having a producer. Objectivity.
Not the only benefit but certainly the most valuable in terms of getting the most out of the project and the artists.
Most artists only know how to create music. Some can’t even do that. Pop stars for example.
Bob Dylan, arguably the greatest songwriter of them all always brings in a producer to help him extract something new from his performance and his vision of the album. I read once with his album, “Oh Mercy” he presented the lyrics to Daniel Lanois and said that it was an album he was proud of.
The 5 things that a producer does that the musicians can’t
- Be objective.
- Tune the instruments!
- Provide direction and focus to the ideas in the song.
- Arrangement and even performances.
- A vision for the best that the song could be. Sometimes in stark contrast to the lead singer!
Check out this insightful video about the making of Oh Mercy. Produced by one of the worlds best producers. Daniel Lanois.