What exactly do music producers do?
It's a good question. You hear about super producers like Timbaland all the time. But do you know what they actually do?
Lemme tell ya ...
Producers are kind of like editors. A band will have a song written, take it to the producer, and the producer will help them record it. The producer might add a new beat or make suggestions for what part should go where in the song.
The producer often adds orchestration (maybe a string arrangement here, a touch of cowbell there) and helps put everything together.
Bands bounce ideas off the producer, and the result is what you hear on the radio/iTunes.
"Apologize" by One Republic is a great example. They wrote the song, and then Timbaland remixed it.
Here is their original version:
and here is Timbaland's take: