As a producer I offer what I seek when in the artist’s chair. I would look for empathy and creativity, analyzing the choices the producer made in other projects. Someone to share as a temporary member, but also bring an impartial and broader view. The greatness of the result is not only the artist’s talent, but also the sum of small details. When possible, I like to participate in all stages of the production. From choice of textures, structures, melody, lyrics, arrangement, the technical part of the recording, right up until the final mix. But I only step in where the artist feels comfortable.
The term "producer" is very broad. Some are simply recording technicians, others "mood directors". There are many models of work and each technique may or may not work for a certain situation. There are renowned producers that barely step in the studio during the recording and can still be effective. I believe that each artist is unique and to force a methodology that has previously worked with others maybe unhealthy to the creative process and to the growth of both sides. It would restrict the outcome. It can be fast and functional (and objectivity is crucial), but the search for excellence does not exactly follow that path. I am cautious of producers who have very similar results, which they sometimes call "my sound". I am here to find YOURS.
* Click to read an interview about studio etiquette (portuguese only)- Patrick Laplan