Why employ a producer?
You've got some recording gear haven't you..
And anyway you know a guy with a studio, he's got a posh rig, he knows how to drive it, just do it with him.
And what is a 'producer' anyway???
Well, ok read this bit carefully.
A producer is the person who takes responsibility for making your track sound the absolute best it can, finishes it on schedule and within budget, and makes sure the artist - and the record label or whoever is paying for it - are happy.
He knows the artists' strengths and weaknesses, listens to the artist, knows the songs and their potential inside out, and real production begins long before you're anywhere near a mixing desk.
But more than that, a real producer susses out the gulf between a good demo and a really special record - and he does whatever it takes to make one become the other.
He's got the ears, the objectivity.
Paul McCartney, Radiohead, JayZ, Laura Marling, Ben Howard, Jake Bugg, Leonard Cohen, They've all got recording gear...
and they, yep, know how to use it.
BUT THEY ALL BRING IN A PRODUCER.
If you think you don''t need one, ok. But remember that those key decisions in your session dont go away... SOMEONE, be it you, the engineer, who ever, is making those final decisions, deciding when something is finished, or whether there's that extra mile it needs to go.
Someone is being the producer, whether or not you're giving them that title.
So when you plan your session, just consider what that person making the decision has done lately.
When was his/her work last played on national radio, when was his/her last chart record?
In the case of Nigel Stonier, the answer to the former will be 'yesterday' or 'last week' and the answer to the latter will be 'now' or 'recently'.
There are hundreds, thousands, of tracks trying for that airplay you're after, that review, that gig opportunity. If people hearing your track for the first time aren't blown away, there are others that may sound better literally lining up by the second.