Any type of producer may work as a freelance producer. In this situation a
record company might have signed a band or act and be scouting round for someone
to put it all together in the studio.
Obviously all the producers know the record company A&R people, and the
A&R people know who the key producers are. Matching an act with a producer
is an important A&R skill. Sometimes the decision will be made on a 'flavour
of the month' basis.
If a producer has had a series of successful records, then he may be seen as
being on a roll and the next production will be a big seller too. But the act
and the producer must also be compatible in some way.
Perhaps they will share the same musical vision, and have a deep understanding
of the style of music in which they work. Perhaps they will also get along well
together because they are musically in tune. On the other hand, perhaps a band
is wilful and potentially difficult to work with.
The producer must be capable of exercising a degree of control to shape the
band into something that will work on CD as well as it does on stage. Maybe
an older and more experienced producer will have more respect in the band's
eyes, or maybe they need someone who is able to share their vision and will
simply smooth over whatever rough edges need to be smoothed (and leave well
alone the rough edges that need to remain rough!).
The freelance producer will be paid by the record company (who will get that
money back from the band's share of the eventual profits) and he or she is then
free to go on to work for another record company as they please.