If you do not receive credit for your production work, you are a ghost producer. If you are listed in the credits of a song, you’re not a ghost producer.
If you produced the instrumental of a major pop artist’s song but had no influence in the final cut/decision (as in lyrics, subject matter, story, direction, etc.), you are the beatmaker and not the producer. This is especially the case if someone else guided you and gave you information of what he/she and the artist were looking for as far as sound and genre. Because you only made the beat and did not fully produce the song, you cannot be considered a ghost producer. On the other hand, if you were involved in all steps and had influence in deciding the direction of the final song (everything that happens from the moment the beat is delivered), and you were not credited? Then yes, you were a ghost producer for that song.
There’s nothing ghostly about having your name clearly visible in the credits, right? Seeing his name in the credits automatically tells you he couldn’t be a ghost and actually helped produce that song. If he wanted to put his name in the song title, he’d become more than the producer—he’d become the ‘artist’ for that song as well.
The names you see in song titles are technically not producer names but artist names. Once you add your name to the song title, you automatically become an artist for that specific song.
A producer is in no way obligated to do everything in the song making process—especially not the mixing/mastering part.
If someone only did the mixdown or mastering for your song, you’d be terribly wrong to credit that person as being a producer of the song. In that specific project, he’s nothing more than an engineer, and there is a difference between an engineer and a producer.
The confusion rises because of the differences in how EDM songs are released as opposed to other genres. In EDM, the producer, artist, songwriter, mixing engineer & mastering engineer can be the same person. Because of this, people often mistake which function is responsible for which part of a song.
In EDM, things that should be credited to engineering or songwriting might be placed under ‘producing’ because it could be the same person performing every process and “Producer” is the final responsible station. So every EDM producer mistakenly gets credited and critiqued for the engineer part because often it’s actually the same person. This can lead to some trouble.
Read the full article here: http://edm.com/blog/ghost-producer