I recently came across this article, with this great paragraph:
THE REALITY is that 90% of the time, the artist (and probably the producer) dont want to sit around and watch you turn knobs and swap mics until you get your idea of the most awesome sound. They want to record. Instead of the perception that you are doing your job to the fullest, the actual perception will often be “this engineer doesnt know what he’s doing”, and then before you’ve recorded a single note, everyone has already lost faith in your abilities, and the session vibe is blown. The most important thing in any session ever is the VIBE. A great vibe will usually translate to great feeling takes, which is a bit more important than the most amazing vocal sound. a bad vibe will equate to unusable takes, even is sonically they are wonderful. VIBE. believe it.
And this gem:
The engineer is doing their job the best when they are transparent to the session. When nothing they do is slowing down the creative process.
My personal view has long been similar to this: Technology is best when it stays out of the way. As far as recording going, the engineer is part of the technology. The artist is in the studio to make music. Any time they spend not making music is time they spend waiting to make music.
Read the rest of the article. It’s worth it.