Years ago I was in a session when I suddenly turned around to my clients and asked, “What is it that you think you are paying me for right now?” They came up with a few answers relating to time, recording gear, the space we were in, and such. I laughed and said, “Sure, sort of. But I think what you are really paying me for is every mistake that I’ve ever made on a session before, and am (hopefully) not making right now on yours.” We had a good chuckle and kept plugging away on the overdubs at hand.
In the recording studio, experience is important. Having a wide variety of skills and knowledge is important. Knowing how to solve the problems when making records is key, and having multiple solutions for these scenarios is paramount. See my End Rant this issue for more thoughts on this timeless quest.