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Our newest campus, ACM London, was abuzz with excitement on Tuesday 17th January when producer/songwriter Dave McCracken visited to share his top tips with our students at a very special masterclass session.
As the first masterclass of the year, students crowded into the Academy’s main live room to hear the Beyoncé writer and Depeche Mode producer speak. Starting with a brief introduction of his career history, Dave told students about working with the likes of Florence and the Machine and Kanye West.
Explaining how he approaches the writing process, Dave showed students ‘Bedroom Hymns’ – a track he’d written with Florence and the Machine. When playing the song to them, Dave described how important a collaborative approach to writing is to him. He explained how writing and production go hand in hand and revealed that the whole song was completed in just five hours. One of Dave’s top tips for writing sessions was to ask lots of questions, and to be gentle with bands and bolder with singer-songwriters.
When talking about production, Dave revealed that Pro Tools was his DAW of choice for recording bands, but he finds Ableton the quickest for programming. One student asked what his favourite microphone was, to which Dave replied the SM7. Dave also shared with students that his favourite mixing room at ACM’s sister company, Metropolis, was Studio C.
During the session, Dave disclosed a few stories from his career so far, including one about writing for Beyoncé. He told students how he and several other producers were together in one complex and Beyoncé would go from studio to studio doing several tracks a day. At the end of each day, all the producers would meet up and share their work.
Throughout the class, Dave shared his top tips on how to get ahead in the music industry. He urged students to say yes to all opportunities and work with people, especially if they’re scared to. Once the class drew to a close, Dave stayed back at ACM to listen to the students’ work, and audience members left the session eager to get on with writing and producing.
Dave said he had a brilliant time at his first visit to ACM London: “My first impressions of the college are great – the students are great, they’ve got great enthusiasm and they really want to do what they are doing, which is inspiring.”
And we were all very impressed by Dave too! We’d like to thank him for visiting us and hosting such a stimulating session.
If you’d like to study music at ACM and learn from some of the world’s most experienced songwriters and producers like Dave, please call our Admissions Team on 01483 500 841 or visit www.acm.ac.uk/open-days/ to book a place on an ACM Open Day today.