Student Spotlight – David Cunningham
What have you been working on recently?
Right now, all my focus is on skills development within post-production. I feel like my recording capabilities outweigh those of my mixing, I’m working on becoming more of an all-rounder. To display this work, I have been mixing the sessions from Riverside’s live week, and sending them over to the performers. After speaking to a few of the artists around the college, some mentioned after recording one of their tracks with me that they had albums written – my next plan is to help them get to work on getting these released at the highest possible quality.
As it is the end of the academic year a lot of my focus has been on completing my units and assessments to the best level I can.
How would you describe your music/work?
I like to consider the music that I either perform, record or mix to be of an extremely high quality, of course there’s always room for improvement. One of the best things about my music is my knowledge and ability to listen to and appreciate each genre without any issues. Most of my recorded or released work lays within the indie rock scene, however, if I had to pick a favourite to work on it would be jazz. As someone who has been a drummer for over 10 years now, I find jazz music to be the most enjoyable and creative type of music with its compound time signatures and chord progressions. My favourite artists at the moment are Childish Gambino, Harry Styles, Courteeners and Bring me the Horizon.
Why did you want to study at Riverside Music College?
After school I went into full time work for a while, around 2 years later I decided that my love for music, specifically its technical side, had never died down, so I applied for my local colleges to study sound production in hopes of being given a chance to work towards my dream career. An ad for Riverside popped up on Facebook and I took the time to read through the courses offered and learn about the credibility of the staff and lecturers. After doing this I instantly applied! I left my other unconditional offers untouched until I knew if I would get a place at Riverside. The knowledge and previous work of all of the lecturers at college lived up to the standard, and I plan to continue to shadow each of them in hopes of one day finding a successful career in the industry like they did.
How has the HND Sound Production course helped you – which skills, knowledge/classes have been the most useful for you?
It’s rare for someone at my age to be able to get a hands-on experience with equipment that has been used for very popular commercial releases. Therefore, learning about each and every processor, microphone, technique and DAW, has given me the knowledge and ability to run, record, mix and release a track without any help. Some of the best skills I feel I have learned is the health and safety when it comes to setting up live rooms or studios, or creating signal paths. Also, the Skills for Business unit is something that wasn’t offered in other colleges, without this course I wouldn’t have the understanding I have now on how to release music professionally with royalties and rights and I wouldn’t know what contracts and agreements are optimal to get the best business profits as a sound engineer.
What are your future plans?
I would love to have my own business. I plan on staying with the college for three years whilst I develop my own business plan and folio whilst working with the best. From there I would love to open either my own studio or my own live music café, I think the harshest part about the music industry today is the potential for some of the most talented people to go unnoticed. I want to minimise this by helping their ideas come to life with their commercial releases, and giving them a platform to express and display their talents to an audience.
I would also love to further my performance experience. Some of the best times I had in my younger years was playing on stage, and it’s been a while since I’ve been able to have that feeling again. Through the summer I plan to enlist myself as a session musician and hopefully some opportunities will arise.
Find out more about David’s work…