Scott McCann

Tell us about your production journey so far – how long have you been producing? What drew you to it in the first place?

Prior to the Toolroom Academy course, I’d been producing on and off for a couple of years. I began making beats on FL Studio alongside a friend in a previous project, and we had a couple of tracks released on smaller European labels and even had some airplay on BBC Radio1 (On St. Paddy’s day of all days which was special for two Irish lads). Following a short hiatus from music, I wanted to get back into music production and take it seriously. I bought Ableton and started to familiarise myself with the DAW. I’d always wanted to take that next step in my music production career, and when I saw the advertisement for Toolroom Academy I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve been a fan of Bens music, so seeing that he was one of the tutors was a massive draw in for me.

What made you decide to enrol on the Production Certificate programme?

Following a couple of back and forth emails from Miles, I felt that this would be the most immersive and educational programme outside of a University degree or sound engineer course. I loved the idea of being a part of a creative group of producers, all sharing ideas and interacting online while also getting that special one on one time with the tutors. The accessibility to the course was also a big factor, needing only a laptop, ableton & pair of headphones.

How easy/difficult was the enrolment process?

The enrolment process was super easy and fast.

Week 1 of the course focuses on artist identity and positioning. Did this make you analyse your sound in any way?

Yes, week 1 allowed me to focus in on what type of artist I wanted to be, where I saw my music going and which artists inspired me in the studio. It was a key part of my tracks development over the course, as I always came back to my reference sounds.

What other modules really stood out to you throughout the 12 weeks?

I really enjoyed the two mixdown modules. I’ve always been slightly intimidated when it came to mixdowns, knowing how pivotal they are to the finished sound of a track. Ben made a complex topic easy to understand and gave me confidence in my own abilities.

How did you find the weekly assignment work? Did you find them challenging? Did the structure help? Was it an intense amount of work?

The weekly assignment work was challenging but always fun. I’m a resident DJ at LUSH! in Portrush, and also part of the marketing team there, so my daily life allowed me to work from home and focus on the weekly assignments. One of the most challenging parts for me was the hook assignment, however the strucutre of the course allowed me to have a few weeks at the end to bounce ideas off both Pete & Ben.

How important was the A&R feedback throughout your journey?

The A&R feedback was really important throughout the course. It was a privilege to have weekly feedback from Ben and Pete. They held our tracks to the same standard as if we were officially submitting to Toolroom, which was fantastic. They always pushed you to get that extra 20% from your ideas.

How happy were you with the track you made over the course of the 3 months?

I was super happy with my track. I actually ended up making 2 as I had a bit of a nightmare with my Ableton project file. I think the fact i was able to produce and sbumit an entirely new track, mixdown and all, is a credit to how much Ben and Pete had taught us over the 12 week period. What I was most proud of was the fact it sounded professional and not amateurish.

What do you think was unique or different about the Production Certificate compared to other programmes/schools out there?

The production certificate broke down the wall between a major label and new aspiring artists. I think that’s what not only made this course different, but also very special.

How would you compare your production ability/knowledge now, compared to when you started the course?

I think I’ve improved drastically in my ability to produce music that I love and am proud of. One of the most important parts of the course was showing us how to get the most out of Abelton 10 as a creative platform.

Did you manage to connect and built relationships with other students on the course?

Our class had a really great feeling of friendship among it. Each week we’d use our private facebook group to discuss ideas, share tracks, and opportunities etc.

How would you rate your tutors – Ben Remember and Pete Griffiths?

I can’t praise Ben Remember and Pete Griffiths enough. Both of them were absolutely fantastic and went above beyond for each of us on this course. Even after the course I feel I have a relationship now with both that I am able to reach out for advice and share ideas with.

Would you recommend the Production Certificate to other producers?

I would highly reccomened the Production Certificate to other producers, especially those wanting to take the next step in their production career.

As a graduate, what are your thoughts on the Toolroom Academy overall?

The Toolroom Academy has been a fantastic experience and one that I’m extremely proud to have been a part of.

Make it happen

Learn how to make cutting-edge House and Tech House with our 3 month online Production Certificate taught by Ben Remember & Ben Keen.

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