David McFarlane Headshot

David McFarlane

BA, MA, PGCert

BA (Hons) Electronic Music Production Module Leader

location pin
David McFarlane Headshot
Whether it’s innovative global collaborations, using music as a tool for rehabilitation and therapy, or picking up a new string instrument, David’s love of sound permeates everything he does.

What did you do before joining dBs?  

I work part time at dBs and part time as a self-employed freelancer, so before joining dBs I did much the same as I do now–a lot of different jobs! In my freelance career I work as a musician, creative technologist, digital artist and workshop leader. I play music, lead workshops and make things in and around Manchester. A large chunk of my facilitation work is leading music workshops in the criminal justice system, working in prisons and probation units, and another chunk is working with disabled musicians

Why did you first get into electronic music production? 

At university, I was introduced to Ableton and Max/MSP and never looked back. I was an electric guitarist before I started doing any production, so the idea of plugging things into each other together to make sounds made a lot of sense to me.

Any special areas of interest?  

Max/MSP, Ableton, creative technology, disability and music, music theory, critical musicology, interactive music systems, sound installations, facilitation, mandolins, guitars, anything else with strings.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love seeing people progress and improve over time–I think that’s one of the most rewarding parts of any kind of teaching or facilitation work. I especially love the lightbulb moments when someone suddenly gets something that had been eluding them before.

Tell us about your proudest career moment.

In 2023 I was part of a team who produced an immersive, interactive exhibit all about plankton for FutureFantastic art festival in Bangalore. I was responsible for the sound design and interactive elements of the project. It took ages to develop, and we were collaborating entirely through Zoom as we all lived in different countries. Finally going out to India for the festival, setting up the project, and seeing all the different parts we’d made separately come together was really great.

What do you get up to outside of teaching?

Apart from lots more music, at the moment I’m learning to skateboard and taking dance classes.

Tell us something our students may not know about you.

I was going to be called James, but I was born on St. David’s Day, so James was relegated to being my middle name. This means my full written name is DJ MC Farlane. I also have a sister Catherine, born on St. Catherine’s Day, and an older brother, Pancake.

I especially love the lightbulb moments when someone suddenly gets something that had been eluding them before.

Want to be taught by David?

Explore the available courses below

Learn alongside David