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Music & Entertainment

Beats: Part 2


Lesson time 13:31 min

Dive deeper into deadmau5's rhythmic techniques, with lessons on snare sounds and a closer look at the drums tracks in Snowcone.

Teaches Electronic Music Production
6 hours of instructions, 23 video lessons, and a downloadable course workbook.
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So you know, your snares. [DRUM BEAT] Now this is one common thing that kind of drives me nuts about EDM in general. It works for the most part. But the way that this is set up is, as I'm moving my cursor here, it's highlighting to a grid of strict eighth notes. So this is one beat. That's two beats. This is a whole bar. And everything is all very quantized, meaning that it's going to lock right there. And the one mistake I hear in EDM is, you know, all these pre-transients don't go through because everything, if you zoom in, is being triggered right-- I'm, like, in sample land right here. Meaning the time scale is-- you know, moving it from here to here is not noticeable at all. But as you can see, everything is perfectly locked to the thing now. So I hear a lot of-- [DRUM BEAT] While that may sound all right to some people, it's just too bang-on to me-- well, at least for the snare. The kick, it doesn't really matter. The kick can be bang-on and all that stuff, and that's great. But you know, the rule for me is basically the kick is the lock track. And then everything else can kind of go back and forth between that. So now if I want to bring the transient out on a snare a bit, what I'll end up doing is taking that snare-- maybe I'll just reduce this clip so that the snare only plays once. And then what I do is I drag that snare just a little bit earlier than it should. Now you're going to notice, as I start to do this, you're going to hear a different sound. [DRUM BEAT] See, now too far out, you're going to get-- you know, it's out of time. But if you find a spot halfway in-between-- [DRUM BEAT] --you're actually going to get a different sound than you would if it was locked in, because you're hearing a little bit of the snare before the kick. And you know, there is bottom end, in some cases, and low end and mid-range frequencies in a snare drum. A kick is an exclusively low end. And a snare isn't typically like mid and high. Frequencies are all over the place. So if I put this one back to-- [DRUM BEAT] --you'll hear the difference between this section, which is going to be red. Right, this is the wrong way, I guess I would say. And then, if I play this other one-- [DRUM BEAT] --you get a different sound. [DRUM BEAT] So you know, that's something you've got to go into detail in and get really finicky about and experiment with in your times. And the same applies for, say, the top end of a kick. And delaying it-- you know, like I can go in and move and nudge this way and that way on the timeline. But there are other ways around it, too. So if I want to move-- [DRUM BEAT] So now you hear the top way out of time because it's negative 600 samples playing earlier or something like that. But Ableton goofs it up a lot because of the latency that plug-ins induce and all that stuff, too. So that's a whole other world of ...

Make better music

Before he was deadmau5, all Joel Zimmerman wanted for Christmas was old toasters to take apart. Now, you can watch him take his music apart. In his first-ever online class, Joel teaches you how he approaches melodies, mixing and mastering to make unique sounds you can't find in a cookie cutter sample pack. You'll not only get his lessons, you'll learn how to create your own music without spending money on million dollar gear.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Helped me realize how much I already know. Helped me to take things less seriously. Gotta love Joel's fuck it mentality.

I dont know. We will see through my contest submission

This has been an enriching experience for me, I'm glad I did this.

I have learned , so much and have been applying it to my Music, I am not a DJ, but if you didn't learn something you can apply to your music from this course, you were not paying attention


Jessica J.

DEADMAU5 -The loop was from “steal my sunshine” by Len I recognized it within the first 3 seconds...always wanted to play “name that tune” lol Thank you for your instruction!!

Brian H.

Deadmau5, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us. Here's a drum loop I made that may or may not be used in a future track. If anyone listens to it, please let me know what you think. Thanks in advance. The link I attached is private on soundcloud.

A fellow student

I remembered in a prior lesson you mentioned that you pulled from Nine Inch Nails. I don't know if my ear is picking it up the right thing, but this "snare before the kick" to me reminds me a lot of the intro to the song closer. Did you get the idea originally from this?

Donnie A.

Awesome lesson. Very fun way to learn. The sample was "Len - Steal my Sunshine"

Millard B.

OK, so like a noob, I uploaded a track but somehow didn't end up with any rating categories. Anybody got any recommendations on how to fix that?

Josh F.

I ended up creating an entire album based off of what I am learning so far since I sterted taking Joel's courses in December last year. I'm known as Dragonite on over 17 platforms, and I'm growing a magnetic community that hopefully through time and concentration can evolve into a central area where other artists and managers can change the way that they look at electronic music and utilize the styles they pick up in their own unbassic way. Enjoy the music, and I'm always taking in high quality, constructive feedback!

Joshua T.

This is very amusing to play around with! Great input! Here's what I came up with after revisiting this module.

Brian A.

Love the tip on humanizing layers not just for a realistic feel but for better transient sound or timing of timbre in relation to each other. A nice departure from the computerized approach Joel uses.

Erik N.

This lesson is the money ... his process for creating beats ... much of it familiar but numerous variances of interest. This is a phenom product/plugin that enhances the beat process: So many creative ways to use information extracted out of a stock loop ... convert a beat to MIDI then use that to trigger different samples, etc. Watch for discounts ... Essentials is frequently available for free which effectively halves the price of Pro should you want to upgrade to the full package.

Ron S.

Busted dude! Everyone, clear your samples with the artist, At least ask them if it ok to use. Do it all in writing. I think you have to rip about 2 or 4 bars of recognizable music before the copyright police show up at your door. A few drum samples may be cool, but if it gets recognized by a filthy rich band like the Stones oops. The Stones sat back while this song went up the charts, and when the time was right... Wham! Thank you very much, ka-ching See this Rolling Stone article about Verve losing the profits from a lifted sample.