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Music & Entertainment



Lesson time 18:27 min

Unlike a lot of other artists, deadmau5 masters all of his music himself. Learn the basics of his approach to gain structure, EQing and limiting.

Teaches Electronic Music Production
6 hours of instructions, 23 video lessons, and a downloadable course workbook.
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I like mastering my own music because it's just another thing I can do that I can say was mine. As opposed to doing a piece of shit thing that kind of sounded all right and it was musically all there and the mix wasn't quite, but thank God for this other dude because if it wasn't for this other dude, this album wouldn't sound the way it is. But with EDM, because it's such a solo act for me, it's like, I like that I-- even though I may be doing it wrong or it's not coming out as good as it could if I gave it to Matt fucking Lang. That's cool too. But hey, it's mine, you know what I mean? And if it's deemed-- and when I found out that the first time I ever did a piece of music and they played it on the radio and nobody fucking said, "God, that sounds terrible in context of mix," and I thought, well I got away with that. So that kind of empowered me to keep going that direction and learning more about that, as trying not to get too sidetracked from learning how to make fucking music because then all of a sudden, I'm the world's best mastering engineer and I don't know how to fucking do anything else. In which some cases, you just have to find that balance of learning. But, I'm such a solo dude where it's like, I'll even do art for the CD cover and it's just like, so that way when the big box after the album comes out or it gets printed and then I can get the box and I can hold the CD in my hand and say, "I fucking did most of this shit." And you look in the credits, you don't see written by Joel, produced by so-and-so, mixed by so-and-so, and the list. You wouldn't believe how long some of those lists fucking go on some people's solo work. It's so crazy. And it's like, what? Why don't you just form a band at that fucking point? But to each his own. I just like-- it's my product, it's me, and this is everything. So you're mixing, your mastering all in one package. And it's something to do to keep me from fucking killing myself waiting for a mix engineer to hopefully mix it well. The only thing you're really bringing out when you're mastering is just some volume gain, some dynamics change, change in dynamics, change in overall gain, and a bit of EQ tweaking. That's really all mastering is. And my kind of rule is, is do-- make it a sound as good as you possibly can before even touching this stuff while making sure you have enough headroom to do what you got do. Headroom being, the amount of headroom you have is basically, if zero is your no-go zone, meaning that's the loudest you can possibly be, headroom is like-- good headroom is usually about 6 DB less than that. So it's about negative 6 DB. So you kind of want to keep your eye on this. And we're obviously peaking at some points, because I just saw it hit red there. So what we'll do is we'll grab all our channels and then pull the volume down. Actually, we'll grab all our channels properly. So now...

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.

Learned a lot of useful tips and tricks from Joel; was super interesting to see his workflow in detail.

I really enjoyed this class. Joel is "down to earth" and I can relate/agree with him on a multitude of viewpoints. The atmosphere worked well. It felt comfortable to sit and watch him explaining things as if it were a conversation. I'm glad he did this and will definitely come back to these videos for guidance/information.

Always enjoy learning the workflow, process, and inspiration of people who are successful in something they are passionate about.

I feel like what i took the most from was his honesty on a lot of the industry stuff. Theres nothing better than someone thats straight up about something, whether its good news or bad. Deff excited to put all of this info to use.


Lou G.

Wow this guy swears a lot and it's fucking brilliant haha really brings you into what he says and sort of refocuses you.

Cadenas J.

Producers add me on facebook so we can collaborate!

Chris B.

In the previous lesson, he talked about having a compressor on every track. Now he's saying (I think) to have a limiter on every track as well - am I getting that right? I don't have enough understanding of compressors or limiters to know why they would both be necessary. From my limited (see what I did there?) knowledge, compressors do everything limiters do, and then some.

Jonathon S.

anyone remember what chapter deadmau5 was talking about tommy sunshine using limiter?

Ziggy A.

Hey, so I tried to incorporate some of your mastering advice into my latest track, as well as some tips from Jonas Aden, any of yall can give it a listen if you want and feel free to give me any tips or advice! Also, yes, I did make this track with stock plugins because i am a noob and i am cheap :D.

Robert P.

The point he makes about perceived loudness versus actual loudness is key. Too many musicians and producers like everything to be LOUD, sacrificing dynamic range. I've witnessed this very often, especially among less experienced bands and artists. Sometimes, turning down several elements makes them sound louder than turning them up.

Adam S.

Small question, but @4min why doesn't he just lower the "Master" channel compared to lowering all the individual tracks? Any reason behind that which someone can point out? Thanks.


I think i was at that Excision show... definite "perceived loudness", still a good show, but man the Deadmau5 set FELT so much better.

Silver H. the 16:15 mark he starts saying there is very little you can take away from online communities, forums, wannabe experts or even experts that you can actually find useful....did this dude literally just say what people just paid 90$ for to watch and listen to him won’t be usefully? This guy is weird man,,,

Kenneth S.

I love that Joel does as much of the whole process by himself, he owns it from one end to the other. That speaks to me as lot! Cutting out 30 Hz, is also a very good practice. It prevents Limiter's from cutting down what you've mastered. The whole Dub-step comparison makes a great picture. Lot's to think about, about Limiters... I'll watch his a few times for sure!