Music & Entertainment



Lesson time 20:00 min

Good producers need to know how to write original music and how to mix it to sound great. Here are some important techniques Joel uses to shape his tracks in the mix.

Teaches Electronic Music Production
6 hours of instructions, 23 video lessons, and a downloadable course workbook.
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There are basically two things you need to have a professional sounding track. One is the music has to be right. You know, your melody structure has to be on point. And then, on top of that, the engineering side has to be done right. That's kind of something that's like really rare in this industry, to have a guy who can do both. I do it because, you know, I've spent 50% of my time learning how to mix and how to do this and that, to treat audio in such a way to get it print ready. And there are other guys who just didn't bother learning any of that stuff. And there's nothing wrong with that if you're a musician, you know? It's like, I'm a musician, not an audio engineer. But in the case of electronic music, you tend to have to be both. A big, full track with lots of variation I think would probably consist of maybe 60 to 70 individual components, possibly more, sometimes less. But the way that they get routed is like as before. So here, I have a drum group, right? This ultimately only becomes one track. But it's one track that's composed of all these different components, like your kick, your snare, your ride, and this other ride, I don't know what it was. But it all feeds into this one channel. So that could ultimately be one track. But it's actually consisting of all these others. So I generally have drums, bass, and synths, and some other miscellaneous channels. Those are kind of like my groups. And then, those subgroups get all mashed together and then summed and sent to the master channel, which is this guy down here. But on another DAW, it might be another channel strip over here. But it's all the same workflow. Well, mixing is roughly done, as you start, you're mixing, you know. Because if you just start making a melody and you put in a drum kick, you can immediately know if the kick is too loud or too fucking quiet. So you just pull it down a bit. So as you start to add elements, you're mixing right then and there. Because you're like, oh, I put in a shaker, and it's like, ahh! You're like, oh, fuck. You're pulling it down. That's mixing. You know, so you're mixing it in at a comfortable-- you know, you're ear-balling it, as I say, into the level it should be at. And then, keeping an eye on your master before you put any mastering stuff on it to make sure you have enough headroom for that maximization and limiting and EQing and all that stuff. And the general rule of thumb is 6 dB. So don't put a kick drum in, and then turn the kick drum up just so it's like just barely hitting 0. You don't want that you. You want it around negative 6 dB. And then, everything else. Because that's how most of these plugins work is they'll take a maximum audio signal of generally around like a negative 6, and then do what it needs to do. And it'll plus it a bit, you know what I mean? But because you had negative 6 on your master, you have ...

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.

Learning a character and his approach widens my horizons.

Outstanding. I have learned so much from this course.

Fantastic class. New to music and EDM especially. A whole new world opened up, I learned a lot and am inspired to play more, Joel is awesome!

Im not already done with all the videos I take them just in a goo tempo not to slow and not to quick I learn alot from this and its very good


Adam M.

So this showed me how to properly mix my leads into my main track so it sounds like a whole. Also showed me how to use an LFO tool to provide a sidechain making my tracks sound farrrrr more professional! This one lesson has been a lifesaver!

A fellow student

What about for hip-hop? Would the LFO tool work for lo-fi for side chaining?

Keith M.

I signed up for his Masterclass not knowing his work. Sure, I know the name "Deadmau5" and his status and all of that. As a result of the class I have started to at the very least check out more of his compositions. As for his Masterclass...he clearly knows what he is talking about. I appreciate his willingness to share his knowledge. I don't have a problem with his personality, or the words that he chooses to express himself. At all. I see this Class as another value tool for boosting and augmenting your thinking and a way in which to boost your own creativity. So...inspirational...good on yeah, Deadmau5. ✊🏼

Silver H.

I find it hilarious that he can’t edit his abrasive personality for his class...

Bogdan I.

"If that were the thing I would live on a private island making music from plug-ins". Nice!


It should be noted that if you are trying to automate volume of just a plain old sample, as Joel said, an LFO uses WAYYY less CPU power than running a compressor, which is constantly running a fast fourier transform in the background. Stack up a track full of instruments all running FFT analysis to do compression and you will get underruns very quick. You definitely need compressors for VSTs since the sample may not always be periodic depending on what you select, but if you can do the job with an LFO tool instead, do it to save you headaches later on when the track gets real big.

Rich S.

This was a very honest class. There is not a noticeable difference between several thousand dollar hardware components and VST plug-ins. Concur by the way. Joel has said repeatedly and very publicly that EDM is dead. It feels like there should be some wisdom there. Where should that direct us creatively? What are your thoughts?

Erik N.

The age of In The Box ... all composers and producers should move toward turning out high quality demos up thru to mixing and even a first mastering pass. Or partner with a small circle of trusted conspirators that can help improve tracks to near-releasable quality.


To me, this was probably the most important lesson so far. I have the musical knowledge down but my weak points are on the technical end of things like mixing. Stuff regarding mixing has definitely been something that has taken a while for me to grasp.

Chris J.

This was a great lesson getting in depth with the compressors vs LFO stuff. I never knew too much about it but will experiment now.