Music, Arts & Entertainment, Science & Tech

On Stage: The Music


Lesson time 10:07 min

It takes effort and planning to play a set that's creative and keeps your audience engaged. Here's how to take your music from the studio to the stage.

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

Topics include: Programming Shows • Playing the DAW • Crafting Your Set List • Openings and Endings Matter Most


The live versions of the songs are different sonically than you hear on the record because there are some things that I can't replicate live that would have been on a produced record. One being kind of my master output. So my master output, I don't have the same kind of mastering chain on everything like we were discussing before that goes out. Because what is happening is all the individual outputs of those tracks are coming into an analog mixer. And that analog mixer is summing the parts. So the mix is slightly different. It's, honestly, at concert level volume, you can't tell. I can't tell. Nobody can tell. But I try my best to match the live equipment that I'm using live to emulate, or be like, what it is on the record. So I don't stray too far from it. Or like change drums up entirely. Or create whole new melodies and stuff like that. No, all that stuff stays exactly the same. Some levels might have been off a bit, as I'm adjusting the track, or getting ready for the next track, or, shit, you know, accidentally knocking a fader with a beer or something, you know. Like, that shit happens all the time. So there are some minor discrepancies, but ultimately the output is pretty close. My performances aren't DJ sets. So I can't play, you know, I can't I can't hear some kids screaming play Ghosts N Stuff, at the front and then immediately go into Ghosts N Stuff like a band could. The ratio to pre-recorded versus live is 1:1. I mean, it is all pre-recorded. That's the nature of electronic music. Unless you're, you know, improving with live analog sequencers. But I've always had this saying that you can do 100% live EDM really good for a very short amount of time. After that, because the songs change after four minutes, or five minutes, or something like that, so you would have to shut down all your live gear, kind of put your finger up in the air, load up all new sequences, all new patches for all that gear and, you know, maybe if you're lucky, four to five minutes later everything will boot up again, and then you can do the next track and it would sound different than the first. So printed audio helps in the sense that you can have a bed of all everything going at once and you can pick and choose, you know, what you want in and where at that point. But the other pitfall to doing it live, live, and I mean 100% live, is that there would be no communication in there between you and what's playing on video, and when and how. Or with motion control, with some of the mechanics and robotics happening and on stage and all that stuff. All that stuff you'd have to throw out the window because you can't do that kind of stuff live. So you know, I'm not the first and I won't be the last to program shows. So of course I get shit on by, oh, you played the same set. Well, it's not a set. It has nothing to do with sets. I mean, it's a...

About the Instructor

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.

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6 hours of instructions, 23 video lessons, and a downloadable course workbook.

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