Arts & Entertainment, Music

On Stage: The Show


Lesson time 10:24 min

Performance is about more than just making great music. For deadmau5, your live show's got to give audiences an experience they'll never forget.

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

Topics include: Forget the Crowd • Don’t Be Like a Saw Movie • Putting on a Show • Another Day at the Office • Feeling Comfortable on Stage


I still get nervous a little bit getting up on stage. But after the first minute, that's just "psshh." Then I'm in the zone. It's just the first minute is me thinking about literally seven to 10 different systems, all at the same time, trying to anticipate the first point of failure in a show and whether it's going to be mission critical or not. Because shit does go down all the time. And sometimes you'd never know from a spectator point of view. But from my end, I'm like having a panic attack up there because something just kind of went out. But I can fix it on the fly with a fader pull down kind of thing and then save myself from that. But usually, after the first minute, once you have a system going, and everything is going, and it's still going, and it's gone for about 60 seconds, then you're in the clear and you start to have fun. So if you're out playing your first show, or you're playing at a club, or you're just being a DJ, you're going to get, for the rest of your life, that first minute of panic. And then after that, it's no problem. I'm half asleep during a show. I'm not going to lie. I'm not feeding off the crowd's energy. I could give a fuck less if you were there or you weren't. I'm just up there kind of operating my thing in my world. Even though the mouse head is beaming right at you, my head's actually tilted more this way. And we designed it that way so it looks like I'm looking straight ahead. But I'm not. I'm just-- I'm looking down, looking at my feet, looking at the controllers, looking at the touchscreen monitor, and that kind of thing while you've got this like mouse thing like piercing right into your gaze. So that's an interesting thing. But that's just me being brutally honest. I like to not know nobody is there for a minute. The only time I know the crowds there really is at the end. I do make a point to kind of come out and scope things out during "Ghosts N Stuff" I guess. Because there's a good section of that track that I kind of flip it over to autopilot just so I can walk out and wave my hands around and say hi to everyone and kind of thing. And that's the only real audience engagement I get. And then it's back to work, right? And finish the thing off. And then once the last track is kind of on its last little fade out, and I'm pretty sure I can walk away from that and let that kind of do its own thing, then I'll go out and do it again. You know, do my thank you kind of thing, and wave hi, and then walk off. But as far as the performance goes, the way I do things-- and this is not the way other people do things. It's not the way people should do things. This is just the way I do things is that I can't read an audience, and then play to them, and then do some if you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. Come on, guys. You know, like I just-- that's not my thing. One of the...

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.

Featured Masterclass Instructor


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

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