Music & Entertainment

Starting Your Producing Career


Lesson time 15:10 min

Joel puts on his label-manager's-hat to talk about what he looks for when he's signing up and coming EDM artists, and offer advice about how develop your brand and promote it the right way.

Teaches Electronic Music Production
6 hours of instructions, 23 video lessons, and a downloadable course workbook.
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No one's out to help you-- no-fucking-body. And if they are, they're out to fuck you. I guarantee it. I 100% guarantee it. Nobody out of the goodness of their heart are doing things to further your career and get no gain from it whatsoever, unless it's your mom. That's about it. I do scout for new talent from time to time. And actually what I do look for and what we do, as a team, for a label look for is self-sufficiency. As in have the music, first and foremost and then maybe they're kind of branding or like the way they look-- not in the physical sense, but I mean look as a musician-- and their deliverables, like if they could give us a full album. And we're not really looking for the guy that can just do one track with the help of a whole bunch of other people, but couldn't finish a whole album. Because that would mean we'd have to jump in and then start assigning producers to that artist and really kind of like holding their hand through the whole process. Every act I think I've ever signed has delivered a fully finished album or even just EP-- which is just two or three tracks-- to us, but then have also had a say in how they want to appear or their art direction or their album work. Like my most recent discovery was, ironically enough, from Niagara Falls. Her name was REZZ. And she had all this music that all fit together nice, and it was all in the same vein. She delivered a full album. And And then she had all this artwork done, and she had the whole vision, like everything all on a silver plate. So she didn't leave a lot for us to kind of make up for her. So I look for self-sufficiency. Nobody at my label or any other label I know likes a guy who just constantly sends in demos or is like hey, help me. Help me. Help me do this. I have all these great ideas, but I need you to do-- it's like, we'll hear about you. You know what I mean? That's just like-- I end up hearing about other artists or something like that, and that's how you kind of get initiated into this circle of kind of EDM money, really, because I've signed a lot of artists. And now I'm not out-- I'm not a charity. I don't just bet on things and give them money. I study them. I follow them, and I make sure they know what they're doing and then that they have something deliverable. And then I take that and just say pretend it's mine. How can I market it like or whatever, and then suggest to them how I kind of do that. A case in point was Skrillex. This kid came up to me at a show with a USB key with the entire album of Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites. And I took his demo, and I saw his art or someone else's art that he sourced. So there you go. He's all in one platter. And I took that USB key and I went fuck, man. This is what I think North America needs right now because they are so sick of house. They're so sick of EDM and so sick of this other shit. Maybe dubstep ...

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.

I've learned so much and Joel is an amazing instructor. His view of music has really helped all my doubts of being in music. I've learned a lot and it's awesome that workbooks were after every section. I look forward to my journey in music and can't wait to apply what I've learned from his class.

the mau5 gives major points from entry to advance techniques

Very professional production quality. To be honest the most valuable pice of info i derived was a one-liner from Deadmaus where he revealed all his tracks are high passed at 50 Hz. That single 5 second clip of info was the most important piece of advice i derived from the course and have implemented into my workflow moving forward.

Great tips and helpful pointers to help me start writing my own music. Would recommend having a little audio production experience before enrolling.



There are some hard truths in this lesson. Every label will exploit you to make money. If you're not OK with that fact, have fun playing in your basement.


People want to be a big star, which is like saying they want to leave home and then be a CEO. You don't start at the top. You learn how things work, you follow the ones who can teach you, you use the skills you've learned to express the art that's in your head, and you put it out so others can hear it (not just your basement). But first, you learn your craft. Don't peddle your suck.


Deadmau5 what the hell, you're (among many other mentors here) helping me right now though! Haha, again thank you so much by the way, much appreciation :) Will now watch the whole video to develop a fuller scope on what you're saying haha :)


The Opener is Spot On! That bit of advise should be given to all high school students period!! There is no body that looks after you in life better than yourself!! Spend more time in the studio and learn your craft and peddle less crap!! OMG Joel drops lessons life the way its is.... " I could care Less." The inside information here in a nutshell was have your crap together be able to provide quality and give more than what is expected. Make it a win win.

Brian A.

Inspirational and reassuring lesson for experienced people who already have the right ideas.

Rich S.

This would have been a good first lesson. It laid out who this course would benefit and gave you an idea of what to expect. Joel says here as he did in several other lessons that EDM, ..., is a dying genre commercially in North America. It puts the course in a different light. He also says upfront in this lesson that he and other producers are not out there seeking out talent. That is important to know too. You're not going to get any feedback (directly anyway) from the instructors.

DJ Peak Performer Hello. My name is DJ Thrash Ninja from Japan. i took this class about 7 month ago. then i can produce a music now. This song was written for a competition about Japanese Rap music. Could give brothers and sisters who join this class comments about my song. which part is good or not good. and How do u feel my song? Thanx


Though I would have liked to know the origin of your name Deadmau5, I love this!

book E.

1. Love the Intro - down-to-earth dialogue. This is it guys. Like it or not. Always like bottom line folks. 2. Suggest he look toward the camera more and not down so much. Psychology, I'm thinking he is "busy thinking": "Maintaining eye contact consumes some of people's cognitive resources. By breaking a gaze, they are better able to concentrate and formulate answers to questions.." In this instance, to formulate dialogue for teaching. And he looks like he is thinking. 3. I like that he also bottom lines exactly what and how they want work submitted. Explicit guidelines. 4. He gives good advice in Investing in Yourself. As a writer, even we do a lot of this if serious with our craft. He reinforces what I just read in The 15 Success Traits of Pro Bloggers: Don't do it for the money. "If you chase the income first you will be left wanting." Basically, do it because its your passion. Joel is saying the same thing. 5. I like that he gives alternatives to being the producer or Big Star. Money to be made in others aspects of the industry. 6. He is honest with Branding. It ain't easy. Takes thought. Time. Motivation. Creativity. He helped me understand how in the world one creates an image or word that creates the image for readers/viewers to grasp the whole of your product/being. Excellent examples: McDonalds. We need a marketing class that goes into this creative process because I've been considering this a while now, with: NADA. 7. Yea. Good stuff. Like his teaching style. I have no personal interest in this class, but after watching this lesson, would register just to listen to Joel. He's personable and talks with his students. No lecture here. Good teaching.

Eric R.

You can hear the cameraman sniffle-laughing at "Unless it's your mom" at 0:25