Music & Entertainment

The deadmau5 Process: Practice


Lesson time 17:24 min

Get in the studio and watch how deadmau5 music takes shape in real time: from an empty project to beginnings of a track.

Teaches Electronic Music Production
6 hours of instructions, 23 video lessons, and a downloadable course workbook.
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I don't have the ability-- like, I'm not a pianist. So I can't just sit down at a piano or a MIDI keyboard, and wire it up to my workstation, and then play the chord, and then the next chord, then the next chord, and that chord. I can't even do that. The way I work on songs, from start to finish, in their entirety, are always in little pieces here and there. It just doesn't go ABCDEFG, ABCDEFG. What happens is, I'll draw a root note. And then another note, and then just have the bass notes, right? And then I'll layer on some counter-melody notes with it. And then and then go from the last chord to the second chord, to the first chord, and then to the third chord. And then just keep juggling around until it's complete. You can go in here, and then just start plotting away your melody. So here's where you would either hook up a MIDI controller, and go in and play the notes that you know how to play. Or you can simply just draw them in. So there I've got a root set up. But I'm way out of sync here. So I'm just going to dodge some stuff around. And then-- I do this pretty quick, now. But before, it was a little cumbersome, using a mouse and keyboard and all that stuff. But it's just becoming familiar with your DAW, and knowing that, oh, you want that up an octave? Well, I could sit here and then [MAKES SOUND] and then go up an octave. Or if you know the shortcut, you just hit Shift, and then one of these arrows. And now you're just going in intervals. So it's really handy to become super familiar with the tools that you're using. Because they're all designed to save time and do all this stuff. And then once I kind of have a bass structure set in, I'll change the patch to something stupid. And then increase the polyphony on that. And then just start doing some-- that's not right. And then-- You know. So then that's how I kind of come up with my chord structures here. Oh, but then I want a major there. Sure, why not? And then drop that down a seventh. Oh, wait. Hang on. So I have three chords, right? And no particular time or anything. And I shut that metronome off, 'cause it drives me crazy, more often than not. OK, so that's kind of like-- this is how I would start a song. So there you have your root chord there. I wouldn't begin shaping any kind of sound or style out of it. I'd just-- so I kind of like the way that those notes go together. Then it comes about phrasing, right? So what you actually can do-- and this is what I find these most useful for, is going into a sound library, like those Vengeance guys. This is all they do, is they shit out these music libraries, or drum loop libraries. So they just-- Stuff like that, that I just basically use as temporary metronomes,...

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.

Funny guy! I learned a few production techniques and a lot about the business. Nice to see the hardware at work.

A good view into the real aspects of the whole process. Love the candid delivery!

This was by far the best masterclass i watched. Very in depth. No bullshit. No half truths. No embellishments. Will come back to rematch many of these lessons again. Thanks!

Great class! I loved it. A whole world of concepts to be taken and to explore further. It's good for beginners and more experienced folks.


Andy R.

Good to know that a bum off the street can teach a class on music production

James R.

hey if you pause and stop the video to study the screen...the pop up community thing gets in the way...get rid of that or move it to the side!!!

A fellow student

Ok don’t worry I’ve just read the comments and I see I’m not the only one overwhelmed 😂

A fellow student

Does anyone know wha software he is using? We were never even introduced to software at all :( just how to use it

Buck B.

It's a privilege and an honor to watch him work. I'm really happy I bought the class.

Marty F.

Emphasise with not being able to play say a piano. You could just loop the chord progression an play the topline though. Me -scrape me off the ceiling shite what did I just play? It is great to get your take on how to. Many great points all the time very happy you decided to make your class.

Mariano H.

I love deadmau5 and seing a well-known artist struggle in making a track, gives me a little more confidence.


My first time viewing this course my theory knowledge was lacking and needed to thought out a bit, which really resonated with what you said at the end of the lesson, none of the coolest equipment will ever help with terrible harmony. I know you meant it in a different context, which I also can relate as my artists shaped the sound that I will make. You do this format in such an honest way I love it. The annoying metronome with a nice drum beat helps you stay sane and sound a little more original.

Arjun M.

I love how this lesson. I love that it’s just raw allowing you to see a perspective of the creative process. Great for inspiration or even reinforcement that it’s really about DOING and experimenting until you find something that clicks with you. Over time you build up experience for adding new layers...

Alexsandro M.

Does anyone know what is the synthesizer he is using in Chapter 3? How can we get it?