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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.

I think I've started whole new life after taking deadmau5's masterclass. Thank you guys about making this outstanding lecture.

Before this Masterclass, the information I was getting was in the form of various YouTube tutorials, which aren't consistent or comprehensive on the whole. This series of videos has helped me expand on my knowledge of sound synthesis, and has taught me to expand my knowledge to other areas of the music industry that I would have otherwise taken no interest in.

The class as a whole was amazing. I am watching over and over to make sure I get all the content.

Loving every second of this course. I'm taking my sweet a$$ time to ensure I understand and fully get each and every video. For me, this was priceless


Travis J.

How do you get everything set up like how he has it in Ableton? I am very new to the program not very well versed in it yet. Any help would be appreciated


So...the compressor is used to modulate the drums and for make it work better or...not?


It's not the music writing that I find confusing. It's the bloody computer programs. I know how to play guitar and piano enough to write my songs. I even know how to make my own sounds on my Moog. My problem is understanding the confusingly bloated music programs that confuse the sh*t out of me. I ended up picking up a Teenage Engineering OP-1, which is an AIO music writing synth/drum machine. You can write whole songs on this. It helped with writing, but once you write, you have to bring it in to finish in what? A bloody music program. Even Garage Band is confusing to me. So, I have the opposite of the teacher. I can write music in my head, play it on instruments, but the engineering/recording of it in a music program is soooooooooo tedious and confusing. I used to use a Tascam 4-track with a few synths , a Korg's music station (O1WFD) Roland, Juno 106, Roland D50, Roland TR626, and guitars. Now I just use a Moog Grandmother for baselines and some space sounds, Roland JD-Xi for drums and loops, an Arturia MIDI keyboard fro sounds off computer, Garage Band, Fender Strat, and the TE OP-1 for forming ideas. The only thing confusing is the music program, and how the heck to figure that out. . Having just started your lessons I am hoping you delve into the actual USING of these programs. I'm just not a computer wizard. I'm a musician.

Aaron B.

Just a tip, I'd remove the top-rated lessons and add it in sequence. I was wondering why I skipped like 10 lessons haha! PS I fucking love this series. So gritty and packed with value

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.