Arts & Entertainment, Music

The deadmau5 Process: Practice


Lesson time 17:31 min

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

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

Topics include: Starting a Track From Scratch


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,...

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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