From deadmau5's MasterClass

The deadmau5 Process: Theory

It's all about experimentation. Learn Joel's unique approach to the music creation process and how to get the most out of your time in the studio.

Topics include: Find a Way to Stop Thinking • You Don’t Have to Feel It to Write It • Experimentation not Inspiration • Building Your Mister Potato Head Bin • 23 Seconds is a Track • Every Producer Copies, Good Producers Copy in New Ways • You Don’t Have to be a Team Player • Doubts and Mistakes • Make you Better • Nothing’s Ever Really Done • Starting a Track From Scratch

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It's all about experimentation. Learn Joel's unique approach to the music creation process and how to get the most out of your time in the studio.

Topics include: Find a Way to Stop Thinking • You Don’t Have to Feel It to Write It • Experimentation not Inspiration • Building Your Mister Potato Head Bin • 23 Seconds is a Track • Every Producer Copies, Good Producers Copy in New Ways • You Don’t Have to be a Team Player • Doubts and Mistakes • Make you Better • Nothing’s Ever Really Done • Starting a Track From Scratch

deadmau5

Teaches Electronic Music Production

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My creation process is I like to deprive myself of sleep. I like to work from 9:00 PM to 7:00 AM. And the idea sometimes doesn't hit me-- or more often than not-- actually does hit me around 3:00 to 4:00 AM. And then it's just weird. It's like, because my brain is in this weird, euphoric state, I guess, of no sleep that I start thinking-- or not thinking-- and start getting more experimental things done and writing melodies and just becoming more efficient at being not so critical. Because I guess that's why you're not supposed to drive at 3:00, 4:00 in the morning, after having been up 24 hours prior, because your judgment's not there. And you're not critically thinking about driving. So you might doze off. Or you might just kind of fuzz out and do a thing. So when you apply that to making music, you're not inhibited by some kind of stress that's going on that day or something like that, or the stress of why this track isn't really working. And you're just doing it and not contriving anything. And then sometimes it's just like the floodgate opens, and ideas come out. And you get them down. And you're like, wow, now that's cool. And then you get excited about that. And you start working on it. Now whether it's going to turn into one of those things where you're banging your head off the desk trying to get it finished, but that doesn't matter. It's just so rewarding to have come up with something that doesn't sound like the same punching your head off the desk, EDM kind of stuff. I disassociate music from almost everything, which is kind of strange. Because a lot of people are like-- a lot of other artists I know is, music is a feeling, and it's this and that. And to me, it's not. It's so disassociated from scenes. It's so disassociated from people's personal habits. And it's disassociated from body movement. I disassociate it from everything. I just emotionally cut the head off of music and then go at it from a let's just do it kind of vibe. But that's just me. Other guys need that connection. They need the personal connection. And I don't even think about shit like that. I get asked that question a lot. It's like, well, when you were making this, how did you feel? Or how do you expect people to feel? And it's like, dude, that wasn't even in the neighborhood-- wasn't even on the planet. I don't think songs, unless you're Neil Young-- yeah, sure, that's storytelling within music and stuff like that. But EDM-- I think it's pretty subjective. I mean, I could say that it was telling a story, and then I could impose that story on everyone. And then that would be the global opinion of the thing. But I like that people can take away different things from the same body of work. So that's the way I go about making music, because I'm just completely like-- I've never found myself humming a tune on the c...

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.

Reviews

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

I feel like what i took the most from was his honesty on a lot of the industry stuff. Theres nothing better than someone thats straight up about something, whether its good news or bad. Deff excited to put all of this info to use.

learned a lot about the things I need to learn more about. While EDM isn't my main musical goal, I have learned a lot about mixing, structuring and mastering. Joel is a great teacher who bleeds passion and integrity for what he does. The online community here is very positive and helpful, a strong resource I definitely need to take advantage of more!

Learning a character and his approach widens my horizons.

I love to be able to learn from this. Its nearly all you would need!

Comments

Jean D.

I don’t know who he is or what EDM is. Electron Digital Music? But interesting in that vacuum.

A fellow student

Good insight into the way that it is done. I composed my own tracks for a long time but there is something else you get when you sample (borrow) someone else’s work even if it is just a few seconds or sounds. Think of the David Bowie track and Ice Ice Baby. Create new from the old and the future is reborn. Mou5 shared some good stuff here. Wish we could get on a track together.

Xan

It is great they are having discussions with people of all ages on Mc. It’s fun. I can see using either a Hans Zimmer approach or DeadMau5’s at different times for different songs, for sure! Hope that doesn’t sound like a cop out or Larry Wilmore would give me weak tea instead of “Keep it 💯!” Of course my background is more like Hans’ in the German classical tradition but DeadMau5 reminds me of my brother’s approach as we grew up. “Just go and do it without preconceived “(melodies or) notions.” Both are valid! Thanks for pointing up this pairing of Zimmer and DeadMau5.

Averielle

Steal like an artist and working at night. YUS. This is gonna be a fantastic class I can tell.

A fellow student

Just hearing how long he sometimes takes to get a melody he's happy with has made me happy. I guess when starting on a new project patience really is key in the beginning.

Christian M.

I sit here late at night pondering in the same argument Joel makes about having a creative process to work with during nighttime. With that in mind, I think I'll benefit from the techniques he's mentioned and from what we will see later.

Joshua

Yeah I realize that now, mistakes is just experienced gained. What works for you, what doesn't. That folder of ideas is great because maybe that crap tune is going to be a perfect transition or surprise for the next song you might work at!

Maria Elena S.

Funny to see things have not changed much in the creative process. My thoughts always seem to be juicing up after midnight. No wonder I suffer from insomnia - lol.

MJDorian

I love hearing that Joel needs 10-12 hours to write a good melody, that is genuinely how it feels at times for me as well. It's also reassuring to know he has also experienced that surge of raw creativity that one gets after 3am, past the point of sleepiness, when the body just says 'well, I guess we're staying up'.

Robbie C.

Very imformative. I think it will help me accept that other people have have taken this path and that this path doesn't have a 100% failure rate.