Music, Arts & Entertainment, Science & Tech

The deadmau5 Process: Theory


Lesson time 17:30 min

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.

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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


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...

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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