Music & Entertainment

The deadmau5 Process: Theory

deadmau5

Lesson time 13:16 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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deadmau5
Teaches Electronic Music Production
6 hours of instructions, 23 video lessons, and a downloadable course workbook.
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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.

Great course, good advices and honest presentation!

I feel that in the class I learned a lot about the basis for sound design, so... thanks for the class! :)

it's not only important how to make music and mix them properly, but also connect to my like-minded people in my society. thanks.

This has been a great experience. I'm going to go through it again at a slower pace now. Definitely worth my money!


Comments

Robert F.

I disagree with sleep deprivation - health is not worth risking for a song and insomnia is not equated to genius. I do like deadmou5's work though and even if he has sleep issues, I think his ideas can be utilized for more powerful sound creation techniques.

A fellow student

Awesome. Very similar to what I feel. The music just evolves itself, no need to have a "plan" or something. It can help, sure, but mostly it is just taking some random walk from the original sketch.

Antonio

what I appreciate most is his complete dedication to work - and not the magic of inspiration. He is a skilled and pragmatic artist-craftsman

Julian

He gives himself a lot of freedom to experiment. He's really driven by the work...quite inspirational.

Buck B.

I liked how he said that it isn't time wasted, but time experienced so that on the next session you'll avoid certain mistakes.

Christopher B.

His unique approach to music is interesting. I am one of those guys that need a connection to music. Whenever I listen to Slushii, or San Holo, or Illenium, or any of those guys something inside just kicks off, lights a spark, and vitalizes my soul.

Sonia D D.

The thing that sticks out the most for me in this is how nothing is really "negative". You may not like it now...it may feel like a waste of time now...but it's part of learning and growing...and in the end, it's something positive for the future because you never know when you're going to need or want that special extra "oomph" to it that you created weeks, months or even years before that didn't work then.

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.