deadmau5 MasterClass Review
Table of Contents
About deadmau5 MasterClass
Deadmau5, a name that has become synonymous with EDM music over the last 20 years, is recognized globally for his iconic grinning mouse head.
On a personal level, deadmau5 is known as Joel Zimmerman, a Canadian musician with a heartbeat fueled by fat bass and gritty beats.
Self-built, deadmau5 created his own record label, won Juno awards, and received numerous Grammy nominations within just a few years of releasing his debut album.
In his MasterClass, Joel reveals his unusual method of creating music, sharing tips and tricks he’s learned along the way.
This deadmau5 MasterClass review will walk you through the course and what you can expect to find within each video lesson, fill you in on what customers have to say about it, provide pricing information, and more to help decide if this high-energy class is right for you.
Who is deadmau5?
From an early age, deadmau5 had an affinity for electronics.
Using old computer chips to make music and tearing broken toasters apart, the Canadian EDM legend didn’t yet know what he would one day become – he just knew what sounded good and felt right when it came to music.
Born Joel Zimmerman, he took on the globally recognized name in an Internet chat room. In 2002, after telling other users he had a dead mouse in his computer, he soon became known as “the dead mouse guy.” A quick change of his username and voila: “deadmau5.”
He produced his first album a mere 3 years later. Get Scraped was released by ZOOLOOK Records. Still on the outskirts of EDM, Joel continued producing albums before launching his own record company, mau5trap records, in 2007.
It was that change in his career that helped him break onto the pop-music scene, weaving enchanting vocals of popular singers into high-energy mixes.
After winning his first Juno Award in 2008, the artist’s career skyrocketed, landing him numerous no.1 singles and albums, as more Junos and Grammy nominations came pouring in.
Deadmau5 has a total of 8 studio albums, 53 singles, and 1 soundtrack album that he composed in 2019 for the film, Polar.
He’s known for his exceptional skills in creating unique sounds, adding layers of texture and unexpected grooves that were new to the EDM scene back then.
deadmau5 Teaches Electronic Music Production MasterClass Review
In this 5 hour and 25-minute course, Joel will teach you how to get started and succeed in the world of music production.
The deadmau5 MasterClass will walk you through his process and the basics of home studio EDM production before getting into techniques, how to build beats, and his creative way of track mixing.
Throughout the 23 video lessons, this masterclass shows you the way the artist creates digital sound in detail. He uses some extremely technical terms, but you might want to have an EDM dictionary handy, as this creative course is for those serious about making music.
After you’ve got a good grasp on how to create your own tracks – and deadmau5 will give you plenty of time to practice – you’ll learn the ins and outs of performing on stage and get insight into the music business.
Now that you know a little more about the music legend and what his class entails, we’ll now review each of the chapters in the deadmau5 MasterClass.
Sneak Peek: Introduction
In this short, 3:07 minute class, you’ll meet Joel, the face behind the giant mouse mask. He lives and breathes music, but his steady, patient tone is an asset for explaining the difficult concepts brought up in this MasterClass deadmau5 course.
Apologizing for his self-proclaimed social ineptness, Joel tells students this class is simply about how he creates, saying “I’m just going to go through my methodology of what I think when I’m creating melodies, or how I work when I’m systematically producing music.”
Sneak Peek: The deadmau5 Process: Theory
Deadmau5’s theory is a little odd, but all great artists usually are. In this 17-minute video, you’ll be introduced to how the legend creates, a process that’s incredibly detached from everything normally associated with creating tunes.
In The deadmau5 Process: Theory, he says, “I just emotionally cut the head off of music and then go at it from a let’s just do it kind of vibe.”
His process has nothing to do with emotion and everything to do with sound, and while everyone is different, he says regardless of how he creates, his class is “a good primer for anyone trying to get into electronic music.”
Sneak Peek: The deadmau5 Process: Practice
The deadmau5 Process: Practice will show you how a piece of music transforms from an idea into a series of beats and melodies. Joel will show you how to take an idea and translate it into music in a few simple steps throughout this 17-minute video.
What is his process? Well, just like every else he does, it’s not what you’d think: “The way I work on songs, from start to finish, in their entirety, are always in little pieces here and there.”
In this deadmau5 MasterClass lesson, he breaks down the process, showing you the steps on his screen, but you’ll get to see his struggles, adjustments, quick fixes, and everything else the creator goes through to get the perfect sound.
Sneak Peek: Building Your Home Studio
The right gear is important when starting your EDM journey and building a deadmau5 studio, but you don’t need half of what you think you do.
In this 13-minute Building Your Home Studio video, Joel will tell you what he’s personally found to be useful throughout his career, solving the debate between PC and Mac, and proclaiming, “You could do this in your f****** bedroom.”
Sneak Peek: Developing Melodic Structures
Beginners and advanced creators can learn to create melodies in this easy-to-follow Developing Melodic Structures 16:54 instructional video.
You’ll be shown that “essentially, all music is, is a series of cycles,” and Joel will teach you how to create a closed-loop that circles back onto itself, or what he calls “resolving.”
Other than resolving, other topics in this deadmau5 MasterClass lesson include, Writing a Melody, Drone Notes, and Don’t Be Obvious.
Sneak Peek: Turning Melodies Into Arrangements
Watch deadmau5 take basic chords and transform them into a unique melody in this 15-minute video.
You’ll see how he truly starts with a very simple resolved bass octaves, adds in a bunch of layers, and emerges with a “big, lush piece, a very, very harmonious choral kind of sound.”
In Turning Melodies Into Arrangements, Joel will explore Bass Lines, Lead Lines, and will show you a Case Study using Cat Thruster software.
Sneak Peek: Introduction To Synthesized Sounds
You’ve mastered melodies and chords, but to make your piece truly interesting, you’re going to need a few extra bits and bobs.
In this 16 minute deadmau5 MasterClass introductory video, Joel says that “the quickest way to learn synthesis, in general, is just downloading some cheap as free or free plug-ins and messing around with them,” ultimately proving you can use what you have to create a big sound.
Introduction To Synthesized Sounds features the following topics:
- We’re Here to Create Sounds No One’s Ever Heard
- Synth Basics: Waveforms and Filters
- Using Envelopes and LFOs to Modulate Sound
- How to Build the deadmau5 Pluck
- Your First Synth Can Teach You Everything
Sneak Peek: Experimenting With Modular Synths
In Experimenting With Modular Synths, you’ll see Joel playing around with a giant wall of buttons, knobs, and flashing lights. Don’t worry – you don’t need the same board to create music. Instead, you can modulate these effects by using envelopes instead.
He’ll explain seemingly complicated elements like voltage, and how it plays a part in creating sound. “Voltage plays a huge role in modular synthesis because voltage dictates the pitch of something or the amplitude of something.”
You’ll be shown the step-by-step process of making adjustments and how to come up with your own deadmau5 modular synth.
This 22 minute Experimenting With Modular Synths video will discuss Cross Modulating Simple Waves, Using Envelopes to Automate, Adding Effects, Playing Sequenced Notes, and Joel’s way of Putting Mod Synths in Your Tracks.
Sneak Peek: Digital Vs. Analog Synths
In this deadmau5 MasterClass lesson, Joel will explain the difference between digital and analog synths. For him, the analog rules because it has “a little more warp to it.” But, digital synths do have some cool perks as well, as he’ll explain in this 15-minute video.
Digital Vs. Analog Synths teaches the way of Hearing the Digital Analog Difference, a Digital vs. Analog Cross Modulation, and an exploration of Synths in Snowcone.
Sneak Peek: Shaping Sounds With Effects And Processing
Sound and shape sound like two conflicting things, but when Joel breaks it down in this 20 minute deadmau5 MasterClass video, you’ll see that bass and other elements can be enlarged and manipulated to create a full and satisfying sound.
Shaping Sounds With Effects And Processing shows users how to use a program called Nexus, something Joel says is “the cardinal sin of EDM.” Though it’s sort of like a cheat, it’s an easy way to make a really cool sounding track in a matter of minutes.
But, you’ll also learn how to Think Outside the Preset Box, Use Effects to Create Original Sounds, The Secret to Fat Bass, what Reverbs are all about, the importance of Adding Space and Depth, and what’s involved in Processing Shit Into Gold.
Sneak Peek: Beats: Part 1
This deadmau5 MasterClass lesson lays the groundwork for creating a satisfying beat. Since “kick drum is the heartbeat of an electronic music track,” Joel shows you how to layer kick drum samples, trimming, adjusting, and repeating them until you have a solid sounding groove.
In Beats: Part 1, you’ll learn that Dance Beats Should Be for Everybody, that There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Drum Sample, how to go about Building Your Kick Sound, to always Watch Out for Phase Cancellation, and the importance of Balancing Drums and Melody.
Sneak Peek: Beats: Part 2
Using Snowcone Drums software in Beats: Part 2, Joel will take you through the process of adding snare sound to your beat to create rhythm.
In this 14 minute video, you’ll be shown The Secret to Snare Sounds and how to go about Making Your Drums Breathe, along with the Case Study for Snowcone Drums.
This deadmau5 MasterClass video will teach you out-of-the-box ways to place your snare in a clip to make a unique beat that’s totally your own.
Things like dragging “that snare just a little bit earlier than it should” at just the right place (not too close, not too far) to create an in-time, balanced clip.
Sneak Peek: Structuring Songs
There are a ton of ways a song can be put together. Little changes can have big effects on the result. In Structuring Songs, you’ll learn how to combine all of the elements you’ve learned so far in the course.
In this deadmau5 MasterClass lesson, you’ll learn Joel’s method of Copy, Copy, Add and Subtract, how to Find the Right Track Length, why it’s important to Think Ahead to Your Live Set, and that There’s More to Music Than Big Drops.
This 12-minute lesson will show you how to take a semi-finished product and make things “interesting” by way of arrangement.
Sneak Peek: Remixes
Deadmau5 has worked with music artists around the globe, remixing their songs to create an entirely different vibe. A recent one you may have heard is his remix of Medina’s You and I.
This 12-minute lesson on Remixes shows you how he likes to remix other artists and what he enjoys about other EDM pros who remix his work.
Essentially, deadmau5 will “take one element…a vocal, or a certain phrase, and that’s it…And I will rework a whole new body of work around it.”
Remixes will show you Don’t Remix, Rework; what to look for when Choosing Remix Material; and that What Starts as a Remix…Can End as Your Own Track. You’ll also be walked through a Guide to Remixing deadmau5, and a lesson on Starting Your Own deadmau5 Remix.
Sneak Peek: Mixing
The way Joel mixes tracks is unique to his own specific sound. In Mixing, you’ll get to see exactly how to mix tracks to create a professional, balanced sound.
In this 20 minute lesson, Joel discussed the importance of three major elements when Mixing: the “music has to be right,” the “melody structure has to be on point,” and “the engineering side has to be done right,” as well.
As an EDM artist, you’ve got to be both musician and engineer in one, and so this deadmau5 MasterClass video shows you how to merge the two with proper mixing.
Sneak Peek: Mastering
Doing everything yourself can be tricky, but it certainly comes with perks. In this 18-minute Mastering video, deadmau5 teaches you how to master your own tracks.
Stressing the importance of finding “that balance of learning” and creating, Mastering covers topics such as Mastering Yourself, Mastering Basics, Limiting, the No Magic Master Chain, the right amount of Loudness and Perceived Loudness, and Getting Feedback on Your Mix.
Sneak Peek: Mastering Case Study: Snowcone
A case study of using the range of plugins on Snowcone to master a track, this 12-minute tutorial shows you the many differences a certain effect can have on a sound’s overall vibe.
Mastering Case Study: Snowcone discusses elements of certain plugins like crossovers, compression, and thresholds, and how they all affect a track.
The way deadmau5 songs are structured as “the full track…and the rest is all just breakdowns of that song.” So mastering for him is usually a fairly straightforward process, one that you’ll see in this deadmau5 MasterClass video.
Sneak Peek: Starting Your Producing Career
Joel has walked you through the process of creating a song and you very well might have one of your own at this point. But, what is a song without an audience? In Starting Your Producing Career, Joel will talk about “how to develop your brand and promote it the right way.”
He gives it to students straight, saying, “no one’s out to help you — no f****** body.” With that said, in this deadmau5 MasterClass lesson, he gives you some tips for what he looks for when signing artists to give you a leg up in the competition.
Sneak Peek: Understanding the Music Business
Joel started from the ground up, releasing his first album almost 20 years ago. Through that time, he’s learned quite a few things about the music business, and in Understanding the Music Business, he imparts some wisdom to his students.
In this deadmau5 MasterClass, you’ll find out how to Learn the System and Make It Work For You, what The Problems With Major Labels are the right way of Building Your Team, and the advantages of The Online Marketplace.
He’ll also suggest An Approach to Making Albums, and that you Don’t Stress Over Titles of songs (something many artists do). In the 14 minutes of this valuable video, despite the many tips, he says the way you’ll learn best is “by experience.”
Sneak Peek: On Stage: The Music
You may be taking this deadmau5 MasterClass because you’re seeking tips for how to take your EDM career to the next level. You’ve got the skill and the songs, but those two things need to translate to an audience, or else they’re all for nothing.
In On Stage: The Music, Joel will talk you through how to “keep and audience engaged.” In this 10 minute video, He stresses the importance of keeping your on-stage music as close to the original as possible.
He does his best “to match the live equipment that I’m using live to emulate, or be like, what it is on the record.” People come to hear the songs on the record, not a new rendition.
Sneak Peek: On Stage: The Technical Side
With live music, you’re playing in real-time, hence the word “live.” That means you don’t have the luxury of mistakes.
In this deadmau5 MasterClass lesson, you’ll hear how the deadmau5 crew replicates the grand stages he plays on, “the whole stage, the whole show– lights, smoke, everything” to make sure things run smoothly.
In On Stage: The Technical Side, Joel teaches the difference between A Show, B Show, the need to Rehearse Every Aspect of Your Show, and What’s in the Cube.
He’ll talk about the need to Learn Your Systems, the necessity of Keeping Your Equipment Running, and most importantly, how to Keep it Cool. Confidence is key, especially with a crowd.
Sneak Peek: On Stage: The Show
In this 10 minute deadmau5 MasterClass video, Joel talks about his experience on stage. Teaching you to Forget the Crowd, Don’t Be Like a Saw Movie, and the importance of Putting on a Show.
In the end, performing on stage is just Another Day at the Office, and Feeling Comfortable on Stage is vital to giving a good show.
In reality, Joel says that “shit does go down all the time,” and there are tricks you can do to recover from mistakes. In On Stage: The Show, you get a peek into what performing is really like for the EDM legend.
Sneak Peek: Closing
This short, 2-minute Closing video features deadmau5’s closing statement for all the students who made it through the course. The most important takeaway, he says, is that:
“it’s all about experience and experimentation and developing your skill while doing all these other things in parallel with it.”
He urges his students to go out into the world, take chances, ask questions, and get their names out there.
How Much Does MasterClass Cost?
The great thing about the MasterClass is that deadmau5’s course is just one of 90 (and counting) you can access upon signing up for MasterClass.
This deadmau5 MasterClass review found that MasterClass operates as an annual membership, through a yearly pre-authorized payment.
The all-access MasterClass subscription offers complete access to all classes (current and future). MasterClass offers courses in a range of topics all taught by experts in their respective fields, including,
- Arts & Entertainment
- Sports & Gaming
- Business, Science & Tech
- and many more
The MasterClass membership is $180, billed annually on your signup date. Each class has around 20 lessons, and you’ll also receive a PDF workbook.
You’ll also have access to their smartphone and TV apps, offline lessons, the member’s only newsletter, and will be able to chat with other MasterClass members around the world.
deadmau5 MasterClass Reviews: What Do Customers Think?
After reading the sneak peeks, you may be ready and raring to sign up for the course.
No deadmau5 MasterClass review would be complete without hearing from customers, so before we give you information on pricing and answer important FAQs, take a read through the customer testimonials below to see how real students enjoyed the course.
On the MasterClass website, the deadmau5 course has a 4.7/5 stars rating, but we weren’t able to get a look at how many students rated the course.
One deadmau5 MasterClass review expresses the value of “Having a peek behind the curtain, especially his studio and some of the knowledge and advice he shares. Thanks for that! That’s worth a lot to me!”
It’s definitely cool to see the creative process of an extremely talented professional.
Though there are no negative reviews, we did want to point out is this comment that read, “learned a lot about the things I need to learn more about.”
This is important to mention because while definitely useful, the deadmau5 MasterClass is sort of like an introductory class, in that it doesn’t go into truly explicit details. Rather, it skims across the way he does things.
A deadmau5 MasterClass review on Producer Hive summarizes the course and answers the question of whether the course is still relevant in 2021. The answer is “yes, without a doubt.”
Producer Hive came to its decision by way of three measures, all receiving ratings out of 10:
- Quality of Content 9.5/10
- Technical Detail 10/10
- Value for Money 7.5/10
The deadmau5 MasterClass review pointed out the value of the course, saying that Joel is “one of the most successful EDM artists of all time.” Getting a peek into how he creates is truly valuable for anyone looking to get a start in the world of EDM.
That doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with some “rough edges,” as the review talks about Joel Zimmerman’s “sarcastic” personality.
In fact, that’s one of the only cons of the deadmau5 MasterClass that the reviewer mentions, revealing that “Joel may not be everyone’s cup of tea.”
We also found this to be true, but despite his lack of smooth-talking, we found the class easy to follow and enjoyable to listen to.
A Reddit user with no affiliation to MasterClass wrote an honest deadmau5 MasterClass review on the user-centric platform.
The Redditor wrote, “anyone slightly newer to making music (or beginning to take music seriously) and/or interested in hearing insights from a big name in electronic music.”
It’s nice that this deadmau5 MasterClass course was created for everyone, and while it does involve some advanced techy language, most should be able to follow along easily.
But, the same benefit of this course can be turned on its head and looked at negatively. The deadmau5 MasterClass review went on, “It would have been cool if some parts were a bit more technical.”
Something to keep in mind when registering, as those who are already well versed may struggle to find it helpful outside of learning the DJ’s process.
From what we’ve read in every deadmau5 MasterClass review we came across, students thoroughly love the course.
While it may not teach advanced EDM tech and methods, it’s loved for its insight into the creative process and mind, inspiring students to think outside the box and push the limits on what’s possible.
Is deadmau5 MasterClass Worth It?
It’s clear to us that the deadmau5 MasterClass download has value. It’s priced well and includes valuable information from a living EDM legend.
We also liked the fact that students will get to know Zimmerman more, as his involvement with fans is minimal when on stage (as he stated within his class).
Even though some who have taken the deadmau5 MasterClass say it’s not as technical as they hoped for, we think there’s a lot that students can get out of the class even if it’s just the motivation to get out there or to make music.
All in all, we think the deadmau5 MasterClass is worth it.
More MasterClass Music Courses
If EDM is just one of the many forms of music you’re into, you might want to consider checking out the many other musical courses that MasterClass has to offer.
Spanning across genres, each musical expert has something unique to offer, but the courses are all centered around a similar thing: a love for creating music.
Check out the list below in this deadmau5 MasterClass review to see what your options are for further exploration into the world of music.
- Sheila E. MasterClass on Drums and Percussion
- QuestLove MasterClass on Music Curation and DJing
- Christina Aguilera MasterClass on Signing
- Reba McEntire MasterClass on Country Music
- Usher MasterClass on The Art of Performance
- Carlos Santana MasterClass on the Art and Soul of Guitar
- Danny Elfman MasterClass on Music for Film
- Jake Shimabukuru MasterClass on Ukulele
- Itzhak Perlman MasterClass on Violin
- Armin VanBuuren MasterClass on Dance Music
- Herbie Hancock MasterClass on Jazz
- Hans Zimmer MasterClass on Film Scoring
- Tom Morello MasterClass on Electric Guitar
- St. Vincent MasterClass on Creativity and Songwriting
- Alicia Keys MasterClass on Songwriting and Producing
- Timbaland MasterClass on Production and Beatmaking
MasterClass Promotions & Discounts
Right now when you sign up for one membership, you get two. That means instead of paying $360 for two yearly memberships, you’re only paying $180. That would make an amazing gift for a loved one, and it’s not costing you anything extra.
Sign Up for MasterClass
To purchase a MasterClass membership, following these steps:
- Go to MasterClass.com
- Click on ‘Log in’.
- Click on ‘Need an Account? Sign up’
- Create an account by logging into your Google or Facebook account or by entering an email and password.
- Click ‘Create Account’.
- Enter your payment details.
- An annual subscription fee of $180 will be charged to your payment card.
- Once your payment has gone through, you have unlimited access to classes
Alternatively, you can set up your MasterClass subscription directly from Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices. You’ll be asked which subjects you’re interested in and prompted to choose six classes to start. Then you can simply get to learning!
MasterClass offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you don’t love your annual membership.
How much does MasterClass cost?
The all-access MasterClass pass costs $180 annually, plus any applicable taxes. You can also give MasterClass as a gift, with classes priced individually for $90.
Does MasterClass have a free trial?
MasterClass does not have a free trial, however, if you are unsatisfied with the service, you can receive a full refund within 30 days of trying it out.
Can I pay MasterClass monthly?
No. The all-access MasterClass pass is an annual subscription and you will be billed $180 plus any applicable taxes once per year.
Can you put MasterClass on your resume?
You can put your completed MasterClass on your resume, but the company currently does not issue official certificates of class completion.
They do send students an email confirming the completion of the course, containing a congratulatory message along with tips on how to use the site to continue their studies.
Can MasterClass be shared?
MasterClass was designed to be taken individually, so group viewings are discouraged. They can’t stop you from sharing the information or watching the class with other people, but they ask that students do not copy or redistribute class materials in any way.
How long does a MasterClass subscription last?
Your MasterClass subscription lasts as long as you like. Subscription fees are automatically renewed based on the day you signed up for an annual subscription.
Can I cancel MasterClass at any time?
Customers can cancel their MasterClass subscription at any time. But it’s important to note that after 30 days, no refunds are issued for unused services.
Follow the steps below to cancel your MasterClass subscription:
- Use your MasterClass login to access your Account page
- Select the Cancel button in the Subscription section of the page
- On the page, select Continue to Cancel; your account will not renew at the end of your current subscription period
For in-app subscriptions through Apple or Google Play, cancellations can be managed through the respective App stores in the subscription sections.
How to Contact MasterClass
If you have questions that weren’t covered in this MasterClass subscription review, you can contact the team by:
- Filling out the Contact Form on MasterClass.com
- Email: [email protected]
- Phone: 1 (855) 981-8208, Monday-Friday 9 am to 6 pm PST (excluding major holidays)
Looking for more topics to study? Here are a few more MasterClasses currently offered: