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WeeklyBeats.com / Music / Anon_Buster's music / Dead Mau5 Lesson

Dead Mau5 Lesson

By Anon_Buster on December 6, 2020 5:06 pm

The short of it:
I've been working on understanding simpler song structure the past couple weeks. After I checked out a Dead Mau5 track, I learned a lesson on how to manipulate a sound to create tension and increased excitement. I still haven't reached

The long of it:
(I've been hitting a plateau with what interests me, and haven't found a lot of chiptune ideas that I really like. They're all too formulaic without any real meaning or worth. I've had some ideas and discoveries that are great, but I haven't had an epiphanic moment where I felt I was moving forward or learning something that get me over this next hump of the journey.)

A coworker was sharing some EDM music, which I kind of think sounds pretty similar all around. He talked about Dead Mau5 using analog synths and how he records his tracks while manipulating the synthesizer. I decided to listen to Dead Mau5 and found a couple interesting things in his work. This track is modeled after "Move for Me," from the way the instrument Release timing extends in the third and fourth bars to create intensity alongwith the increasing distortion.

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December 7, 2020 2:36 am

Remember, if you’re ever hitting a plateau you can always just put a bunch of Soundtoys plugins on the master bus and automate all of their parameters until what’s left can no longer be distinguished as music anymore.  That’s what I’ve been doing...just saying. 

This is cool as hell though,  it’s always nice when someone can manipulate and develop an idea into a whole song. 

December 7, 2020 6:15 am

This is really cool. I find venturing into different genres to be a real nice way of breaking out of that plateau. Changes how you think about the sound selection and just mixing in general.

December 7, 2020 3:57 pm

I hear the extension of the release and it's a pretty cool technique I've never thought of.  I tend to go for the more obvious filter sweep. Release extending has a multiplier effect and can really emphasize those sections. Interesting approach and analysis on improving song structure.

Great mix and disciplined approach and makes for a very lively, expressive track.

December 8, 2020 3:28 am

I really like the choice of patches, the nice reverbs and delays. This sounded pretty good to me.

December 8, 2020 10:34 pm

Nice work! Re: EDM transitions, I also like to crank up the reverb/delay and mix risers + foley samples for some crunch

December 12, 2020 11:23 am

That's a nice track! Bopping along!

December 13, 2020 4:13 am

I feel you on the plateau. I think there's a certain amount of exhaustion that comes with the Weekly Beats exercise, and hopefully you'll find that with a little time and space in the new year might be refreshing. I don't know, that's just how I'm feeling (hoping? haha). This track is a cool achievement though; you aimed for a particular style and you got a head-bopper of a track out of it. smile

December 14, 2020 3:04 am
Chrisfoo wrote:

Remember, if you’re ever hitting a plateau you can always just put a bunch of Soundtoys plugins on the master bus and automate all of their parameters until what’s left can no longer be distinguished as music anymore.  That’s what I’ve been doing...just saying. 

This is cool as hell though,  it’s always nice when someone can manipulate and develop an idea into a whole song.


I'll remember that great piece of advice. Twice, I've used effects plugins, like Reaktor's Molekular, where I have no flippin' clue how to set up the parameters, but I hit enough buttons and draw enough lines and I've had unique effects come out that made something into nothing. I still need to make something into nothing with effects, though.

December 14, 2020 3:07 am
danju wrote:

This is really cool. I find venturing into different genres to be a real nice way of breaking out of that plateau. Changes how you think about the sound selection and just mixing in general.

I agree. I didn't realize how varied sound arrangement and mixing was until I started putting pieces together this year. Not all sounds will be or will need to be the same level. Now I understand why guitarists purchase certain select sets of gear to use on an album because changing their tone drastically could change the color or feel of an album based on how it fits into the feel of an album.

December 14, 2020 3:12 am
NWSPR wrote:

I hear the extension of the release and it's a pretty cool technique I've never thought of.  I tend to go for the more obvious filter sweep. Release extending has a multiplier effect and can really emphasize those sections. Interesting approach and analysis on improving song structure.

Great mix and disciplined approach and makes for a very lively, expressive track.


It was cool hearing how DeadMau5 uses synthesizers. A coworker mentioned how he plays around with gear, and that was enough to help me explore sound manipulation.


djippy wrote:

I really like the choice of patches, the nice reverbs and delays. This sounded pretty good to me.


Thanks!
Mixing foley samples too. Hmm. I didn't think of that. That's a pretty cool idea.

Mission Crossing wrote:

Nice work! Re: EDM transitions, I also like to crank up the reverb/delay and mix risers + foley samples for some crunch

Kedbreak136 wrote:

That's a nice track! Bopping along!


Thank you!


hent03 wrote:

I feel you on the plateau. I think there's a certain amount of exhaustion that comes with the Weekly Beats exercise, and hopefully you'll find that with a little time and space in the new year might be refreshing. I don't know, that's just how I'm feeling (hoping? haha). This track is a cool achievement though; you aimed for a particular style and you got a head-bopper of a track out of it. smile


Spending more time on longer pieces, as well as spending more than a week with a piece will help me turn out some things I'm proud of and can put into an album selection. I have some ideas I really like, but have neither the time nor the focus to give them with needing to finish a track a week. Plus, I want to rest without forcing music into a 7 day schedule. 14 day weeks would work so much better.

December 18, 2020 6:00 pm

Really cool uplifting progressive beat.  I can definitely hear the deadmau5 influence on the chords and synths used.  He's pretty good at making use of chord inversions and just overall thickness of the chord structure.  His track "some chords" is pretty awesome with the way the synth and chords open up.

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