As I told you in Music Masterclass for the New Year, I am taking an online video masterclass in the production of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) taught by a well-known musician in that genre, Deadmau5. I have completed eight lessons of the 26 lessons.
Taking a break from lessons and homework, I created the music in the link below. The music attempts to use the many things that I have learned about EDM melody, lead, and bass line creation as well as a lot of material on programming synthesizers both modular and not, both hardware and software. I have no synth hardware and Deadmau5 really insists that hardware sounds better. Part of the homework has been to “make sounds no one has ever heard before”. You will hear some of that in the music. If you are not familiar with EDM, you may be surprised at the music.
In the next lesson I will be learning the EDM beat (basically one kick drum hit per quarter note and claps and/or snare every second quarter note with added hihats. All of that varied a bit.) Also, how to create my own unique, “signature” kick drum sound from a two or more samples of kick drums and some distortion.
Throughout the past few years, my interest in music has remained unabated. If you are a regular reader, you know that I produce a new piece from time to time and that I have set up a store to sell the music and, of course, the soundcloud account for everyone to listen to my productions. This new year, I have decided to up my game. January 3, I enrolled in an online music masterclass: “Deadmau5 Teaches Electronic Music Production”.
deadmau5 Teaches Electronic Music Production | Official Trailer
Deadmau5 (pronounced “deadmouse”) is a well-known Electronic Dance Music (EDM) producer and performer. He has founded his own record label “Mau5Trap” and performs to packed stadiums, has received several awards and nominations and has been on the cover of “Rolling Stone”.
The course consists of 23 video lessons by Deadmau5 with a downloaded pdf workbook for each lesson. I am currently on lesson 7 of the masterclass and I already have learned a some techniques about how to compose a melody for EDM and how to extract and develop a bass line and a lead from the melody you have developed. I find that I was doing it a more difficult way before this.
Because I have been composing music “in the box” (in the computer) for about six years, I know some of the techniques and tips already. For instance my current masterclass lesson 7 “Introduction to Synthesized Sounds” mostly covers things that I am familiar with. There is always something to learn though. As part of this lesson he develops one of his signature sounds called the “deadmau5 pluck”. He does it rapidly without a ton of explanation because he’s really just demonstrating many of the features found on synthesizers. I plan to spend part of today (maybe also tomorrow?) learning to do this on one or more of my synthesizers. Note that I am talking about software plugins that are synthesizers, not the hardware keyboards. I don’t have a hardware synthesizer. Apparently, deadmau5 has a large collection of hardware synths. Hardware is expensive but needed for performing and he also seems to prefer the hardware for sound development.
EDIT: the “deadmau5 pluck” took only a couple of hours to get a very similar sound.
I hope to develop some music that I can publish very soon as part of these lessons. It’s great fun!
Today, I finished a small Youtube tutorial on how to make a laser noise in your Digital Audio Workshop (DAW). This type of sound effect is used in many electronic dance music and techno music creations.
I used the Reaper DAW and the TX15Wx sampler plugin and a simple sine wave. The TX15Wx is a nice, free VST plugin. It has plenty of good features. Samplers are used to simulate real instruments by adding samples of the instrument to the plugin. In my case, I am making a noise that I want with it.
This is tremendous exposure for me and I am now trying to return the favor by posting a music video of my piece “Carcinoid”. This music was composed in 2011 about 3 months after I was diagnosed with carcinoid cancer, during the time that I was quite ill from a treatment called chemoembolization or TACE (transarterial chemoembolization). That treatment was supposed to be outpatient but I went into Carcinoid Crisis and spent the night in the Intensive Care Unit! I was told that there would be “flu-like” symptoms for 3 weeks but mine lasted 4 weeks and for a week there was a fair amount of pain in my liver. After the illness my symptoms from the cancer disappeared and my liver tumor shrank. Unfortunately, after six months, the tumors grew back and the symptoms came back actually worse than ever.
The music is an echo of my emotional and physical illness from the cancer diagnosis and the treatment.
I have created some videos for YouTube to support my music store. I am told that YouTube is the second largest search engine. That means that more people will have the chance to see the videos and click on the link to the store.
It’s not a hippie/druggy thing. It’s about a beat you hear when you have two different but closely related sounds, one in each ear. The effect is said to be calming, relaxing and meditative. It is called binaural beat.
I studied on this, found a number of references on the internet (even software to experiment here) and decided to remix my ambient piece “chillin it” with a background or pad made of a binaural beat. This is the result but according to the literature you have to listen to it for 15 or 20 minutes to experience the effect:
Binaural Chillin It; 2015-Jan-01, ambient and binaural beat experiment. Download