That VCV Rack modular synthesis software is quite addictive.
This time, I started with the simple intent to just create a sound called the ‘Deadmau5 Pluck’ which I learned to do last year when I took the Deadmau5 EDM masterclass at masterclass.com. It was pretty easy and I added a random tune generator. Of course then it needed a bass, so I added that doing something new to me. Drums were a must at that point so I added a kick drum and made a snare drum up by modifying the noise output of the Turing Machine that was creating the original tune. That was a fun exercise. Then of course the piece needed needed some more movement and voices so I created those using different generative technique. A simple project turned complex.
The EDM Masterclass that I took is still issuing challenges to students. This particular challenge asks you to make music using the selection of sounds on a sample pack track of sounds. The student has seven days to complete the challenge. Here is the sample pack track (patience, it is 6 minutes long)
I did not realize it at the time there were 3 or 4 other tracks of vocals that we could use. Not knowing that, I made it more difficult than necessary.
I intentionally made it more difficult by choosing not to use any other sounds or instruments that I had and by using only my Reaper DAW and the stock FX and free downloadable FX (no expensive plugins for me).
The synths and bass and drums were all produced using waveforms from the Sample Pack in the free (really good) VSTi TX15Wx sampler or the Reaper stock VSTi ReaSamplOmatic5000.
All wave editing was done in Reaper. All FX (delays, filters, EQ, compressor, flanger, chorus, reverb, etc.) used were either stock or free downloads.
The lead and bass lines were developed using the Masterclass techniques.
Here it is:
This was quite a challenge but I am pretty happy with the result.
I have completed the first part of the EDM Masterclass by Deadmau5. It has been all about producing EDM.
The final homework was to produce a new piece. I did it in only 7 days! This is something like a record for me.
This is a link to the Spotify player:
This is the Soundcloud Player:
The next part of the Masterclass will be about building a career in EDM. I will watch and listen, but at 70 years old, I think that I have had plenty of career already and making music will remain a hobby.
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!