1481235987 DM Workbook v4 103 .pdf

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03 THE DEADMAU5 PROCESS: PRACTICE
DEADMAU5 TEACHES ELECTRONIC MUSIC PRODUCTION

If I could just play it, I’d play it. But I can’t, so I draw it.— deadmau5

10

SUBCHAPTERS
▶▶ Starting a Track From

Scratch
CHAPTER RECAP
Joel draws all of his melodies, one note at a time, into the piano
roll screen of Ableton. If you’ve never worked this way, you
should try it. Even if you’re a practiced keyboard player or a
formally trained musician familiar with musical notation, drawing
notes into a gridded timeline and moving them around by hand
can give you a whole new perspective on composing.

NOTES

When you start drawing notes, don't worry about what synth
sound you’re using or what groove your track might end up
having; just start putting down notes and adjusting them into
interesting combinations that sound good to your ears. When
you're working this way, your instinctual reactions to the notes are
more important than the formal rules of music.
Once you've found a string of notes you like, transpose the whole
melody up and down into different keys until you find a range
that makes your bass resonate nicely. (If some of the concepts
in this chapter–like side-chain compression, synth envelopes or
arpeggiation–feel new to you, don't worry. They'll all be covered
in more detail in later chapters.)
TAKE IT FURTHER
▶▶ Joel live-streams a lot of his studio sessions here. Now that

you know more about what’s going through his head while he’s
working, watch some of his old streams and pay close attention
to what he's doing. Is he following his own rules?

v1.0

03 THE DEADMAU5 PROCESS: PRACTICE
DEADMAU5 TEACHES ELECTRONIC MUSIC PRODUCTION

ASSIGNMENT

11

NOTES

▶▶ Joel can get his ideas down and rearrange them quickly by

using keyboard shortcuts to navigate in Ableton. Brush up on
your command of keyboard shortcuts here. Challenge yourself
to start doing as much as you can in your projects without
touching the mouse.

v1.0


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