profile of Marcus

Deadmau5: "We all hit play."

In a blog post titled "We all hit play," plain-spoken superstar producer Deadmau5 has lashed out at EDM (electronic dance music) stars who claim that they're "performing live" on stage.

They're not, according to the Canadian producer—real name, Joel Zimmerman—who uses himself as an example of what's really going on up there on stage. "I think given about 1 hour of instruction," claims Zimmerman, "anyone with minimal knowledge of (music production software) ableton and music tech in general could DO what im doing at a deadmau5 concert."

Here's the full blog post (unhinged Deadmau5 grammar intact):

"its no secret. when it comes to “live” performance of EDM… that’s about the most it seems you can do anyway. It’s not about performance art, its not about talent either (really its not) In fact, let me do you and the rest of the EDM world button pushers who f---n hate me for telling you how it is, a favor and let you all know how it is.

"I think given about 1 hour of instruction, anyone with minimal knowledge of ableton and music tech in general could DO what im doing at a deadmau5 concert. Just like i think ANY DJ in the WORLD who can match a beat can do what “ANYONE else” (not going to mention any names) is doing on their EDM stages too. have a look, then let me explain:



"okay, so heres me, in a big silly mousehead.. twiddlin a knob or somethin… okay so heres how it works…. Somewhere in that mess is a computer, running ableton live… and its spewing out premixed (to a degree) stems of my original productions, and then a SMPTE [A timecode that allows music and visuals to be synchronised - Ed.] to front of house (to tell the light / video systems) where im at in the performance… so that all the visuals line up nicely and all the light cues are on and stuff. Now, while that's all goin on… there's a good chunk of Midi data spitting out as well to a handful of synths and crap that are / were used in the actual production… which i can tweak *live* and whatnot… but doesn't give me a lot of “lookit me im jimi hendrix check out this solo” stuff, because i'm constrained to work on a set timeline because of the SMPTE. Its a super redundant system, and more importantly its reliable as F---! And obviously, ive done the show a couple hundred times easily by now, so the focus over the past few runs with the “cube show” has been more revolved around adding new audio / visual content to keep it current.

"so thats my “live” show. and thats as “live” as i can comfortably get it (for now anyway) of course itll evolve, and change up, but im sure a few key principles will always remain the same.

"Im just so sick of hearing the “NO!!! IM NOT JUST DOING THIS, I HAVE 6 TABLES UP THERE AND I DO THIS THIS AND THIS” like… honestly. who gives a f---? i dont have any shame in admitting that for “unhooked” sets.. i just roll up with a laptop and a midi controller and “select” tracks n hit a spacebar. ableton syncs the s--- up for me… so no beatmatching skill required. “beatmatching” isnt even a f---ing skill as far as im concerned anyway. so what, you can count to 4. cool. i had that skill down when i was 3, so don't give me that argument please.

"my “skills” and other PRODUCERS skills shine where it needs to shine… in the goddamned studio, and on the f---ing releases. thats what counts… because this whole big “edm” is taking over fad, im not going to let it go thinking that people assume theres a guy on a laptop up there producing new original tracks on the fly. because none of the “top dj’s in the world” to my knowledge have. myself included.

"you know what makes the EDM show the crazy amazing show that it is? you guys do, the fans, the people who came to appreciate the music, the lights, all the other people who came, we just facilitate the means and the pretty lights and the draw of more awesome people like you by our studio productions. which is exactly what it is. But to stand up and say youre doing something special outside of a studio environment, when youre not, just plain f---in annoys me."

The screed comes as EDM and club culture is blowing up in the US, with big name investors pouring money into the scene in a concerted effort to piggy-back on the surge in popularity.

Follow @marcusTheVine

3 comments so far..

  • jseidler's avatar
    Commenter
    jseidler
    Date and time
    Monday 25 Jun 2012 - 12:03 PM
    This is the best thing I have ever read. Even better than Dave Grohl's post-Grammy speech and that Future Of the Left thing.
    This comment has been flagged.
    This comment has been marked for removal.
    This comment has been marked as spam and will be purged.
  • BillyBob360's avatar
    Commenter
    BillyBob360
    Date and time
    Monday 25 Jun 2012 - 7:40 PM
    Not everyone is doing it - ever seen DJ Craze, fool? Just cause you play pre-recorded doesn't mean you have to feel guilty that people believe its something else. You could stick to producing and ditch the acting part but then you would miss out on performance revenue, f*** that.
    This comment has been flagged.
    This comment has been marked for removal.
    This comment has been marked as spam and will be purged.
  • james55555's avatar
    Commenter
    james55555
    Date and time
    Thursday 26 Jul 2012 - 9:55 AM
    Yeah this is a b******t bit of written prose, if it wasnt for turntableism [hip hop back in the day] and people like grand master flash cutting up electro beats there would be no wanky techno anyway..

    Yes some great producers just play tracks and simply beat match music and if that means that the revenue from playing out can fund the production angle then great but to say that everyone it just pushing buttons is rubbish. Take a look at Jeff Mills for example hes an amazing dj playing techno but you can't honestly say hes just pushing buttons..


    This comment has been flagged.
    This comment has been marked for removal.
    This comment has been marked as spam and will be purged.

Previous article

The Black Keys are suing

By on

Next article

Fiona Apple 'The Idler Wheel...'

By on