Anybody who is a fan of electronic music will have heard of Dadmau5.
His unique synth powered music has been played in many a club and he is capable of crafting some truly special songs.
This is, in part, thanks to the incredible studio setup that he uses to accomplish this.
That’s why, in this article, I wanted to delve a little deeper into what technology, such as DAWs, that Deadmau5 uses to create his unique sound and banging club songs.
He is one of the top superstar dance producers in the world, and rightly so.
With a net worth of over $53 million, he is one of the most well-known and respected creators of electronic music (sorry, I refuse to say EDM).
But there’s more to Deadmau5 than just the music.
Any of his fans will instantly know that the videos that accompany the songs are just as important.
That’s why he likes to take an active role in the animations used in his live productions.
Let’s start by looking first at what DAW software does Deadmau5 use- the answers may just surprise you.
What DAW Software Does Deadmau5 Use in 2021?
There are actually a couple of DAWs he's using, so let's look at all of them.
Deadmau5 likes to use different sequencers when he is composing.
If you want an idea of what Bitwig Studio can offer as a DAW, the result is very similar to what you can get out of Ableton.
Deadmau5 likes the engine that powers this software, as well as the ability to set and change VST (virtual instruments) parameters at ease.
When Deadmau5 is performing live this is the DAW he prefers.
That’s because Cubase is designed for live composing.
When you compare this to Ableton (below) it isn’t quite the same.
Although Ableton does seem to be geared to offer better support for composing music live, Cubase instead focuses on composing.
This is topped with the ability to record audio as well as write MIDI songs.
Deadmau5 has even said that he thinks Cubase is more robust and reliable when compared to other DAWs such as Ableton.
This is especially true when it comes to issues surrounding latency.
In the past Deadmau5 was known to combine the benefits of both Cubase and Ableton.
This allowed him to perform live with Cubase and let Ableton take care of all the tracking.
Yes, another of Deadmau5’s DAW of choice is Ableton.
Even though he uses many different pieces of software to create his sounds it is Ableton that is used the most and which allows him to create the finished article.
Ableton makes it quick to write a song.
That is one of the reasons why Deadmau5 rates it so highly.
It doesn’t have the main timeline like other DAWs do, but you can loop clips (these are individual samples), and this can be done independently so you can create on the fly, as quickly as you can think of something.
Simply playing these clips, and then dropping them in and out lets producers like Deadmau5 create entire loops on the fly.
Whilst they are doing this, they are also recording their whole actions.
This lets them go back and tweak things, or tidy stuff up, or even add more layers.
This entire design process is what helps create this final song.
You could say this way of creating music is fluid.
And it is because of this fluidity, which, you could argue, can also be called live, way of creating music that makes Ableton so popular amongst music producers.
Ableton works great not just in the studio but also in a live setting.
This is because it lets you make live changes to finished material.
Avid Pro Tools
Pro Tools is a DAW used by many of the top music producers when it comes to electronic music.
Deadmau5 is no different in this regard.
He has used it on and off throughout the years.
Because the music Deadmau5 creates is all about experimentation, whether he chooses to use Pro Tools or any other DAW in my article, is based entirely on his creative process and the sounds he wants to create, and which DAW best meets those needs.
Pro Tools is one of the industry leaders in terms of DAW software.
This is especially true when it comes to recording audio.
But it does also allow you to map and record using MIDI as an extra feature.
Pro Tools is often out of the reach for home producers, due to the high cost.
This is because of its limits on channels amongst other things.
Now that I have answered the question of what DAW software does Deadmau5 use, I will now talk about the plugins that he tends to use to help create his truly unique sounds.
What VST Plugins Does Deadmau5 Use in 2021?
Let's look at the list of his favs:
FXpansion Strobe Software Synthesizer Plugin
When this plugin first came out it changed the game.
You get visual editing, as well as the ability to alter individual voices and modulation.
This made it super realistic when it comes to analog modelling.
Version 2 expanded on this and allowed producers more control and variety.
Because you can create several patches within the same instance of the plugin, producers can add more expressions and textures to each note.
This used to be done by first sampling, then tweaking as required, and sampling again.
That meant that once the audio was recorded it was difficult to go back and change any of it.
With version, 2 producers can save and change anything on the fly.
H-Reverb by Waves lets producers work with what is designed to be an advanced reverb plugin.
People say you need to be a sound engineer to use it, due to the vast array of options on offer.
The complexity and granularity are what Deadmau5, most likely, likes about it.
The level of control on offer comes from the fact that it’s a hybrid between impulse response libraries and a standard delay engine.
The impulse response libraries use acoustic space samples while delay engines let you affect and control parameters which allow you to morph and create different sounds.
Native Instruments Absynth
This is one program that Deadmau5 is known to use frequently.
Especially when he lives streams.
It’s a diverse synth that lets you create different soundscapes thanks to the variety of ways it allows you to generate your sounds.
Once you generate a sound you are given extensive amounts of feedback and mutation options to further affect the sound.
It’s great for producers who like to create their sounds from scratch, such as Deadmau5.
This is a dual multi-effect processor.
Deadmau5 uses this inside of Ableton.
It’s based around three basic effects (Pitch shifter, filter, delay).
It differs from most because you get 2 instances of each effect.
Producers can then build out two layers of sound and crossfade between them.
This is great for affecting both drum patterns and synth lines.
You can also process signals in real-time.
That means inputting hardware lets you alter the sound immediately and as we know, Deadmau5 does enjoy using analog hardware.
Native Instruments Reaktor 6
Because Deadmau5 creates his sounds, instruments and effects, it makes sense that he has Reaktor in is sampler arsenal.
This sampler is a massive production development environment.
You can play premade synths on it, or effects, but you can also build your own from scratch.
The edit mode lets you add faders, envelopers or oscillators and then route and patch them as you require.
You can also build your virtual racks.
Just as you would with real physical hardware.
This sampler is designed for those who are experienced producers and who love to experiment with sound.
That sounds just like Deadmau5.
Using scanning and modulating or morphing producers can quickly create new and unique sounds.
The main draw of this sequencer is for those who understand sound design.
This lets you play with all the options to create new sounds that people want to listen to.
That is no easy task.
Now let’s look at what software Deadmau5 uses for vocals in his songs.
Waves CLA Vocals
This plugin may have a basic interface, but it is more powerful than you think.
It gives producers, such as Deadmau5, the ability to have control over the bass, treble, compression, reverb, delay and pitch of their vocal samples.
You get a further 3 levels of modulation.
That means you can adjust especially aspect of the recorded vocal.
This allows you to make sure that the vocals sit perfectly within your track.
But of course, to get the most from vocal plugins you need microphones to record the voice.
In this part of the article, we'll talk about the guy's gear.
Shadow Hills Master Compressor Plugin by Universal Audio
Any plugin from Shadow Hills is used by the best producers.
They emulate hardware and allow you to switch between different types.
You can change between different types of transformers and one has unique characteristics when it comes to distortion and limiting.
This is built as three compressors in one unit.
That lets producers finely manipulate compressor sounds.
What Microphone Does Deadmau5 Use in 2021?
Here are 2 of his top choice mics:
AKG C414 XLS
This is an industry-standard mic.
It’s another all-rounder that can be used to record everything from vocals to instruments.
Neumann TLM 103 D
This is a large-diaphragm condenser mic.
It’s a popular choice amongst producers.
This is all down to its versatility.
By integrating a preamp into the mic Neumann have made it suitable for use recording backing vocals and live instruments.
It’s also great at blocking background noise.
This means the sound is clear when recording.
Let’s dive deeper into the question of what DAW software does Deadmau5 use by now looking at software Deadmau5 uses for effects.
What FX (Effects) VST Plugins Does Deadmau5 Use in 2021?
Let's take a look:
This is a multi-effect plugin that can be used within Ableton.
It’s highly customizable and can take inputs and make huge and chaotic sounds from them.
You can even use this to design your sounds from scratch.
This software is exceedingly programmable, and this could be what draws Deadmau5 towards using it.
Along with the built-in presets, you can tweak and modify all parameters on offer.
This means that highly personalized sounds are possible.
Expanding upon this, I’ll talk now about the use of drum software within Deadmau5’s set up and what he uses.
Kick Drum Synthesizer Plugin by Sonic Academy
Deadmau5 has been seen at least once using this plugin for a live show.
It lets you dig in and create your sounds from scratch.
As well as tweak every tiny little sound aspect.
This plugin is designed so that you do not use premade sample packs.
You just design the drums you want from scratch.
You start with a basic wave and then design everything else from the key to each section of the kick, through to the amp and pitch envelope.
You can even design the click frequency of the drum in minute detail.
Xfer Nerve Drum Machine Plugin
Because of how powerful and game-changing this software is it is no surprise to see Deadmau5 using it.
You get the usual classic drum machine controls along with tons of sound design options.
Inside the ‘Precalc’ menu, you can adjust many parameters such as velocity, cutoff, resonance and pitch.
There is also the sequencer part.
With this, you can quickly slice loops into individual parts and visually rearrange them.
This lets you take a standard drum sample and then morph it into something new and unique.
Let’s now talk about Deadmau5’s live shows and what he uses to make them happen.
What MIDI Controller Setup Does Deadmau5 Use in 2021?
And, of course, it's from NI:
Native Instruments Maschine
This is a standalone unit that is MIDI enabled.
It has been part of Deadmau5’s live setup for a long time.
it’s highly versatile and reliable for live performances.
Funktion One E25 Two-Channel Amplifier
Funktion One is a legendary name on the club scene.
Their speaker stacks are always found in the best clubs.
That makes sense for Deadmau5 to use them in his live setups.
He specifically uses the E25 amplifiers because they are lightweight and designed for touring.
But they also still deliver high-quality sound and are reliable.
Check them out here if you'd like.
Monome Grid 256
When it came out this was unique.
But it has since been overtaken or mimicked by other companies, like the Novation Launchpad.
Deadmau5 uses this for his live shows to start, but as technology progressed, and his live shows became more complex, this soon became redundant.
Despite that, this is still a highly customizable MIDI controller.
Let’s dive deep now and talk about what Deadmau5 uses for both mastering and headphones.
What Headphones Does Deadmau5 Use in 2021?
For a DJ, comfort is the #1 priority. Let's see if Deadmau5 is taking his comfort seriously:
V-Moda Crossfade LP2 Over-Ear Headphones
V-Moda creates headphones that always command respect.
These are durable and are great for blocking out ambient sounds.
It lets producers such as Deadmau5 focus during live performances when things get loud.
Delivering excellent sound quality, and clarity, they also have a bias for music with tons of bass, so it suits the style of Deadmau5 just fine.
SOL REPUBLIC Deadmau5 Track5 HD On-Ear Headphones
Deadmau5 worked with SOL REPUBLIC specifically to help create these.
They feature a unique Deadmau5 design as well as having been tailored for the sound of Deadmau5 as well.
They use V10 drivers and have an excellent bass response.
They are built with detail across all frequencies in mind which makes them great for djing.
Finally, I am going to talk about the remaining components that make up Deadmau5’s awesome studio setup.
That’s monitors, DJ equipment and the laptop he uses.
What Studio Monitors Does Deadmau5 Use in 2021?
When making music, having multiple reference points is a must:
Genelec 1034B Main Control Room Monitoring System
These are popular studio monitors.
You can listen to and master track volumes normally found in nightclubs only.
They are also incredibly accurate.
ATC SCM300ASL Pro
Deadmau5 has these monitors in his studio.
They are not that biased towards bass, but you do get great sound quality across the entire frequency range.
They are well balanced overall.
These monitors, as part of the production process, lets producers make sure that their music sounds great on standard speakers.
What DJ Gear Does Deadmau5 Use in 2021?
When DJing, you always need a controller and a mixer handy – let's see what the superstar is using:
Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol F1 DJ Controller
This mixer is merely an add-on controller.
It has tons of functions for playing live.
You can directly control things like triggering samples as well as manipulating filters and slot volumes.
It’s designed to be used as a single remix deck, which makes sense as to why Deadmau5 owns more than one.
With multiple units, Deadmau5 can build up and manipulate layers to create live tracks.
Pioneer DJM-900NXS2 Mixer
An industry-standard mixer is no surprise here.
They are reliable and offer a wide range of features.
This allows him to go to a live performance and replicate all the stuff he made at home perfectly.
It gives you features such as effects and loops across its four available channels.
The NXS2 is a big step up from previous versions of this mixer.
This is due to the level of control available which must have been what drew Deadmau5 to use this.
The choice of the computer that Deadmau5 may be the most surprising thing on my list here.
He uses this as the centerpiece for his Cube live shows.
It’s highly programmable and all touchscreen.
This means that he can have custom designed screens and layouts and can control aspects of his shows smoother because there is no need for a mouse and keyboard.
The final piece of the puzzle here is cameras and what Deadmau5 uses.
What Camera Does Deadmau5 Use in 2021?
Surprisingly, the camera he uses is a low more low key than I've expected:
Black Magic Micro Cinema Camera
This is used mainly when Deadmau5 does live streams.
It’s a tiny camera which means you can mount it anywhere in the studio easily.
It’s highly customizable in terms of settings and you can adjust everything, from focus and depth of field to switching between recording formats.
Deadmau5 uses a ton of different hardware and software in his music creation process and for his studio and live performances.
As you have gathered, he prefers hardware and software that offers him the greatest control overall.
This allows him to take his ideas and transplant them into great music for us all to enjoy.
Last update on 2021-01-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API