Deadmau5: "we all hit play"

© Brian Patterson/Corbis

Over the weekend, Canadian super-producer, DJ and maker of intermittent controversial statements Joel Zimmerman - better known as Deadmau5 - posted a blog on his tumblr criticising the 'live' shows of big name dance musicians, himself included:

"I think given about 1 hour of instruction, anyone with minimal knowledge of Ableton and music tech in general could DO what I'm doing at a deadmau5 concert."

Zimmerman goes on to claim that "beatmatching isn't ever a f**king skill" and admits that, sometimes "I just roll up with a laptop and a midi controller and 'select' tracks and hit a spacebar."

His ultimate point, it seems, is that his and his major peers' talents are primarily in the studio, and it irks him when mainstream DJs claim to be "doing something special outside of a studio environment."

More interesting to us though is that, in the process of his rant, Deadmau5 explains a little about his live setup - essentially an Ableton Live rig pumping out MIDI info to a few synths and timecode info to control the lighting and visuals.

While we sort-of admire Deadmau5's honesty, and kind of think he has a point in terms of some big name dance performers (we'll name no names), there are definitely a lot electronic musicians out there who are doing something special with their live shows.

Read the whole post over at Deadmau5's tumblr

Si Truss

I'm Editor-in-Chief of Music Technology, working with Future Music, Computer Music, Electronic Musician and MusicRadar. I've been messing around with music tech in various forms for over two decades. I've also spent the last 10 years forgetting how to play guitar. Find me in the chillout room at raves complaining that it's past my bedtime.