For Serious Producers: Deadmau5 Equipment Breakdown & Biography

Deadmau5 equipment

For Serious Producers: Deadmau5 Equipment Breakdown & Biography

Joel Zimmerman was born on January 5th, 1981 and is from a small town in Ontario, Canada called Niagara Falls. Many think of him as a hometown hero since he is world famous for his music production under the alias Deadmau5. He has worked with Wolfgang, Kaskade, Skrillex, Eric Prydz and other notable artists. You may not know that he actually got his stage name from finding a dead mouse within a computer he was using as a teenager. Weird facts aside, Joel has dropped 8 studio albums and has been making music since 1998.

His mother Nancy is a visual artist and his father, Rodney Zimmerman, is a General Motors plant worker. Joel has two siblings, Jennifer and Chris. He comes from German, Swiss and English descent. When he was a teenager, he got his hands on a keyboard as a Christmas gift. He utilized sequencers like Impulse Tracker and inspiration from the chiptune and demoscene movements to make music. Zimmerman went onto to graduate from Westlane Secondary School in Niagara and then worked as a programmer at an online music licencing company.

On July 26th, 2005 Deadmau5 released his debut album called Get Scraped, with A Little Oblique being finished in 2006. His next album Project 56 was then released two years later. Joel was able to sign to Play Records in 2006 and release his second studio album Vexillology in November of that year. In 2007 he created his own record label called mau5trap which was a very smart business move. He paired up with Ultra Records and Ministry of Sound to release the 2008 album called Random Album Title which included producer Kaskade.

Zimmerman saw a lot of success with the track “Move for Me” with Kaskade when it reached the number one position on Billboard Magazine’s Dance Show Airplay chart in 2008. He has reached the number one spot again with “I Remember” and “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff”. He is the sixth Canadian to top the chart following acts like Justin Bieber and The Weeknd.

If you DJ or produce electronic music, you can benefit from treating yourself with something from the official Deadmau5 equipment list.

Deadmau5 Equipment

Deadmau5 Headphones


Sennheiser HD 800.

The Sennheiser 800 Series headphones were created with a single goal and that is to offer the best possible sound imaginable.  Sennheiser has always been one of the leading brands when it comes to headphones so it shouldn’t be a surprise that these are used by Deadmau5. The barrier between recording and playback is broken to give the listener a better listening experience.

Specs:

  • Comfortable open back headphones you can wear for long periods.
  • Boasts the largest drivers ever used in dynamic headphones(56mm).
  • New absorbing technology reduces unwanted frequencies so you can get a better mix.
  • You get a natural listening experience with the unique car design that directs sound waves at a better angle.
  • Single ended 1/4″ and balanced 4-pin XLR connecting cables.

Get it on Amazon


Pioneer Pro DJ HDJ-2000.

Pioneer is a very popular headphone brand among DJ’s, producers, and engineers. These sit in a price range that you can appreciate for the quality you get.

Specs:

  • Built to withstand rigors of professional use so you can use these constantly.
  • Maximum comfort so you can wear them as long as you like.
  • Rotatable housing to get them just how you like.

Get it on Amazon

Deadmau5 Keyboard


Moog Minimoog Voyager.

This incredible keyboard and synthesizer features a 4-channel CV mixer, a 2-channel attenuator, a lag processor, and a MIDI-synced LFO. The Moog company were the pioneers of modular voltage controlled analog synthesizers back in the 60’s. Imagine how great their products have become over decades of innovation and improvement. Moog went on to create top of the line synthesizers like this one used by Deadmau5 that comes in a compact size compared to old versions.

Specs:

  • Incorporates virtually all of the sound resources and functions of the original Minimoog Model D and Voyager.
  • 61-note velocity sensitive keyboard with after pressure technology.
  • Ribbon controller with pitch and gate cv outputs.
  • Touch surface controller with x, y, a and gate outputs.
  • External audio input to suit all of your needs.

Get it on Amazon


Novation Impulse 49 USB Midi Controller Keyboard.

The Novation Impulse is a semi-weighted keyboard with assignable aftertouch. It has been designed to feel like an actual instrument rather than a computer peripheral. Most importantly it is incredibly accurate meaning you can translate your musical ideas into something real much quicker.

Specs:

  • Ultra responsive semi weighted keyboard with aftertouch technology.
  • Full DAW/plug-in control surface with 8 knobs, 9 faders and buttons so you have everything you need to make incredible music.
  • Instantly connect to any workstation or plugins you use with Automap 4 software.
  • Multi function drum pads enable you to warp arpeggios, roll beats and be much more creative.
  • Includes downloads for Ableton Live Lite, Novation’s Bass Station synth, XLN Audio Addictive Keys, and a Loopmasters Sample Pack.

Get it on Amazon


Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49.

Native Instruments always delivers the best. The Komplete Kontrol S49 from them enables producers like you to unlock the full potential of Komplete with an outstanding Fatar keybed and highly flexible touch strip controls. With this controller, main parameters of every Komplete Instrument are pre-mapped to touch-sensitive controller knobs via the Native Map.

Specs:

  • Integrates seamlessly with KOMPLETE 10 and KOMPLETE 10 ULTIMATE if you hasve them already.
  • The Fatar keybed is nothing like you’ve used before and is state-of-the-art quality. High quality encoders also give control over key software variables. 
  • Clear view display and light guide illumination give you a wonderful visual experience while playing.

Get it on Amazon

Dave Smith Instruments Prophet.

The Prophet ’08 poly synth is a modern classic that has appeared on countless recordings and stages since its debut back in 2007. The Prophet has twice the polyphony, twice the mod matrix, waveshape modulation on all waveforms, digital effects per layer in stacked or split voice mode, a polyphonic step sequencer per layer, and more compared to older models.

Specs:

  • Two digitally controlled analog oscillators per voice with sawtooth, triangle, saw/triangle mix, and pulse waveforms to choose from.
  • Single analog Curtis low pass filter per voice, selectable 2- and 4-pole operation, 3 envelope generators and polyphonic step sequencer up to 64 steps.
  • Download tons of existing libraries of Prophet ’08 sounds to find the perfect sounds for your tracks.
  • 16-Voice Polyphony With 16 voices to play with, you have the freedom to allocate them as you wish.

Get it on Amazon


Access Virus TI v2 Polar.

The TI Polar synthesizer & controller has a synth action keyboard with 37 keys with velocity response and aftertouch, as well as 32 knobs, 43 buttons, and pitch/modulation wheels for manipulating your sound. This makes it the perfect tool to create unique sounds and get exactly what you want. Having this in your studio will unleash a whole new level of creativity.

Specs:

  • There are new effects to use including tape delay, frequency shifter, new distortions, and character.
  • 25% more calculating power than the original Virus TI, and completely redesigned housing.
  • Dual DSP system with over 80 stereo voices under average load.
  • Virus Control 3.0 VST included to use with your workstation.

Get it on Amazon


Korg MS20.

Many of us know Korg for their awesome MIDI controllers but did you know they also manufacture powerful synthesizers? The MS20 is one of the best ones they make.

Specs:

  • More affordable than other high end synthesizers.
  • Self-oscillating high-pass & low-pass filters with distinctive distortion.
  • External signal processor.
  • Flexible patching system.
  • USB MIDI plus 5-pin MIDI.

Get it on Amazon

Deadmau5 Microphone


Neumann TLM 103 Condensor Microphone.

Used by some of the best in the music industry, this mic utilizes the tried and true transformerless circuit found in numerous Neumann microphones, the TLM 103 features yet unattained low self-noise and the highest sound pressure level transmission. For recording amazing vocals like Deadmau5, you may want to have this on your desk soon.

Specs:

  • Large diaphragm cardioid microphone featuring a pressure gradient transducer.
  • Available in satin nickel and matte black depending which you prefer.
  • Includes a SG 103 swivel mount to keep it secure and a wooden jeweler’s box.
  • The TLM 103 is fast becoming a standard for home recording and the music industry.

Get it on Amazon


AKG C 414 XLS.

Deadmau5 uses the legendary AKG microphone to capture every little detail. The C 414 family has been one of the worlds most widely-used and respected studio and stage microphones in audio history. The new C 414 XLS offers nine pickup patterns that enable you to choose the perfect setting for every use. For live applications and permanent installations all controls can be disabled easily for trouble-free use.

Get it on Amazon

Deadmau5 Studio Monitors

KRK VXT8.

Studio monitors give you a much better idea of how your track sounds which results in a better mix. The VXT monitors achieve a new level of precision with a visually striking enclosure design that is equally functional, providing low resonance, improved structural integrity and extended low-end, slotted ports for reduced port turbulence, plus a sleek curvature that provides excellent imaging characteristics and a wider sweet spot.

Specs:

  • The woofer is an 8-inch Woven Kevlar.
  • The tweeter is a 1-inch Silk Dome Ferrite.
  • Frequency Response: 37Hz – 22kHz +/-1.5dB.

Get it on Amazon


M-Audio Studiophile BX8.

We are sure you know M-Audio for their MIDI keyboards but don’t miss out on their amazing studio monitors. The Studiophile BX8a system builds upon new waveguides and enhanced drivers for a greater high-frequency clarity and improved sound. The 1-1/4″ natural silk tweeters give you a high end that’s both clear and easy on the ears.

Specs:

  • Well balanced and high quality drivers.
  • Excellent high end frequency and low end frequency.
  • Resilient and durable speakers that will stand the test of time.
  • 130 watts of bi-amplified power with crossover.
  • Magnetic shielding to stop any interference.

Get it on Amazon

Deadmau5 DJ Setup

Allen & Heath Xone DB4.

Deadmau5 only uses the best and you should too. DB4 is a truly ground-breaking mixer and by far the most advanced product that Allen & Heath has designed. Every feature has been meticulously researched with a goal to offer DJs ultimate creativity. Based on the iLive pro-touring FX system, Allen & Heath developed FX algorithms with BPM conscious parameters and tight spectral control, customized to perfectly fit the DJ environment.

Specs:

  • A unique and powerful Quad FX Core DSP engine.
  • 1/16 beat to 4 bar selectable loop length with the build in looper function.
  • Xone dual filter system built into it as well.
  • 24 bit/96kHz USB2 soundcard.
  • Each music channel has a 3-band EQ you can utilize.

Get it on Amazon


Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol X1.

Once again Native Instruments is here to help us become a better DJ. The redesigned Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol X1 MK2 DJ Controller offers a new multi-purpose touch strip and intuitive touch-sensitive encoders for a powerful and portable DJ solution fit for any situation.

Specs:

  • New multi-purpose touch strip keeps you in direct control meaning you don’t have to move around as much.
  • Get the ultimate performance possibilities through the loop and browser mechanisms.
  • RGB cue points helps you identify load markers or loops much easier.
  • Visual feedback to keep you DJing at a consistent pace.

Get it on Amazon


Pioneer CDJ-2000.

You saw the pioneer headphones earlier but this is the flagship CJD player from them. It has the industries first Wi-Fi connectivity which is compatiable with their new app Rekorfbox.

Specs:

  • Wi-Fi connectivity.
  • Rekordbox music software included.
  • Beautiful 6.1″ full color LCD display with a graphical user interface.
  • Functions like slip mode and quantize.

Get it on Amazon

Deadmau5 DAW

Ableton Live 9 Suite.

So you might have all the hardware but you need the software too. Deadmau5 uses a few different workstations inlcuding Ableton Live. The latest version, Ableton Live 9 gives you the power of time stretching, arranging, sequencing and much more to make incredible tracks like the man himself.

Specs:

  • Record multi track audio up to 32 bit/192 kH.
  • Includes 10 software instruments with 41 effects and Max for Live.
  • Real time stretching and warping functions.
  • No limit to how many audio and MIDI tracks per song you use.
  • Don’t worry about sounds because it includes over 50GB of original sounds through 23 libraries.

Get it on Amazon

Image Line FL Studio 12 Producer Edition.

Everything you need in one package to compose, arrange, record, edit, mix and master professional quality music. FL Studio 12 is the fastest way to get your ideas from your brain to your speakers. It’s a simple workstation that Deadmau5 swears by.

Specs:

  • A complete software music production environment for serious producers and engineers.
  • Pitch correction, shifting, harmonization, time stretch, BPM detection, sample slicing, and much more.
  • Capture all the inputs on any audio interface.
  • Already has 32 software synthesizers including Sytrus & Maximus to get you making music instantly.

Get it on Amazon


Featured image credit