DeadMau5 Builds A Lair Of Unadulterated Synth Power

Deadmau5 synth porn

Deadmau5 has been posting some photos on Facebook of the new studio that he’s building. And, whatever you think of his style of music, the guy has good taste in synthesizers – from the dual Buchla modulars to the epic wall of Modcan modules.

If you don’t have to settle for just one ‘desert island synth‘, something like this could be a pleasant alternative.

Check out the images below and let us know what you think. Is Deadmau5’s new synth lair the ultimate synthrodisiac?

85 thoughts on “DeadMau5 Builds A Lair Of Unadulterated Synth Power

  1. Anyone that has been a part of the EDM scene for over 10 years should automatically respect him as an artist and what he has done with his career. If you don’t, you are just a hater and probably don’t know much about music.

      1. Hmmm…. I didn’t hear any objective experience in that. You can hate him for “conning” hard-working people but the point is he succeeded. So he deserves respect for that, even if you hate his music and opinions. Of course you don’t have to respect him, I mean I guess that’s actually mostly subjective. I think it kinda falls back onto that “respect you’re enemy thing” you can hate Joel Zimmerman but you have to admit whatever he did to get his name out in the electronic music community (even if it was “conning”) worked.

        Either way, the fact that people dislike Deadmau5 doesn’t bother me really. Personally I only like a small handful of his songs (though the ones I like, I love). What bothers me is that many of the people who hate Deadmau5 (and Skrillex) loved them before they where “mainstream”.

        Regardless of you’re opinion on Deadmau5 though, you have to admit that is one seriously killer synthtopia (again no pun intended).

      2. He coned a promoter? Probably the first time that has ever happened. Those people and big labels are the low lifes of our industry who are always taking advantage. Props for him as an artist actually getting something out of a promoter LOL. Who is the gerald guy? He sounds full of hate and probably doesn’t like house music. He needs to stop living in his glory days and accept that he got his ass kicked by a Canadian. It happens. Must suck to be poor.

          1. Except now that I actually read the post, I note the following dubious comment by Gerald vs. “rat head” aka deadmau5:

            “The only button you and people like you are interested in pushing is a nuke for the Palestinians.”

            What exactly did he mean by that? Is he implying that deadmau5 is a terrorist? Is this some attempt at a slur or insult?

        1. Holy Fuck! a guy called gerald is only one of the originators of modern techno/d+b etc, not a huge fan of him but check out black secret technology lp……

  2. Super awesome. And good thing he can afford assistants now. Dialing in a patch in there is going to take way longer than in any VST softsynth.

  3. Jealousy comes in many forms. Hate, desire, disdain, choose one. Music is music no mater who makes it or listens. Yes… I am jealous… but for me, it’s just desire… to acquire…. that is my vice.

    1. Your words are a disgusting poison and downright shameful to have to read. You deserve all the hatred that is coming your way chezzdog. No one comes here to read filth like that yet you continually post banal and angry comments that are a toxic cloud over what is an otherwise innocent and peaceful pursuit to the rest of us. Please get off of here and get some help.

      1. Some of us compose end-to-end (yes, even on a computer). I’ve never used Ableton. Then again I don’t typically write “dance” music. I still don’t get any respect however :-). I HAVE been working with synths since ’77…but that respect thing? Whatever.

    1. To be fair, other than being thankfully a lot less time consuming, how is that so different from loading sounds onto tape loops and triggering those via a panel or keyboard interface?

      I’m about as far from Vladimir Horowitz as you can get when it comes to keyboard musicianship, but I still love making music.

      So I for one am glad I can painstakingly program a “stem” in midi, load up loops, samples, clips, whatever they’re called on whatever medium I prefer, and trigger them. I could’ve spent the time I spent learning to do that becoming a better keyboardist (or guitarist, or whatever), but I just gravitated towards the “producer” skills more naturally.

      I have the utmost respect for real musicians, but I am also glad that technology has made it easier for poorly coordinated musical halfwits like myself to fake our way through the composition process. Should I accidentally get rich doing so, I promise to build an outrageous studio for everyone to drool over.

    2. 1) I love people who make statements and develop opinions based on pure assumptions.
      2) Even if he does, I wanna hear you attempt to explain what’s wrong with that.
      3) That’s like a painter posting pictures of new paintbrushes, canvases, and whatever else kinds of tools they use, but then you find out he/she uses a different technique that isn’t what you would call “appropriate” or “the right way”.
      4) Six thumbs up for such a narrow point of view?! Nice!

      1. I about creamed myself when i saw Joels setup, but after looking at Hans studio I dropped a hot one in my $50 hot pink diesel underwear.

      2. Wow, that is a beautiful studio. Not only amazing gear, but a really solid sense of style. My respect for Hans Zimmer just went up about tenfold…

    1. And why is “play[sic] with tools” such a bad thing? Is the art of music not in a) making it, and b) enjoying it?

      I once spoke to a “DJ” who embodied that same narrow-minded attitude. The guy talked up a storm against guys who do anything BUT use Serato with Pioneer CDJs. Funny, since he was playing pop music to a (mostly) empty bar on a weeknight.

  4. Let’s be honest. He’ll get more constructive use out of those Buchlas, i.e. stuff actually put down on tape, than I ever would. Go nuts, man! More power to you.

  5. The ppl that say this gear is more deserved by poor young talented ppl are morons. If he didn’t make whatever music he makes he couldn’t afford all this stuff. And obviously he has a passion for something much deeper than the commercial music, so you cant accurately judge the person by the little you know. What I find ironic is that from watching the synth videos on this site I recognize that 90% of you guys make music with modulars that can easily be done in software. I won’t tell you if your music sucks but its nothing which depends on expensive hardware.

  6. Can you kids be quiet already, Joel is showing off his synths and future studio! Much more interesting than who likes deadmau5 and who doesn’t.

  7. Sweet setup! I would love to have a play space like that! I wonder if he used Next Industries to design the studio? Their acoustic work and studio designs are awesome.

  8. God im so proud of Joel. When you love music and synths this is exactly how you spend your cash. Too bad he never has time to play with all that being on the road so much.

  9. This reminds me of 1998 where i participated in the Creative Open MIDI Contest on the internet… on the forums prior to the competition, a had a firedebate with some jerk who constantly insisted, that making music with just an AWE32, and believing this could get you anywhere close to something professional in comparison to REAL GEAR had to be an idiot’s thought… he ended up threatening me on the forum because I differed in opinion (a lot).

    more than a thousand participants from the whole world, judges from E-MU system (inkl. Dave Rossum) and all different musical styles, i WON the grand price and 3rd price, using nothing more than the AWE32 with 4MB of RAM. It won me an E-MU E4K sampler keyboard and 13 24 karat gold coins crafted with Creative’s logo.

    The guy complaining never returned after that… this should tell anyone that it’s not about gear hoarding, but about creativity, love for music and getting the best with what ever you’ve got. Many people actually creative better with limitations because limits inspires creativity and also demand it.

    Personaly I cannot get jealous about this gear I see in this thread… I’m happy for the man, that he has got the money to acuire all of that. Let’s hope he puts it to good use. Otherwise it’s a waste of money.

  10. From a purely practical, day-to-day working point of view, I would not put so much of the racks so close to the floor. He’s going to have to do a lot of bending over or getting on his knees to patch a lot of those modules. I would keep everything within comfortable reach while sitting or standing. But, yeah, that is pretty damned lust-worthy.

  11. Looks nice. From the (preliminary?) layout it looks like he is aiming for some patch storage in the form of patching one sound on a modular and then leaving it for like that for some months/years. That might make sense and explain why some of the modulars are so awkwardly placed on the floor without a flocati nearby (Klaus Schulze fans will know what I mean). And if he has a solid system of digital and analog interconnections going (something like a big crossbar switch on the studios computer) quite a bit of this studio might actually be nearly as easy to use as a plugin, and that is not a bad thing. Why there’s no keyboard in sight, I don’t know. Even for people who don’t play an instrument it’s quite easy to come up with rough ideas for a groove or a bass line or a melody, heck, even a simple chord progression using a keyboard. You can always quantise and edit the hell out of the raw MIDI recording afterwards and save quite a bit of time in the process.

  12. Seems to me like a reaction for the big “live act” debate and fight between the egos of creativeness. Well, it’s a nice studio for one who can afford it. A little bit pure with no comfort i think. Looks like a pure workspace to me and not a place where you can free your mind and catch the ideas… But he probably has is own workflow wich doesn’t include flowers and couch for girls in tha studio ^^. The other thing is, i am really interested in how long is it going to take him to master his own instruments. This is a lifetime shit going on, so I am really looking forward for “early experiments” and the progress in his music style (if there will be any, of course). It would be really sad, if with this kind of modularity would be used for straight 8/16 bars music loops and cuts. This setup can send you to heaven or straight to the hell. Nevertheless, Art Tatum was good enough with just one instrument. And it was ENOUGH for the most of heaven.

  13. Nice job Joel, you’re the fucking man playah. You can say what ever you want about this kid, but he has built the dopest stable in EDM. I mean the fokken guy not only kills massives, he cultivates the best in the scene from all genres. He’s got Sonny, SPOR, and fucking NOISIA on his imprint…match that if you can ya fuckz. This kid is a fokken legend mate, and there’s no stopping him. Who else gets top billing on Beatport at all times. He’s a don, go fok yazelf.

  14. Dead mouse is a fictional character created for kids with stars in there eyes to aspire to and help buy him fame.

    1. Fame becomes a lot less glamorous once you’ve done your taxes. Don’t get too star-struck. Travel time, lost sleep, equipment breakdowns, your main synth roadie collapsing with the flu and having a neglected girlfriend at home are part of the price the fans don’t always consider. Any major choice you make pushes aside all the others.

  15. This discussion is reminiscent of the crap surrounding professional athletes in the fringe sports (think skating, surfing, etc.). If a person leverages their talent to the point they gain some fame and money, the people in the pits chant “sell out” and label themselves “soul skaters,” differentiating themselves as some form of higher life since they “don’t do it for the money.”


    Joel was talented ENOUGH to get noticed and then smart enough to build himself a brand. You may not like his music, you may not like his brand, but he’s being successful HIS way. Props to the guy for making a name for himself.

    Being poor isn’t “cool.”

  16. This is exactly like jay z having multi million dollar boats and super expensive watches and whatnot- its a pose- HEY LOOK AT ME I JUST SPENT A WHOLE TON OF MONEY AND IT HARDLY MADE A DENT ON MY BANK BALANCE!

    Let’s be honest, this guys music is basic and can be exactly replicated on desktop.

    I’d hardly say this ‘producer’ ( note I didn’t call him a musician ) is a real rep of cutting edge electronica, just like the other peeps who we love to hate on here- skrillex , tiesto etc.. He is mass marketed to gullible people who will listen to whatever the media project on them

    Can anyone in their right mind think this guy has the skill to actually take electronica forward with this set up? Does he really need this equipment?

    No and no again !

    People like this rub shit in the faces of less fortunate by far more skilled artists who struggle but make great stuff with ableton, fl studio and wotnot by publicly declaring what a great set up they just purchased

    Will this guy be still selling records in twenty years time?


    Scant few electronica artists will be remembered, it’s all temporary fads.

    Eno,aphex twin,Derrick may, Kevin saunderson and others like them do far more with far less?

    So what does this mouse guy think he can do with all this????

    Be honest

    He is a class c producer in the class a social status, that is all

    Oh, I just figured it out!!! The whole set up is geared to impress the ladies he will take there and, know the rest

    Such a shame, but we are living in the age where djs make quick dance records and get paid more a day than many do in a year

    This is not envy, but a reality that has no practical or beneficial use for a crumbling world an an ever increasing sell out Music industry

    1. Its always the same story with you guys, “He don’t deserve it, He sucks, nobody will care in 10 years, Blah Blah Blah. You just sound bitter and hateful and cant appreciate the hard work and effort this guy has put into his silly so called computer music. Likely he had the breaks you didn’t have, but don’t forget the hard work ,late nights writing music, and balls to chase a dream while not listen to people like you.

      News flash, the dude didn’t win the lottery to acquire all that, AND didn’t get famous using all the gear in that room. Bro, most of us on this message board have figured that out. We visit this site too appreciate shit like this. If we all had the cash money and loved synths like him we would likely do this in some form or another.

      This shit is fun and a blessing in life to make music. Deadmau5 and many others regardless of how talented they are musically make music fun for a lot of people. Hate if you want, but the people paid for that shit in his room because of his endless nights of shows to the point of being hauled of a stage in exhaustion.


    2. And you have NEVER purchased something you don’t need? You have not one single possession you don’t absolutely DESERVE?

  17. i don’t understand how u could want or need more modules after having that monster eurorack and twin buchlas setup. talk about overkill….

  18. I don’t understand a lot of the comments on this thread…

    Why are you reading synthtopia? I thought that most of us were big fans of synths….

    Here is a photo worth drooling over. I’m sure that if many of you had the disposable income, you would love to own this setup. I would, for sure.

    This post asked if this was an awesome setup, not if Deadmau5 was a synth genius. Get over yourselves and your envy, and just admire the guy’s love for music and synthesizers.

    1. Seems like any post about this guy is like a Rorshark test for synthesists!

      Personally, I’d like to lock myself in that place for about a year and have food delivered three times a day. That’s pretty much exactly what I’d want if I won the Lotto.

  19. This is just a current example of how pop music has always been. It’s not about being super talented or having great ideas. People buy average to low quality music, and with rare exception they always have, and they always will. It’s a common denominator that reaches across broad swaths of people, which is how you get sales volume in any industry. This guy has found a way to fit into that mold and make money. I don’t like his music, and I find him to be pretty much a dislikable dick in any interview I’ve read, but good for him on success in a tough industry. What is telling to me is what he (or anyone) does with the money. He flaunts it. I’m always more interested in people who invest back in their communities, spend on new product development, set up non-profits, teach, etc. We’ve got decades of pop musicians showing how much crap they can buy. Not interesting anymore. If this guy wanted to be impressive he should pick just one of those synths and over the next several weeks show us how much cool stuff he could coax out of it.

  20. Most dance music has too little of what I call “heart.” That’s totally subjective, but it DOES sound too mechanical for me. Its kinda like this: “Inane surrealism is what you get when there is no heart, no vision, and no story to tell.” ~ Rob Beschizza. I don’t hear much story in this area. There’s too little mystery. I always get what I expect and what I really want is to be surprised once in a while. I HAVE heard some Deadmau5 and Skrillex that got me pumping a little, so let’s have some respect for hitting that mark. I love good beats. I’m just itchy to hear more of the sweat in, say, Tomita’s work, applied to newer things. The personal creative investment seems a little thin.
    As for all the modulars, come back down to Earth, heh heh! Any ONE of those would be a major project. Having 12 of them just dilutes the focus required to get even one to sound good. I used to drool over hardware stacks. As I learned what it took to get worthy results, I kept paring that down. I now use 2 keyboards, one module, 2 outside softsynths and 4 synths out of Logic’s 15 or so. That’s all I need, even when I’m wide open, cranking 20 tracks. If you have a specific vision, the right tools are a must, but start from your vision outwards rather than from the hardware IN. You’ll sound better and it’ll be more FUN. Music is a reward. Don’t turn it into another chore by sweating over the wrong corners of it. Uh oh, look out, here’s a DJ calling himself Deadcat9, I smell an infringement lawsuit.

    1. what the hell are you talking about man? who would want a locked up system over a system where you’re free to do whatever you’d like?

  21. Lol, u can unlock iOS if u want or go droid

    Don’t matter, but I’ll bet ya you will never see apps like auria, sunrizer, animoog, nano studio, beatmaker2 on that droid stuff

    Fact is sir, droid will be ok for toylike music apps but if you want real apps, the world knows only iOS is the way to go for that

    Check apples sales and how the media just love apple events

    It’s not a game, but it’s clear, iOS rules, just the way it is

    Sure, go droid and get the nexus tablet but LOL, you will not get half the quality needed

    1. I, for one, would rather not sacrifice my own freedom for a stupid brand name and a pretty metal case.

      At least on android, if I don’t like the “toylike” music apps I can program one myself and not have to go through Apple’s process of getting it approved. (Actually, the music creation apps on android could be toylike, but iOS itself is pretty much a toy.)

      I’m not sure what you are referring to as “media”, but outside of this Apple hype world, Android is getting just as much recognition as iOS, and for good reasons. Seriously: you bought your device, wouldn’t you like to be able to use however you’d like and not be breaking some warranty, or losing support from the developers?

      I guess I’m not looking at this from a musicians point of view, though I’m not sure who would go through the trouble of seriously making music on a device that can’t even multitask, but Android won’t keep you locked up, and won’t prevent a user from using his device to tits fullest extent.

    1. those buchlas alone are at least 30k each. That modcan has got to be at least twice as much. The eurorack is probably around 9k, and the rest of the gear is at least 4k…

        1. Damn. 20K? That’s starting to look like a completely reasonable price to me. Anyone here bought a good acoustic piano lately? 1.5 to 2 modcans. Cheap little Honda Fit? Bit less than a modcan…

  22. I love seeing crazy studios like this! Twin Buchla’s, geez, indulgent stuff but hey the guy tours and works hard to earn the cash to buy it. Good luck to him. I am envious of all his kit for sure.

  23. Fantastic studio well earned….haters need to realise how the mau5 achieved the success he now has and the speed with which he rose to prominance was no mean feat – a lot of his early tunes were simply class, and still are to this day!

  24. Unlike many producers who “just press play” and whose music is not to my taste, deadmau5 is wasting his ill-gotten gains by buying AWESOME SYNTHS!

    This is good for the synth-producing industry. πŸ˜€

  25. Love how that majority of peoples music on this site wouldn’t even get played in a tiny club, much less get them booked at a major music festival DAY SLOT, yet they feel the need that they can judge this man and his music.

    Some people make music for themselves, some people make music for fans and money. You pick. One is a lot harder than the other though…

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