On the eve of the first show of his current tour, which started Sept. 12, Joel Zimmerman was holed up in a Dallas hotel room -- writing code. Using a custom version of the visual development platform Derivative TouchDesigner, the man known as the massively successful electronic music producer deadmau5 was putting the final flourishes on an audiovisual spectacle eight months and thousands of hours in the making.
Called Cube v3, the production is Zimmerman’s most technologically advanced to date. Zimmerman talks in coder-speak -- IDE tools, GPU systems, data-handling digitalization suites -- while discussing his show, for which he and his team used TouchDesigner (a Canadian company partially chosen due to its proximity to the artist’s house outside Toronto) to write the millions of lines of code that together form the Cube. Now complete, the Cube -- a massive, rotating structure from which he performs -- flashes images such as Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights” and deadmau5’s signature “mau5head” logo to the tune of hits like “Faxing Berlin,” “Raise Your Weapon” and “Ghosts N Stuff.”