Almost as recognizable as the iconic deadmau5 mask is his cube live show.
Its debut at Coachella in 2010 saw worldwide attention and since then has gone through several reworks, upgrades and additions. At the time of its debut, only a few artists had even attempted a full 3D LED stage design, notably Daft Punk and Amon Tobin.
His first cube consisted of two square LED panels in the shape of a box with a top panel cut out in a “w” to reveal deadmau5 and his glowing helmet. It was a juiced-up DJ booth that wowed audiences via neon images and graphics of computer circuitry, Rubik’s Cube squares, amorphous smoke, geometric patterns, and little cartoon characters.
Six years later, deadmau5 invested in cube 2.0. The 3D graphics, generated by the game-developer tool Unreal Engine, were a step above their predecessor’s, but it was the moving mechanics of cube 2.0 that blew fans’ minds. The top “w” panel actually moved and spun. In 2017, we saw cube 2.1. He teased fans via a stream of geeky tweets boasting, “The panels are capable of fucking your retinas with 5,000 NiT of brightness per panel at up to a 140° viewing angle with 281 Trillion colors,” adding that the show was “utilizing the shit out of exactly 386,031 frames of video running at 60 frames per second.”
When it came to cube 3.0, a specialist team of lighting, construction and programming experts was assembled to bring the vision to life. Cube 3.0 would see deadmau5 a real, honest-to-goodness cube, hidden from the audience.
The cube 3.0 also features a custom track system upon which the monstrous cube can tilt forward 45 degrees and rotate a full 360, revealing the inside of the cube to astonished onlookers while keeping the mau5 man forward-facing at all times.
Behind the cube is a massive LED wall flanked above and below by nine to 12 moving lights, scalable for different stage sizes as needed. Each moving light is on a truss structure that is also outfitted in panel LEDs. All the surrounding lights are programmed to match the color and mood of the cube visuals. It suffices to say, the stage is lit.