Leyla Daze makes experimental, genre-crossing dance bangers tagged ‘neopsychedelia’, ‘electronic’ and ‘dream pop’.
This week I mastered Leyla’s expertly crafted final mix of track ‘Greylaw Hiveless’. I made the drums and bass heavily pump and the top end more crisp and exciting.
Here’s a snippet of the track, before and after mastering (listen on the best sound system you have available to you):
“Josh’s mastering process is detailed and professional– my track sounds so sparkly! Josh gave me very specific notes, and answered my questions with patience as I polished up my final mix. The track was elevated to a new level. Will definitely use Shirty Mastering again! “
When creating music it can be hard to know exactly where to improve your track to make it sound as good as other music you love.
In this post I explore my track ‘Wave Patterns’ and show you behind the scenes of the music production process.
At the end of the post you can hear back-to-back, for comparison, the demo version, final mix and mastered version of ‘Wave Patterns’.
‘Wave Patterns’ began life as a short loop which had a repeating two-note bass line as a predominant theme. I decided to create a progressive electronic track from this loop, which I fleshed out with dreamy synths, white noise reverb trails, and delayed guitars.
Eventually I had a rough demo that was around 4 minutes in length and I felt I was onto something special. Next to other music I liked however, it still sounded muddy and dull, and possibly a little cluttered.
So I subjected my track to a good amount of music production.
Listening to the demo of ‘Wave Patterns’, the track gave me a calm feeling and I found myself imagining a time-lapse sunset. After consciously identifying that this track had a laid-back vibe, my main aim throughout my music production was to enhance it.
A slower tempo performance and stripped-out mix helped this to happen, along with considered mix placement of synths and guitar so that no sounds competed. In some cases, I achieved this by changing the rhythm of certain melodies in order to achieve more cohesion and less chaos. In other cases, I made edits to the track’s stems to remove unnecessary instrumentation.
Always during production, the calm vibe of the track was at the front of my mind. I watched sunset time-lapse videos (with the video sound muted) to keep my mind in that place. For this song, I knew I was on the right track when the music really complemented the video.
I went on to create a well-balanced, spacious final mix through a process of listening at different times of the day and on different monitors. I was happy to call the mix finished when the track washed over me, with nothing in the mix jarring me out of its hushed ambience.
I mastered the track with a fresh ear some months later.
The master takes the strength of the final mix and reinforces it. It sounds polished and complete. I made the ethereal synths that pan from left to right clearer and bolder, the lead guitar sharper and the crunchy bass warmer, anchoring the listener in the track’s soundscape.
Demo vs Final Mix vs Master
Listen on the best sound system you have available to you:
We offer music mastering in Fort Collins, Northern Colorado for $50 a track. Our informative, one-on-one service lets you talk to us about your music & your aims. More here.
We also offer music consultations for $30 a track, where we’ll lend a trained ear to your music and let you know if it’s ready for mastering or suggest how it can be improved, both musically and technically, keeping the music of your favorite artists in mind.