Before and After Mastering: Leyla Daze (Electronic Music)

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):

Mastered version begins at 19 seconds

Feedback from the artist

“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! “

~Leyla Daze

Demo vs Final Mix vs Master: Wave Patterns by Shirty (Ambient Music)

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 the demo version, final mix and mastered version of ‘Wave Patterns’ back-to-back.


‘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, 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 sounded muddy and dull, and possibly a little cluttered.

Final Mix

So I subjected my track to a good amount of music production.

When 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 the track’s 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.

During production, the calm vibe of the track was always at the front of my mind. I watched sunset time-lapse videos to keep my mind in that place. 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 jarring me out of its hushed ambience.

Mastered Version

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. The ethereal synths that pan from left to right are clearer and bolder, the lead guitar is sharper and the crunchy bass is warmer, anchoring the listener in the music.

Demo vs Final Mix vs Master

Listen on the best sound system you have available to you:

Demo is 0 – 26 seconds
Final Mix is 27 – 56 seconds
Mastered version is 57 seconds to end of file

You can hear the completed track on Spotify and Soundcloud.

If you are looking to improve your music, I offer:

Shirty Mastering is located in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA.

Shirty Mastering: About

Shirty Mastering was founded in Northern Colorado in 2019 for musicians who want outstanding sound. Work with us from anywhere in the world – we’re here to make your music sound awesome. We offer:

Special Offer

for bedroom producers and recording musicians – improve your craft with our educational mastering package – and save $10 per track!

We’ve combined two of our popular services (music consultation and mastering) into one great offer – saving you $10 per track! You get:

1. Music Consultation

We’ll give you advice on:

  • Your mix: Dynamics, tonal balance, EQ and placement of instruments in the stereo field.
  • Your recording technique.
  • If anything could be added to the production to give more polish.
  • The emotional impression your track creates vs the intended impression.
  • Your song arrangement (if requested).

2. Mastering

  • We’ll mastering your music to make it sound as loud, powerful and polished as the music that you love.
  • We’ll ask you for a reference track (by another artist you love) that you’d like you music to stand next to, and not sound out of place with when played played back-to-back.

This offer is designed to add “the icing on the cake” to your music. You’ll gain an expert outside perspective on your music and learn new skills as we walk you step-by-step through the final stages of your production process.

Shirty Mastering is located in Fort Collins, Colorado close to Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder, Wellington, Windsor, Timnath, Laporte and Denver.