Music Production Lessons in Fort Collins, Northern Colorado and Online

Why Learn Music Production?

If you like music, and you like to create things, then learning how to be a music producer is a worthwhile pursuit.

A music producer gets to make the final decision on how a record sounds, what texture and tone it takes on, and ultimately how the world will hear it.

A music producer can take lyrics and/or a piece of music written on the piano or guitar, and send it into a million different dimensions, changing the tempo, genre, instrumentation, arrangement — literally every conceivable thing — in order to create a piece of music that has their unique stamp on it, and that enhances the original song.

If you are a singer / songwriter, when you learn music production, you’ll be able to transform your songs into convincing and competitive demos, and eventually even make them sound radio-ready, all from your home studio!

If you make electronic music, you need to learn how to be a music producer “off-the-bat”. All you need is a laptop, a DAW (digital audio workstation) and some production skills to get started with creating music in this exciting genre (no musical background is necessary and you don’t need to be able to play an instrument.)

Here at Shirty Mastering, we share our music making expertise with our music production students. Whether you are a complete beginner or an intermediate producer, we look forward to sharing the creative process with you to help you discover and develop your sound.

Getting Started

We provide all of the music technology needed for early lessons, so there’s no need to buy any music equipment until you know that this is something you’re firmly interested in.

Later, when you know that music production is for you, you’ll want to set up a small studio of your own.

In its simplest terms, this is a laptop computer (starting at $300, used, if you don’t already own one), an audio interface (around $50+), a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation; music software — we recommend “Ableton Live” (starting at $100 or free for 90 days (when you first use the software)) and headphones (starting at $30).

As part of our early lessons, we can recommend a set up for you (suggesting what to buy, and sending you links to the equipment), keeping your musical tastes, budget and music-making aims in mind.

If you love Apple GarageBand, we also teach lessons in GarageBand! Just contact us to arrange a lesson!

If You’re Already Producing Music

If you are already making music, we can meet you where you are at, and during our lessons we will help you improve your music production skills.

About Our Music Production Lessons

When we start lessons, we ask you about the music you listen to and your musical interests and we put together a lesson plan that’s unique to you.

As an overview, our music production lessons usually cover the following topics:

Music Composition Technique

We tell you how to begin making your own compositions, outlining a series of steps for you to follow, or we can share tips to help you improve upon what you’re already doing.

We often encourage students to experiment and improvise — to have fun when creating music.

Music Production Technique

Once you have the basic outline of a musical idea or piece of music, we teach you how to develop it using a range of music production tips and techniques. We look at: recording technique and the best recording equipment to use, layering, EQ, audio processing including compression, as well as song arrangement.

We often dissect music production techniques used on well known songs, and look at how and why they work so well. By taking an in-depth look at music that’s similar to the music that you make, you’ll gain an understanding of helpful audio production techniques that can be successfully applied to your own music.

Electronic Music Lessons

If you want to make bass music, house, techno, trance, synth wave, dubstep, trap, hip hop or any of the multitude of other electronic genres, we offer a unique service:

Send us a track you love and we will spend our lessons breaking it down into its core components and showing you how it was created. By taking this approach, you learn how your favorite music was made, so that you can create it for yourself, in your own inimitable way.

Music Production Instructor Josh Shirt

Josh is a friendly, open-minded, and patient teacher who listens to his students’ interests and develops their passions.

Originally from the UK, Josh is a music producer who has had his own music blogged, played on BBC Radio, and used on numerous commercials. He also works extensively as an audio producer, creating audio (audiobooks, podcasts, radio branding) that is streamed and broadcast around the world.

“By following nine steps I regularly turn musical ideas (phone recordings / short loops) into fully polished, professionally finished tracks. When teaching, I think about and share my approach in order to help students create, complete, and distribute their own music.”

Josh Shirt – Music Producer, Mastering Engineer and Mix Engineer

Take Music Production Lessons With Us!

We teach music production lessons in person and online.

Music Production Lessons are $50 per hour, in person in Fort Collins (we travel to you), Northern Colorado* near to Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder, Wellington, Windsor, Timnath, Laporte and Denver. All equipment is provided for in person lessons.

Online lessons are $50 per hour and simply require the student to have a computer or device running Garageband, or the free 30-day trial version of Ableton Live – our software of choice. We will provide instructions for how to download and install Ableton Live prior to your first lesson.

*In person lessons are also available in the vicinity of Fort Collins for an additional charge, please contact us for more information.