Through the unique one-on-one services we offer, we can help you get a great sound from the music you’re making at home.
We believe that transparency and discussion are key to making great sounding music, and all of our services have discussion (between us, the engineers, and you, the artist) at their heart.
Songs that we have worked on have been successful, being played on the radio & TV and blogged online.
We are an online business and we can work with you wherever you are in the world.
We are highly rated on Google.
See all the ways we can work with you and our rates.
What Our Customers Say (taken from Google Reviews)
“Josh at Shirty Mastering gave me very thorough, detailed and useful feedback on my mix. His guidance allowed me to bring my mix up to a whole new level, and make it ready for mastering, while at the same time learning a lot about mixing. Josh also mastered my song, and I couldn’t be happier with the result!”– Bjarne L
“I have been working Josh at Shirty mastering for year now and its been a great experience. He makes me sound professional, he is responsive to my wishes, and he keeps me on track.”– Butch H
“Sound quality was top notch on our project and improved 1000 fold and he kept in touch every step of the way to make sure we were happy and he was moving in the right direction.”– Sean L
“His concise feedback on my mix made for a definite improvement, and then during mastering he was able to bring out an extra richness in my track that was lacking in the mix. He did a good job of listening to my feedback as well and making some adjustments. I’m very happy with the result!!”– Cristina B
Mastering is about using technical tools to enhance a track and bring out the emotion or vibe of a song. We are music lovers experienced at creating and engineering great sounding music.
We offer a unique mastering service where we give feedback on your final mix before we master.
Our Mastering With Mix Advice is $50 per track.
Once we’ve mastered your music, if your first master isn’t exactly as you want it, we will create a second version free of charge, taking your feedback into account.
Our Professional Song Critique
We can highlight problem areas in your final mix and tell you how to fix them. You can carry these mixing tips forward with you into your future recordings and songs.
We know that you’ve likely, single handedly, done most of the work on your music. Now you can trust us to help you apply the finishing touches so you can feel confident about the track you release.
By working with us, you can be assured that our expert perspective and many years of studio experience inform our suggestions for your music.
A lot of musicians say that working with us holds them accountable for finishing their music. They see contacting us as a commitment to finishing a song or album, and we are here to help you get the best sound from your music as it crosses the finish line.
Still Have Questions?
Please contact us or take a glance at our FAQs
Some Music We’ve Worked on Recently
An Overview of Mastering
Mastering is a science and an art.
But, we believe that mastering at its best is also a discussion between the artist and the mastering engineer.
We are here to help improve the sound of your music, and we will also help you to improve your music production / mixing skills at the same time!
We know that you have likely worked for weeks or months on your track, and there are things that you love about the mix and the sound – it is important that these are not lost in mastering, yet you also want to get the extra richness and loudness that mastering can bring.
When you work with us, we start a discussion to make sure that the result you get is the result you were aiming for.
MASTERING IS $40 PER TRACK
MASTERING WITH MIX ADVICE IS $50 PER TRACK
Mastering Engineer vs Algorithm
Algorithmic mastering services run your music through an algorithm and offer you what the machine considers the “best” result.
When you play back your master you will likely feel an improvement has happened. This is because the new mastered version will sound louder than the final mix you submitted.
This however isn’t the whole story.
When music is mastered the loudest peaks in the music are often reduced, so that the quieter peaks can be “turned up,” creating a song that sounds louder than it used to. The trade-off is that, past a point, music starts to lose it’s natural “open” tone and becomes fatiguing to listen to.
If this happens when you master algorithmically, the algorithm will not tell you. When we master your music we will make sure it definitely is not fatiguing to listen to.
Next, it’s important to consider how you are listening to the master recording you receive back from the algorithm. If you are listening on a low quality sound system, and/or one that doesn’t allow sufficient bass reproduction, then ask yourself if you are in a position to judge the result of the algorithmic mastering process.
When you hire us to master your track we are confident that our monitoring (/sound system) system is up to the task of knowing precisely what your recording sounds like, so you can be confident it’ll reproduce well whether it’s played back on the radio, in the club or on a Bluetooth speaker.
The Loudness Wars
For a good number of decades, mastering has been confused with “make my track sound as loud as possible.” To put it another way, people might ask their track to “have no noticeable drop in volume when it’s played next to Imagine Dragons.”
These loudness wars are now coming to an end, and for me as a mastering engineer that’s an exciting thing.
New broadcast standards (ITU-R BS.1770 + revisions) have given a consistent way to measure the loudness of audio recordings and, in this case, music.
The resulting LUFS measurement (Loudness Units relative to Full Scale) is a value that music software (e.g. iTunes) and online streaming services (e.g. Spotify & Apple Music) “tag” onto each new track or file. This value (e.g. -2.6dB or +1.0dB) informs the music player to turn up or turn down the track when it’s played, so that its volume will match the volume of all other tracks played from the service (which have also been measured by the same standard).
To put it simply, music streaming services and an increasing number of media players have a hidden volume control that is turned up or down before each track is played.
This hidden volume control means that there’s no noticeable jump in volume when different songs are played back-to-back, even if music from decades past (60s / 70s) is played next to the latest pop hits.
This new LUFS standard has given us mastering engineers more chance to bring out the best in the music we master; we have more chance to bring out the emotion and vibe of the music with the technical tweaks we make.
Finally, album mastering needs a mention. A mastering algorithm looks at each song as a stand-alone piece of music, therefore algorithmic mastering was not designed to master albums.
We, on the other hand, will find your album’s most powerful track and master everything else to fit around that. For example, softer tracks will not be made louder or punchier than your most powerful song. While this all sounds like common sense, an algorithm does not consider this when it masters your music.
We know that with your album, you’ve arranged your music in a deliberate way to create a cohesive piece of work. By ordering the tracks, you have given it an intentional “flow”. As you intended, the sound will transition between hard and soft as the album plays from start to finish. We see and preserve your intentions when we master your album to maintain and enhance the way it flows.
For album and EP mastering we offer discounts. Contact us for a quote.
We Can Work With You Anywhere in the World
If you’re a producer, we can discuss your music with you and give advice so you can level-up your skills.
You can also record your music with us in Fort Collins, Colorado and we can discuss in detail any music production your project needs – working with you on an hourly rate basis if you’d like us to add quality “ear candy” and accompaniment to your tracks.
We work remotely with artists from all around the world – Wherever you are, we look forward to hearing your music.
If you are looking to up your game, we are here to help you.