Girl Blue's Single 'Fire Under Water' Hits the Charts

Girl Blue's debut record 'I Am Not a Star' was released last week to a lot of buzz around the internet.  So much so that it's charted on Spotify's Viral top 50 charts!  

As of Oct 11th 2016 Girl Blue's single 'Fire Under Water' has charted on multiple country's 'Spotify Viral Top 50' charts including #9 in the US, #1 in Switzerland, #25 Globally and the list goes on...  

It's just the beginning, but congrats to Girl Blue and everyone over at Just Pretend Records!

Upstate New York Music, Mastered In Upstate New York


Aug. 2015 -

It’s been a great year in the studio, largely due to a fantastic local music scene here where Gigantic Mastering is located: Upstate, NY.  

I want to take a moment to showcase the music of some of the artists I’ve worked over the last year that are from the Upstate NY area…  All of these projects I Mastered, one record I mixed as well as mastered and a few of the artists I’ve worked with live as well.  




"Bottom line, get this album as soon as you can and it will naturally weave itself into the fabric of your summer." - Kim Neaton @

Get Lucid's Album 'Dirt' on BandCamp!  

Produced and Mixed by Derick Borst and Lucid
Mastered by Mike Schoonmaker at Gigantic Mastering

Olivia Quillio
Get Down and Pray

"Olivia Quillio is an able and charismatic songwriter talented enough to craft a catchy song that never loses sight of reality." - Dante @

Get 'Get Down and Pray' on BandCamp

Produced and Mixed by Bryan Brundige @ Grandma's Studio
Mastered by Mike Schoonmaker at Gigantic Mastering

Brian LaPoint & the Joints
Pick Me Up

"They’re certainly a group that can stay true to their own sound, as the twelve songs flow effortlessly between each other without straying far from the vibe of the entire album." - Kevin McCallum @ nysmusic

Get 'Pick Me Up' on BandCamp!

Mixed and Mastered by Mike Schoonmaker @ Gigantic Mastering

Formula 5
Live Five, Vol. 1 (Live)

"Formula 5's third album, a collection of live cuts featuring extended improvisation and shifting grooves and textures rooted in funk, jam, jazz and rack." 

Get Formula 5's 'Live Five, Vol. 1' on BandCamp

Mixed by Bryan Brundige @ Grandma's Studio
Mastered by Mike Schoonmaker at Gigantic Mastering

Eastbound Jesus
Ruff Stuff Nuff Said (Live)

"Ruff Stuff Nuff Said was well worth the wait for the crisp professional sound alone....... Ruff Stuff gives fair warning to listeners of the stripped honesty and raw energy of their live shows." - Susan Rice @ NYSMusic

Get 'Ruff Stuff Nuff Said' on BandCamp

Mixed by Bryan Brundige @ Grandma's Studio
Mastered by Mike Schoonmaker at Gigantic Mastering

Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor - UAD Plug-In

Shadow Hills Compressor

I use quite a few different compressors while I’m Mastering, hardware and software, but there’s one I’ve been using quite a bit more than any other as of late… The New (ish) Universal Audio Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor Plugin for the UAD2 System.

I sadly do not own the hardware unit, so decided to give the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor plugin a try when it first came out and haven’t looked back.

Honestly, there’s quite a few reasons I use it…

Two Stage Compression

Two Compressors In One

Two Compressors In One

The obvious reason would be it’s a very very high quality two stage compressor.  There’s a fixed 2:1 ratio and fixed attack/release Optical Compressor first.  It’s fast.  Really fast.

The second compressor is a Discrete VCA compressor with semi-fixed attack, release and ratios (selectable from 6 options on each).

Combined they sound amazing, but I don’t need/want to use a fast optical compressor on every project… I’ll still use the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor though as you can bypass either (or both) compressors at any time.

The Side Chain

While the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor doesn’t have a classic side chain thats trigger-able from an external source, it does however have an internal switchable 90hz sidechain filter which is PERFECT for mastering.  Basically it allows anything below 90hz to pass uncompressed, and also leaves it out of the compression input so your whole track doesn’t pump with the kick drum or a bass hit.

Three Transformers

Three Transformers

Colorful Compression

One of the great part of the hardware unit, which is passed on to the plugin is the Transformer Matrix.  This gives you three different output transformer options to let you pick the tone and color you want on the output stage.  Three options, three different sounds.

Nickel has the cleanest output with no typical analog overtones introduced.  Iron is the happy medium, which introduces some coloring (even order harmonic overtones) to the output.  For the down and dirty track though, Steel introduces a great agressive set of harmonic overtones that adds a great edge to any program material.

My Only Almost-A-Complaint

The only thing I’d like to see different on this plugin is better metering.  I do like VU metering, but sometimes you just need the very exact readouts of a digital meter.  Obviously they were going for complete replication of the analog unit (which does not include digital metering) so I can’t really complain on this.  But worth mentioning.

How Does It Compare?

So you find yourself asking, how does the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor Plugin compare to the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor hardware?  Listen for yourself.

Keep in mind this plugin will ONLY run on Universal Audio UAD2 External DSP Systems, and not natively on your computer.

Universal Audio’s Shadow Hill’s Mastering Compressor Plugin Webpage

Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to check out Gigantic Mastering’s Online Music Mastering Service!