Thanks Tensen…yeah, I really didn’t consider automated mastering, because basically, it doesn’t perform one of the other main things that I want from an ME, which is to get a second set of Un-biased ears to review and adjust.
Also vitally important to me is getting a group of songs to work together as a cohesive whole - to flow from one song to another in an album format.
Automated mastering by definition can’t do these things.
I’m not opposed to it per se, and no doubt it does provide value for some people - I just don’t see it working for me in this situation.
As far as getting the mix up to a good level, and getting it eq’d - which IS the domain of automated mastering - I think I can do (and have done) a reasonable job of that myself.
There are also otherthings the real ME will provide for me that are important to me, and often get overlooked in the mastering discussion. For example DDP CD authoring & ISRC encoding. Granted, I could do these things myself too, but it’s nice to not have to spend extra time researching and learning the ins and outs of something I’ll probably only ever do once in a blue moon.