Yea in going to have to disagree with this guy. If you are mastering things yourself, in your home studio then maybe. But if you are taking them to a proper mastering engineer you want a LOT of headroom. Personally I like dynamic mixes that breath.
I think these over compressed overloud albums are fatiguing to listen to. Thankfully with streaming music becoming ubiquitous and vinyl making a comeback the loudness war is somewhat dead. Personally I told everyone working on the next Drunk Pedestrians album that I didn’t want it over compressed and I wanted a lot of dynamic range. The mastering engineer loved that approach. The mastering guy I went with uses all outboard gear for mastering and really went the extra mile. The record just feels alive because of it. I can’t wait until the trend of totally squashed mixes goes away. Here is a picture of the mastering season in Nashville I’m taking about. The computer is basically only used as a recorder.
Yeah i've seen some mixes being pretty decent and they do have more punch and a good mix is always good on headroom and effects. I don't do heavy mastering but i know a few tricks to get the track fat and juicy but mastering engineer wil always be better but mastering yourself shouldnt be too bad to do. I think it's actually good fun mastering process trying to get the sound clearer looking for the right plug ins for the job. Keepin your ears fresh. etc. It can be frustrating too. But a good mix wil always end up clearer and louder.
Yea I have done both. I think if it’s a proper release a mastering engineer is worth their weight in gold. It can make all the difference. But if it’s not in the budget, get to learning and do it yourself.
I think any mature producer would do well to consider learning the mixing and mastering process, its such a rich and deep field of the music making process, I find it very rewarding. Ive spent many years learning how to mix, and whats involved in mastering, and even now some of my results can be a bit hit or miss. Since I invested in the headphones though my mixes have massively improved and Im still making massive realisations and having huge epiphanies. Its not really for the absolute beginner because its such a deep topic and easy to just fuck up with one wrong plugin on the master bus.
It also makes you realise the importance of going to a pro for final mastering, and even for mixing if you havent honed your skills and ears yet.