The best thing an artist can do for themselves is be there during the mixing and mastering phase of their project. As an indie I wouldn't consider it any other way. I do however sympathize with the major label acts, they are stepping on someone else's toes when it comes to production, mixing, and mastering. There is a fine line of having that breathy , punchy sound, which can actually come from the proper use of compression, and having that everything squashed to the middle sound. I have seen engineers start their mix that way, only to have to go back and reopen the compression parameters because they have squeezed the life out of the music...JMO...Moker