Thought I would pipe up here.
I have been making music for 17 years (since the age of 15) I have always been very passionate about mixing and engineering.
I have always tried to push my mixing to be the best it can be, I love the art of mixing and as part of mixing and putting out my own work I have also got quite good at mastering. I have sent my mastered tracks to mastering engineers as reference tracks on a few occasions and have then been asked why am I paying for their services. And told I am often 99% the way there. The answer to why I send them for mastering is I always value the second opinion and the skills of a full time great mastering engineer. I use mastering engineers who are incredibly skilled and have A1 credits for days.
I do have some mixing credits to my name, and a load of uncredited mixes from remixing. And have also been uncredited for the mastering of many of my own records and remixes that have been successful in their scenes and been played all over radio (radio 1, kiss, capital and so on), mentioned in rolling stone online, topped the buzz charts.. Blah blah blah
And a huge amount of that stuff is not on Discogs!
So recently I have been pimping out my engineering services to feed my gear addiction and pay studio rent while I am waiting for some songs I have written for a decent artist to be released later this year and working on a bunch of new spec production projects. This pimping started when a producer I know offered to pay me to stem master his records after hearing some of my work. I have found it much easier mastering work for other people as I am able to be much more objective than when mastering my own productions.
I always state when it comes to mastering I am not as good as some of the top boys, but that is reflected in my prices. But I have been getting great results and my works sits very nicely next to other records in a variety of scenes. I haven't had one complaint. And everyone who has come to me, still comes to me. And in fact my experience as a mix engineer gives me a huge skill set for creative stem mastering.
I am not trying to brag here, there are hundreds of people here who's credits and experience far exceed mine (although I am no where near finished in my journey yet), I am simply setting out the scene. I don't think someone's credits are the most important thing, I think the quality of their work is the most important thing. Their results! Not what equipment they use. I have a lovely outboard mastering compressor (RND-MBP) that I do use a lot, but still a huge amount of my mastering happens in the box. I do have the full range of UAD, Waves and TC mastering plugins, are all of these no good at all because they are ITB?
Am I a scammer because I offer mastering services but don't have x amount of credits or outboard gear.
Was Dave Pensado a scammer when he first started mixing with only a few credits under his belt?
There is so much talent out there, there is always an amount of luck in really making it "big" in this industry, so there could be some kid who lives in a shack on a beach in some remote village in Africa who is a genius and will be a rising star in the Mastering world, potential to be the best we have ever known, but he is yet to have any credits! Maybe just keep an open mind and judge work for its quality and help new talent rise.
This is all just my opinion.
I hope this doesn't come across too preachy!
And I don't live in Africa either.
I changed Australia to Africa as I just saw Austria was mentioned above in this thread, and this potential genius is entirely theoretical at the moment. Lol