Amsdorf - you need four things to clean large quantities of brass with very little fuss, bother or interaction, though it takes some unattended time (note that there are competing brands for all of this stuff):
1. A tumbler. I use the Lyman Turbo 1200 PRO Sifter Case Tumbler, which is about $47 at MidwayUSA right now. This is your biggest expense. Wish I had an old Redding.
A bag of Frankford Arsenal (or other) walnut hull cleaning media (do not use corn cob, even though it is cheaper - walnut hull will last you a good long time)
A bottle of Frankford Arsenal (or other) brass case polish.
A way to separate the shells from the media. I use an RCBS rotary case and media separator because I don’t mix calibers in a session and it eliminates almost all of the dust. And I can hide stuff in it when I'm not using it. Downside is that it is bulky. For under $10 you can buy a Frankford Arsenal Standard Media Separator and just shake it over any clean bucket. Folks who clean different calibers or rifle and handgun at the same time often use a different method, involving multiple sifters, that you probably don't care about.
If you can find a buddy who already reloads, you can increment yourself into the process a little at a time. But you are on the right track in that your buddy probably is not going to want to sit around waiting for your brass to clean up at his place.