Manuel's here from masteryourtrack.com
Here we are with the second part of the ten mistakes to avoid when mixing.
If you haven't read the first part, you can check it by clicking here.
6 Don't evaluate the sound
Before anything, evaluate the recordings. Does the guitar need to be re-amped? Does the drum need any sound replacement? Is there any required extra editing (timing, tuning, cleaning)? A good evaluation is mandatory to achieve the best result.
7 Not using automation
The big difference between an amatorial and a professional mix sits in automation. Volume and pan are probably the more common, but you can also automate saturations, reverbs eq, etc. When does the guitar need to go louder or softer? How about the snare? And the BVs? Do I want that saturator to saturate the guitar all the time? Or maybe in some part my guitar can come back and be cleaner?..think about it ;)
8 Don't set a deadline
If you mix for yourself (not for a client) give yourself a deadline. The mix can be an endless process. You should schedule your deadlines and manage your time wisely.
9 Don't prioritize elements
Before start mixing, you must decide which are the most important elements in your mix. Not all the songs are the same. Most of the time, we have four main elements: kick, snare, bass, and voice. And then what lead the song from the instrumental point of view? Is it the piano, the rhythm guitars maybe? Going ahead, what instrument fills the gaps? Brasses? Organ? Little guitar solo? Try to spot what is the role of each instrument in the arrangement. You'll see that some are more important than others.
10 Don't look after the gain staging
Look after the gain staging is mandatory. Make sure not to distort your plugins or channels at any stage of the mix. Also if you're working with a plugin that emulates a hardware unit and it has a VU meter try to work with it around 0VU. This is its sweet spot.