Step 5: Cutting goes first
Before adding to the sound something that you think is missing, get rid of everything unwanted. Imagine that the vocal in the new project given to the studio was recorded with the unsuitable microphone and has a strong boxy sounding. Don’t rush to the exciter or your favorite vintage equalizer available at your best online mixing service that colors the top end nicely. If you do that, you risk getting a harsh vocal, and the song will still sound blurry. To avoid this, work with a low cut filter and carefully clean the lower midrange area of the track with a narrow bandwidth (see step 4). This should make enhancing the top end an icing on your beautiful cake. I think you know what I’m talking about.
Step 6: A complex Low-Mid range
I think everybody heard the mixing mastering engineers saying that low-mids are responsible for the completeness, body and warmth of the sound. So there is always a temptation for mixers to give the instruments as much of this “life spring” as possible. But the problem is that this frequency area is an intersection of almost all elements of any tune, even of the instruments that are seemingly responsible for the Highs component. If you providing mixing deprive the Hats and Cymbals of their lower component (which lies exactly in lower midrange), they will turn into some incoherent tinkling. That’s why when performing the equalization of particular parts during mixing, you should keep in mind that they will have to coexist in this complex frequency area. Or maybe Step 2 was performed incorrectly and you need to pick a more suitable sound before getting to mixing music stage.