I'm getting a little ferklempt, I'll give you a topic... Mixing methodology. How do we normally tackle the mix? Build up a drum mix, followed by bass, and up to guitars and vocals? Or start off with solo vocals / lead element at a certain volume (?), and bring up the other elements around that? Beyond leveling and panning, do you for example sit down and apply all of your equalization followed by dynamic processing? Or work at it track by track? Things of this nature. I would be happy to see some parts of your "mental checklist" shared here, and will be glad to share any of my own method. I realize that all of this is program-dependant and subjective in nature, just looking for any "in general" thoughts for discussion... Also, what's a mixer to do for a reference nowadays? So much of today's popular music has it's dynamic range severely reduced in mastering. How much dynamic range are you going for in a pop / rock context? Are you mixing to your 2-track as hot as possible, or leaving some headroom for the ME? tawk amongst yaselves.