Thanks so much for all the advice so far, its really great to have all of this information!
I feel like I often fall at the first hurdle of creating an initial balance between the instruments. I was just wondering if you have any tips on getting better at this as I understand how important it is. I find it difficult sometimes to tell whether one instrument is much too loud even when referencing.
Do you visualise a stage and instruments coming towards you and going further back as you push and pull faders?
If there is a frequency that is poking out in a particular instrument do you set the level to this initially then bring up other frequencies if needed?
In the same vein do you set the level to the transient/peak of the sound then compress to bring up the body of the sound?
Thanks again in advance!