The Mix. Here is where all begins.
Basically in the process of make a disc there are three steps. Recording, mixing and mastering. All are important but in my opinion the most important are recording and mixing. Of course the mastering matters, and much, but the result of your work will depend largely on how you record and how you mix it.
I have worked over 20 years recording, mixing and mastering records. Rock, Blues, Alternative, Metal, Electronic, New Age... From small companies to mayors.
And with each work I have learned something: Each mix is different and needs different tools and techniques.
Most of the time the musicians are only concerned with technical and artistic aspects such as the sound of his/her instrument. And YES, this is important...
But more important is the emotional impact of music. The emotional factor, is by far, the most important. All technical aspects are only tools for this to happen.
Depending on the style of the music, I choose between different options. It may be interesting for a production to mix in analog, looking for a warmer and vintage sound. Other styles need more of a modern touch, in which definition and transparency predominate, as in the most modern productions.
I have an analog mixer with analog processors like valve compressors, VCA compressors, equalizers, etc... A good DAW (Cubase or Reaper), RME audio interfaces and a handful of the best plugins, of brands like Plugin Alliance, Eventide, URS, Nomad Factory, Izotope, and more.