Pt one is below this, read that first to follow what is on this lesson.
I can not over stress you must learn to master the stereo spectrum, the stereo filed, and what Hertz , each instrument lays in, this should be known, esp. instrument Frequency before you do anything, these are free all over the net, have it where you can see it, next have a track sheet, like the big boys, you need to label your channels, if using an out board mixed and can do the same with most software mixers, know whats what and where you are going.
Use near field monitors, on this site you will see my recommendations of near filed monitors on this site, I always keep a low budget in mind that will produce a pro sound.
To make a great mix, you need three types of speakers, near field monitors, small PC monitors, yes in the old days we used small car speakers, now days PC monitors, decent ones with a sub bass, only around 40.00 , than the reference monitor, a little bigger , but these come in the most at the mastering portion of your mix, have a good pair of headphones, esp if your next to a person trying to sleep, and your making a hit song at 2 am, thats how I work. I need and have one pair of cans that are called extreme isolation, around 100.00, these are used by Engineers in a live performance, to drown out all the crowd noise and monitor the in put of the board, I have them , because I must, I create 1-3 am as many musicians do, and I live in tight quarters with others sleeping.
Never try doing a master with headphones, I do not care how much they cost, why? It will not give you the space to hear what is real, in the proper stereo field, and after 30 min, you lose a lot of your hearing in certain frequency's, even with speakers, take a break , esp. in the master session every 30 min and 5 min to 15 min break is a must, to have fresh ears. Before you call your mix a done deal wait one or two days and listen to it again, so do not dither at this point, as 90% of the time, what a day, or two difference makes with fresh ears, and sober minded , fresh. You will be amazed and say, how on earth , or why on earth did I do that, and changes will be made, but beware of over tweaking, this will kill a song, over tweaker's will mix, and mix and re-mix and this goes on forever, you lose the creative edge, and at the end of a log tweaking week, you will compare mixes, to find the first one, or second, may have been the best, funny, but true.
Remember break all the rules, once you know them try new sounds, ideas, music now days has become stall, a fresh new sound is needed, it could be you, yes, you reader that will be the next B.T. the father of Trance?