Making an artist feel at ease to deliver a killer performance and not having to worry about how and how well it’s being captured is a priority in the sessions I run.
Mixing audio is a creative process unto itself. There are guidelines, but there are no rules in my opinion. Mixing can be an endeavour to replicate the sound of a performance in a real-world acoustic space or a complete experimentation that defies anything natural.
I see mastering as the final spit ‘n polish required to make a track or collection of tracks presentation-worthy. The EQ-curve is pleasing, focus elements are in the fore and things that shouldn’t be exposed are tucked away not drawing attention to themselves.