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Unnecessary low frequencies tend to add up and push the whole mix without really adding anything musically. Everything except bass and bass drum, possible also pad and any other low instruments, should be high-passed to get rid of these lows. Then, depending on the style, instruments can be side-chained to go soft whenever the bass drum hits - which keeps the max level lower. These two tricks get you a fair amount of level.

You can also automate track levels, eg making the powerful intro pad a lot softer when the drums kick in, or pushing that first lead into the background when the second ones comes in. Then there's parallel compression and a slew of other tricks that you can do, depending on the track you're working with. All of this is done before the track hits the output channel, where I usually only have limiter while mixing, and add a light multiband compressor and possibly some eq when the track is getting close to finished.

As for sharpness, this is just a case of having more higher frequencies. You can reduce the lows of your bass and raise its level instead. That makes it brighter. EQing individual sounds to be a bit brighter does a lot, but you also need to separate tracks from each other using EQ. That makes the whole mix more clear. Background-foreground separation also does a lot, and it all builds on the plain old levels mixing.

Another trick is to use multiband compression on a single instrument, to make sure its lower frequencies stay about the same while raising the higher ones. It's not something I usually do, but it's a good technique to know to use when you need it. Usually, I add a touch of overdrive or other distortion to instruments that are too dark, this raises their highs a bit. This sounds terrible when you overdo it, so... don't overdo it.

I talk about this stuff in my remixing guide, in my sig.

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I'd like if it I can get some feedback on the mixes here:

All 3 were recorded without a click, so the feel may be a bit looser than you're used to. Apologies for the poor female vocalist in the American Boy cover, I don't have access to an autotune plugin.

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