Any tips on how to get a clean mix other then sidechain? specifically, how to make elements work together and sit nicely in their respective 'homes' without harsh EQ
Sidechaining is not a technique I'd use to get a clean mix. I'd use it to distribute low-frequency energy a bit more efficiently.
Your question is a bit like saying "I have some wheat, sugar cane and a cow - how do I turn all this into a cake?" It's a big subject and not one I can really address in the 1000 characters Fanbridge allow me for each of these answers.
Every sound is unique so there are no rules. What works for one sound will not work for another. I just whittle away at things, scooping and squeezing and moulding them until they fit snugly against the sounds around them. Sometimes they drop straight in, sometimes you labour for six hours, only to delete it in disgust later on.
Most important is to make sure each element works musically, harmonically, dynamically and artistically with what is around it. Get that right and the track almost mixes itself.
second question, is that cheating? your sound is bigger and smoother than everyone else I listen to. I used to be semi obsessed with Simon Posford's sound and internal motions but every time I see you either of you guys, your overall sound is just more impressive. ( meant as a compliment to you, not tearing him down whatsoever) I know you claim to have no secrets others don't know, but are you sure about that?Ott responded on 03/10/2017 Next question
Could you touch on the process for arps such as in the end of signals from bob? its sublime. Really love how it seems like changes tone every 3rd beat and tells a story, could you perhaps touch on this? hopefully I wasn't to vague, it is pretty ineffable.