Give Vocals a Kick with Sidechain Compression
Side chaining is using the output of a track to have control over the compressor of a different track. You use this like a paintbush or sandpaper and make the vocal become more prominent in the mix. This was first started by Alesis, FMR, and dbx in 2000s.
To do this, use the signal from the vocal and use in to the guitars and drums. You can also try use a preset sample, like cymbals, cowbell, etc. Another techniques include dialogue ducking, vocal mixing, pumping the compression, and punching the pad. Nowadays, a great DAW allows you to add a sidechain to almost all compressors.
Tame Transients with Lookahead Compression
A compressor that has a lookahead allows you to duck the sound faster than when the trigger peak appears. It analyzes the input signal and uses compression long before the signal is heard. This way, you can tame the transients effectively. Use this if you want to have prominent transients in your vocals and snare drum.
This is done when you delay the signal, which should be compressed, and sidechain the compressor using the same signal. You can also do it if you duplicate the signal, put it on another track, move the audio time backwards, compress the original signal, and use the duplicate as a sidechain. Lastly, you can use plug-ins like Waves C1 compressor with Sidechain.
Shape Tone with Brickwall Limiting
Brickwall limiters are the last level of control. You use it to ensure that there are no longer any clippings and overs. You can also use it to add extra punch to your track. Hence, you can only use brickwall limiter to your production’s master bus when you fully know how to mix.
To do brickwall limiting, load and play the untreated track. Insert the limiter to the signal route to have a gain in the circuit and reduce it to 3dB. Do not push everything too much as you would only create an unpleasant sound.