If I have a method to mixing a song or a film, it’s this: I find the core essence, the essential elements. In a song, it’s the vocal or the instrument carrying the melody, and the main accompaniment, usually a rhythm guitar or piano. In a film, it’s the dialog or voice-over and the music or the fundamental effects.
Building the mix with these primary components allows the song or film to reveal itself. If the additional instrumentation or film elements augment this core, add a hook, a mood, or strengthen the rhythm, I weave them in. If not, they’re left out. There’s no need to force the song or film to be anything other than what it wants to be. A busy mix feels like a cluttered room. There’s elegance in simplicity.