In answer to a question at LO, I posted:
To compare and contrast, I always start with the drums, hopefully ones I recorded (I have about 20 songs in progress that way), and more often than not lately I end up heavily editing same, adjusting sections that I then arrange.
Next – and it makes quite a difference in the result – I write the song on bass or guitar.
Next – and it makes quite a difference in the result – I do the vocals and the whatever is not done between the bass or rhythm guitar, or the opposite.
When I do the lead vocal, I typically do the 90% of the BV’s. The lyrics may (10%) or not be already existent, so I write ’em if necessary about here. Same with the vocal melody.
Next is additional guitars, if any. Lately, I’ve been trying to get more than rhythm, some kinda melodic or harmony feature or counter-point thing here, also.
Next is keys, if any.
Next is whatever the “lead” is, usually guitar.
Then I do the sweetening.
I mix all along, altho’ I try to leave FX until the end.
Interestingly, I have found that I love to mix drums without gates, but drummers seem to prefer them; I like the livlier feel, me.
EQ is used as needed, but typically not until the final mix, pans are done as I go, same with edits and initial volume-rides, altho’ Granx can tell you I am very fond of “faders-up” until gain-rides are necessary for mix emphasis.