What is YOUR mixdown procedure?

Curious how others mixdown and master. I have audio and midi tracks. On the audio tracks I use compression, eq, etc. in Artist 8. I mix down to a single stereo track (EXPORT, back into project). It’s HERE in the effects channel that I use Izotope Ozone 5 for mastering. Is that the standard way? Reason I’m asking is because I am not getting the volume on my master export. All my levels hit around -3db when mixing down, but compared to professional songs (Steely Dan, Dave Matthews, etc.) my songs are much quieter.

I mixdown in real-time to my digital 2-track (Tascam DA-3000) and from there I master in WavLabs.

the easiest way is to mix/master everything finished in the project and then open the downmix and write out the song to the location you want it to.

Concentrate on getting your mixes the way you want them to sound first then master them separately or by the project.
My source mixes tend to be around -24 /28 RMS, peaks around -8, -10 db.
During the mastering stage you’ll work with levels. Typically incremental adjustments between pre-post comp, eq, final limiting until you get to your target.

Also if you’re over compressing your tracks when tracking or mixing you could be losing alot of the dynamic range.

Steely Dan’s material is totally about DR.
Tracks like ‘Everything Must Go’, great punch & IIRC around -14 LUFS, not squashed at all.

Have you tried using parallel compression on all the tracks except the bass and drums for mixdown.

Set up a group channel (II Comp) and insert a compressor that can do dual mono. Then go to the sends of each track other than the bass and drums and send to II Comp and turn it on within the send. Set the Compressor to about -6db gain reduction and set to dual mono. You should then see a significant boost in perceived volume with out much of a gain in the stereo out. The advantage of this is that it seems to preserve the integrity of the melody but also boosts the other instruments subtly in the mix. It is difficult to describe but it definitely works. It also preserves the dynamic range and you can obviously adjust the amount of compressed signal you mix back into the track.