MIXING EXPERTISE FALLS UNDER FOUR SKILL LEVELS
Little to no experience!
Usually beginners that are within their first couple years of audio engineering tend to rely mostly on dialing in preset to preset to oftentimes make up for the simple fact that they’re not yet completely confident in how to effectively use traditional mixing tools (EQ & Dynamic processing) to get exactly what they want. These people are usually indie recording artists, songwriters, musicians and even sometimes producers that are doing everything them selfs.
Aspiring young creatives & beginner type engineers that are young to the professional audio world. Feel they got a pretty good grasp on things in the mix but in reality that mix is only good enough for themselves because it tends to have a demo sound to it and/or the balance feels harsh or dull.
These type of mixes are not always terrible while others in the same category may feel overly confident in there mix adjustments and this is what often times leads into abuse of heavy EQ & Compression unintentionally but to compensate for everything that it lacks from a 'catagory 4' mix which they're most likely trying to reference in the end.
Only steady hard working audio engineers that decided they wanted to take mixing more seriously are effective at processing audio with traditional and advanced mixing tools & techniques great enough to actually make a living off it. They find that this is when most of there clients are more satisfied with the mix then even them selfs because yet as a growing professional they always know there's something about that mix that could be better.
Best of the best and amongst the greatest these are the mixers that’s been in the game for at least a decade and are 100% confident in every move they make in processing audio to truly re-create the blend and balance of the ‘sonics’ that mentally flow in their head and the client’s head combined and always have a inverse way of solving every mix issue compared to all the categories below.
You’d find that these are the type of audio engineers that like to take there time on every project even if it'll take more then a day of mixing to get it just right and have a great reputation for a consistent and pleasant mix that's rich in front to back depth and width thats also found to be easy on the ear drums no matter how aggressive the song is.