Before getting to a mastering stage, I think it's important to treat the source, meaning that you've got to have an already well balanced & good sounding mix before mastering. Mastering should be the step to push the track in order to reach commercial levels + other minors adjustments like a bit of saturation, compression, overall equalization... well those kind of things.
Here is a little story I got from a video once and resumes a lot :
- An older mastering engineer talking about a younger one working on a master.
- YG : I put an equalizer on the master bus.
- OLD : Yea that's fine, why ?
- YG : because the drums sounds a bit dull.
- OLD : Why don't you treat the drums then ???
You got the idea, right ? Everything you're putting on your master bus is affecting the all mix, it's not done to correct that or this, it needs to sound already good before. Taking care of levels, dynamics and frequencies masking per track really can help. Busing tracks to groups like Drums, Synths, Vocals...etc before summing them all to a Master Buss can help to make adjustments too.
Try to mix at low levels and refer to LUFS or K-14 metering as well as using visual tools instead of just relaying on your ears. It's a good habit to refresh your ears with breaks but the visual thing is also a good habit to take IMO. Another advantage to mix at low levels ( beside less ears fatigue ) is that when you hit some plug-ins like the hardware gears emulations, most of them are modeled after real gears waiting for a -18 , - 20 dBFS input. Not hitting those too hard and level matching before & after the plug-in is the trick. You want that plug-in to add the effect, not adding volume that would trick your ears in the end because it will sound better at first place.
Arrangement and efficient placements of elements in a track is another part of this art, one could be very good in mixing on a technical level but less good at arrangement and the track won't "work". Listening to other's tracks and deconstructing them can help a lot. Take the track, put it inside your DAW and use markers to identify main sections like intro, verse, drops, breaks... and then for each important section, dive more into details and think tension & release and add new sub-markers to point what elements was introduced, which one was suppressed, or what effects or level automation makes the difference in a transition. If you've watched the latest Enamour course, he's really taking care of small details that make all the difference. He's not only producing a track, he's also thinking in terms of Dj & audience.
There's not a all lot in terms of main sounds if you think well, but many small fx, percs elements and a load of automation and filtering that make all the difference.
Hmm, shame on me... I still haven't watched this tutorial So I couldn't possibly recognize the track.
Keep on the good work and most of all the fun of making music, that's the one you don't want to loose !
If it starts to be painful or boring or giving too much frustration, then give it a longer break.