Whenever I’m stuck in a project and don’t know how to continue I take a few minutes to try something different and generally opposite of what has already been done.
This could be making the long lush reverb really short, or running the vocals through all my guitar pedals at once, or making the drums really thin and lo-fi, or one of my favourites – copying and reversing a sound.
Sometimes this little diversion from routine results in something cool that helps make the mix special or leads me to 2-3 other ideas and gets things exciting again.
If it doesn’t work, then I can feel better knowing that my first instinct was probably the right path already and I just needed a break.
This doesn’t have to involve effects either, changing to a different set of monitors, or headphones and continuing for a while this way can really help too.
Give it a try in your next mix.