When it comes to mixing, there are in my opinion only five essential tools in your DAW that are critical to getting great mixes.
Vincent’s almost right. The article goes on to describe the four most powerful mixing tools: volume, tone, dynamics and ambience. That far, I agree 100%. In fact, I wrote almost the exact same post two years ago and went into more detail in my second guide.
Where Vincent and I disagree is where he writes this:
Give width to your tracks with panning. Sure your mix has to sound good in mono, but it can sound great in stereo. Pan your tracks to maximize stereo width and make your song sound bigger.
I don’t think much of panning. Not that it is or isn’t useful, but that it’s largely inconsequential. I wrote about this about two and a half years ago and my opinion hasn’t changed.