For my own mixes I've been struggling to push things back without using reverb or delay etc.
You should dive in to the Airwindows stuff, Chris has probably a dozen different plugins that are useful as variations on "a subtle way to push things forward or back in the mix without EQ" in one way or another. Anyway, they're free and they're all subtle but different.
These all work well for affecting the perception of where things sit in a mix in different ways:
This is a variant on his "console" system and is a bit funny to set up (you have one plugin that has to be post-fader on every track and another in the first insert on the stereo buss, but since a lot of popular DAWs don't have post-fader track inserts you get stuck either routing things ins unusual ways as a workaround, or just not using your DAW faders at all and using a gain/trim plugin second to last in line on every channel right before the Console channel plugin instead) but it sounds really good when you get it working, and this one has the added bonus of a gain control built in so you can dispense with the separate gain plugin if you have to use it pre-fader:
These are more for rolling off highs without using conventional EQ algorithms, but they definitely put things forward or back in the mix and sound quite different than simply using a high shelf or lowpass:
This is really subtle but compared to more conventional dithers (and Chris' other weird dithers) it has a way of making the relationship between up-front sounds and ambiance, but again it really is subtle - just shy of placebo subtle compared to a standard TPDF (it's more noticeable compared to noise shaped dither or some of his other algorithms) - so YMMV.
This is completely off topic but it's my favorite master buss "glue" compressor plugin full stop:
Even if I'm using a different, more extreme compressor on the master buss I'll usually throw that on too. No equal loudness bypass or anything, though, so you have to watch out not to add too much of it (although it's subtle enough that even "too much" doesn't really sound bad).
EDIT: none of those (except Density) will do very much to the mids one way or another though, so probably off topic.
Edited by RSP, 09 May 2018 - 03:07 PM.