Blind Leading the Deaf

Trying to produce a DIY EP to a decent standard and with no previous training is reminding me of that film See No Evil, Hear No Evil with Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor.  It is very much the blind leading the deaf, or visa versa depending on how you look at it.  I can do everything to make the sound awesome through my computer but when I burn off a CD to compare the sound on a hi-fi or car stereo it sounds flat and lacking space and depth. 

I have searched the web hoping for some tips and tricks of the trade or even some Cubase mixer templates that I can use as a base but it soon becomes obvious that either; a) everyone asking for similar advice is already much more knowledgeable than me already, b) sound engineers don’t like to hand out trade secrets to folk like me.  Of course it could be a combination of the two which explains why getting some decent advice in plain simple terms for a layman like me is like finding the end of a rainbow.

There is another explanation; I lack the patience required when it comes to placing instruments in the mix.  I will admit that patience is not one of my virtues so this is a highly plausible reason my mixes are sounding woolly.  However, there must be some simple easy to follow ‘rules’ I can use that will instantly improve my mix?

I’m in dire need of some decent advice.  If anyone can help please drop me a line on Facebook or message me on Reverb Nation, you could save my hair from being ripped out!