Digital Notch EQ’ing.
When a particular sound is really bothering me, say a vocal or a tambourine, before I start doing broad sculpting equalization, I’ll often find one or two really offensive frequencies and completely notch them out. The Waves Q1 or the Sony Oxford EQ’s are good for this. Set a super tight notch and start very slowly sweeping where you think the really offensive frequency is, you’ll know when you find it, and it will often sound like its ringing, then just get rid of it. Often you’ll find what remains to be much more manageable. But be careful, sometimes those frequencies are too important to a sound to get rid of.
Don’t EQ so much!!!! I often hear people going on about this 6 band or that 10 band parametric EQ. Most of the time I don’t use more than one or two bands to EQ a sound, and never use a ten band parametric, ever. Let your ears guide your equalization and not your eyes.
Often, I wont EQ or compress a sound at all and concentrate on it’s stereo placement only. Don’t fall into the trap off thinking it’s not right if it’s not processed!!
Less is more, chisel away at sounds, cutting is better then boosting.