That is a good way to *glue* the entire mix vs. individual tracks.I've found that the mastering process brings up the highs and presence of a mix. So I dial up a tone, record it, and listen to it back ensuring that the mastering plugin (Ozone 4 in my case) is operating on the master mix track so I hear can what that tone actually will sound like on the final track. The Ozone settings will always vary slightly from when I start to when I finish but the settings are usually close enough to give me a general idea.
So that's probably why the dry tones sound a bit darker than the finished product.
I don't have to de-ess lead vox or high hats, so I feel like I'm way shy about boosting highs.