So you've ordered all your supplies, and you're getting excited about mixing. You fire up you calculator, you get out your syringes or scale and you start dripping into the bottles. After you add your ingredients, you give it a little shake, and you do a test drip to taste where you're at. You think it's not so good, but hopefully it just needs a steep. Day after day you test and it doesn't get any better. You go back to the drawing board, and start a new recipe. Same result. You get fed up and think you suck at mixing, and then go out and buy more shitty juice for 12$ a 15ml.
This is the experience for ALOT of people jumping into DIY mixing. I'm going to explain the reasons you may be getting this, and offering tips to remedy the situation.
It's OK if your first few mixes suck. Everyone's does. It takes so much practice and know how to start creating your own recipes. You need to really have an understanding of the ingredients you are using, and the chemistry behind them, to start jumping in and creating complex flavors. So the only way to get better, is too mix other well known recipes. Learn what makes other recipes work. Learn how certain flavors work together, and how certain flavors don't. Take fucking notes. Take so many damn notes. Notes on every flavoring, ever mix, every batch. This record keeping will allow you to save money in the future, and keep from making the same mistakes over and over again. As long as you'll keep mixing, you'll keep taking notes, and you'll keep getting better
Your palate isn't very defined
Now this issue is usually had by people who are very picky with their food. They don't like a lot of stuff, and only like certain things. This is because their palate sucks. Plain and simple. You can actually train yourself to like other things, which is why children usually don't like veggies until they are adults. The way you do this is to just go out their and order crazy shit. Go to a fancy restaurant and order the wackiest fucking dessert available. Appreciate the flavors rather than dismiss them. If you don't like, find the EXACT reason you don't like it, and find the parts you do like. Keep doing this until more and more flavors become exciting for you. You're not going to like everything you taste obviously, but you can appreciate and understand why others would and how to take advantage of that.
You're using shit ingredients
There are a ton of terrible flavorings out there. You find out by researching them before hand, which ones people like and don't like. You can't expect a flavoring to blow you away everytime, so the ones that don't need to be created. Say you want to make a Sherbert, and TFA Sherbert isn't doing the trick, well instead of trying to make it work (which it won't) you actually need to sit down do the research and create the flavor. This is really the heart and soul of mixing. It's finding what great ingredients you can use to create the flavor you want. A lot of newbies tend to think that just because a flavoring is out there, means it's going to taste exactly like that flavor. NO. Get that thought out of your fucking head.
You're over flavoring
This is always everyone's first problem. And newbies everywhere are posting their recipes with these super high percentages of flavors. The train of thought goes "I want a lot of flavor, so I'm going to use a lot of flavoring". THIS IS NOT THE CASE AT ALL. Less is more. I've never gone over 25% total and 10% single flavors. This is because you're loading your concentrate up with compounds. Too many compounds in one mix will totally mute out any flavor. Now for the actual science of why this happens, I don't really know it. My theory is that you're flooding you mix with all these compounds, which are meant to be used sparingly, and just over loading your olfactory sense. Which in turns just comes out a muted, jumbled, and harsh mess. So stop thinking about mixing like food for a second. Start thinking like a chemist. Take a little tiny drop of flavoring and put it on your finger then taste it. You're going to get a FUCK load of flavor. Just from that tiny little concentrate. Afterwards, you wouldn't dare just pour a ton in a mix drink and expect it to taste good, no. You'll just add a drop or two because you realize the potency of it. You need to think this way with ejuice. So a good general rule is testing at the 5% rule. TFA / FW / CAP flavors should be tested at 5%. If you feel it needs a little more go up to 7-8 if you feel it needs a little less, you can go all the way down to 0.5%. FA / INW / FLV flavors are much more potent and should be tested around 1%. They are a little harder to learn with, but make for much more vibrant flavors because of how less is needed
You don't give a shit
I can tell you right now, if you don't care about mixing, and care about creating recipes, and care about the products you vape, you're going to have shit mixes. You really need to have a passion for this. Because it takes time and dedication. You can't just expect to come in and start whipping up flavors and throw a hissy fit when someone tells you your recipe sucks. Take your time, take the notes, and understand this is a trade that takes a lot of practice to master. There's a reason why the older veterans who mix, have such praised recipes. It's because they have learned from a million of shit ones before them. If you don't really want to learn to mix, that doesn't mean you shouldn't DIY. I'm not saying that. You can still mix up the thousands of recipes out there so you're not stuck buying commercial juice. The community won't hate you for that, and we actually endorse it. And I'm not saying it's going to take you years. Mixing is actually pretty fucking easy once you fall into your own style. But what I'm saying is you just need to have the determination to get past those shitty stages where every recipe you create, sucks. That's just gonna happen. You need to understand that if you don't care about your recipes and flavors, you're not going to get anywhere.