Why thank you sir
I remember being where @TELYgamer is and the frustration that it brings! Shit for me it was even more aggravating and discouraging because I'm a chef!!
Actually that is a good point right there! Being a chef all my life did not give me any other advantage over anyone else when it came to making a recipe. Sure I may be able to pair flavors together or have a little more knowledge as to what goes with what but that is all on paper.
I had to learn just like the rest of us about the flavors themselves and what they are capable of at different levels. Making, say strawberry ice cream, wasn't as easy as putting strawberry flavor and Ice cream flavor together and that was it. There are other things that come in to play like adding marshmallow to give it a certain sweetness and mouth feel or a touch of cream fresh to get that dairy flavor out. More than one strawberry to give it layers or some vanilla/custards to pull out that creamy vanilla bean ice cream taste.
What I'm saying is it really doesn't matter who you are or what your background is, it isn't something you can just do without time, failure, trial and error, failure, wasting $ on a flavor you hate and...failure!
Failure isn't the correct term here though. Learning is a better word.
Just like most things in life you learn over time. Like riding a bike. How many scrapped knees and tumbles does it take before you learn to ride without them. If you got on a bike for the first time and fell that doesn't mean you can never ride a bike nor would you even think that. You just get back on that thing until you can!
Sorry if I sound like I am preaching cliche after cliche but patience isn't something I am very good at. When I first started, I jumped in head first with these grand recipes written up and visions of grandeur right out the gate. I never tried making single flavor juices and it wasn't until I knocked myself down a couple pegs, to start small and slow...SLOW that I started to improve...a lot!
I thought having 400 flavors was the way to go, when in reality it made it much more difficult for me! All that did was bring even more unknowns to my plate and overwhelm me even more. I had to take the time to go flavor by flavor, company by company, until I knew everything I could about that one flavor!
If there is one bit of advice I could give to a new mixer that would be to start small. Buy a dozen or so flavors at a time when you start and mix the shit out of them all until you know them like the back of your hand then more on to your next dozen or so flavors. It's a lot easier and faster to learn 12 flavors all at once instead of 400 in my opinion.
Also you get to a point where you learn to mix 3 flavors to use as a base for the perfect "X". For me this was Peach. I am a freak for anything peach!! Every peach flavor I bough in the beginning I did not like and for a while I thought I was doing something wrong. It took me over 8 different peach flavors and a lot of crappy juices to learn that the "perfect" peach for me wasn't any particular flavor. It was a mix of 3 different peach flavors all at different %s to give me exactly what I wanted. For me that was INW Peach, CAP Yellow and FA white.
Also just because this is the perfect peach in my eyes doesn't necessarily mean it is the perfect peach in your eyes. This is where that lovely word subjective comes in to play. The only person that knows what you like and at what %s is yourself. I can't stand CAP's juicy peach at all!! But there are a lot of people that do and there isn't any right or wrong in that. It is a tricky balance of trying to follow others recommendations against your own palate but using people's recommendations and recipes is a great guideline but it is never the end all.
Just remember, it doesn't matter if you are a chef with 30 years experience or a plumber, we all start at the very same spot with the very same learning curves. Just don't give up man and DO NOT be afraid to ask for help or suggestions!! Absolutely no shame in that what so ever! We are all here for one reason and that's knowledge and you have some of the best people here to reference. Eventually we will be learning things from you as well!! Just like in the culinary world, there isn't a person in the world that knows all there is to know about mixing
Also do not be intimidated by these vendor juices with their fancy bottles and names and prices. At the end of the day they are simply doing the exact same thing as you, with the exact same materials
I could go on and on but I will spare everyone my ramblings