I only use program mixes to get rid of un-wanted mechanical interaction of the swash plate.
As for 3D flying, it is all about watching the masters do it and practicing and practicing on your sim. Once you can do a maneuver successfully, Then and only then try it with your heli. Finally, more practicing, practicing some more practicing with your heli!
I hate to say it. But, if your brain and fingers aren't working together fast enough, there are maneuvers you will never be able to do, mainly piro-flipping maneuvers.....
I learned Piro-flips on the sim by slowing the pirouette rate down to 360 degrees a second. Then practiced until I could do it most of the time. I gradually made the pirouette rate faster until I could keep up with it at 720 degrees a second. Your fingers are twirling the left stick EXTREMELY fast with a 720 degree Piro! 1 circle with the left stick for every pirouette. Just manage the collective to maintain helicopter position and hold full rudder. It sounds much easier than it acually is!