The topic name says it all. When approaching the compression of a drum kit, a set of guitars, a group of vocals... do you go for individual elements first or the whole kit? What do you look for in each case?
I understand there's not a single solution for all situations and it's a case-by-case thing, but I'm more interested in the thought process. What do you hear for when, let's say, you compress a snare, what do you want to get from it, as opposed to when you put a compressor in the drum bus. Do you compress into a drum bus compressor from the start, or do you include it after working on the individual elements?
I'd like to hear your experiences about this, mostly because the videos and theory I've seen and read about compression focus a lot on explaining the parameters, and most of the time the context is missing, all the focus is on the "how" and not the "why".