To those who are already aware of this concept, I apologize in advance, but for those who aren’t let me explain this all a bit further. Compression, in theory, is nothing more than a highly-focused method of volume control. We adjust the attack, decay, sustain and release on our volume envelopes to create interesting sounds. These adjustments during production are painstaking and time-consuming. That said, why would we spend all that time creating such unique sounds and interesting transient material, only to crush them all back down with compression and limiting? If you don’t want interesting sounding instruments in your mix (of course that won’t be the case), address this in the production stage.
Compression and limiting are not necessary in all cases. That is my point. Yes, some instruments will require compression, but don’t ever think that you need to compress everything just because. In fact, if you need to really compress the hell out of something to make it work in a mix, perhaps you should rethink your instrument choices, as some instrument combinations just do not work together and never will.
The best sounding tracks are the ones that require the least amount of processing. Keeping this in mind, try and find instruments that work together, not against one another. It will not only save you time, but lead to a much cleaner final product.