In lieu of going on for hours i will try to sum this up. Lets simply use a snare drum for an example but really my question applies to everything you might compress. So you are ready to mix and you want to apply some compression to the snare. You loop a part of the song or however you do it and start applying compression. You set the release so that it sounds musical yet you also set it somewhat strategically so the compressor can stop reduction before the next snare hit. For example sake lets say you have a 20ms attack and a 100ms release. if a part in the song "snare roll etc" the hits will be much closer together than 100ms how are you dealing with this? Surely not everyone is automating compressors to the point of insanity? Please use my example as a basic guideline for what im asking, this applies to everything not just drums. Even bus compression, songs change, so how are you guys finding the perfect settings for the entire track. I have always done it based on sound obviously but i thought that this would make a great discussion regarding release times. Cheers!