I use a really small ratio of around 1.5 to 1. This means that once my audio passes the threshold I’ve set, there is very little compression happening to that audio. It’s just a little bit. I’m not trying to squash the life out of it. You can experiment with a little bit higher of a ratio, but know that the lower the ratio the less compression (more dynamics), and the higher the ratio the more compression (less dynamics).
Sorry if you weren’t there, but the late ’90s and early 2000s were fantastic. Once P2P was pioneered via Napster, the floodgates opened and the world of music sharing was here to stay. As an artist and a listener, my personal opinion is that we’ve regressed from that time. The problem with the P2P era, admittedly, was that artists were not getting remunerated for their recordings as disruptive tech eagerly pulled down the bloated major-label system. But, well, we’re still not getting paid that much anyway.