I've always found that compression decreases felt impact. The only time I use one is when the drummer has a really inconsistent hit. I most always find a gate to be a must. If one has no budget, the Behringer units actually work fairly well (the ones with both Release and Hold controls). If one has a few bucks, go an eBay and get a Rane G4 (for anywhere from $350 to $500, depending upon how lucky you get).