You are asking for an entire dissertation on how to make a recording with assorted pieces of equipment. You already have the right ideas in mind. What you don't have is any actual understanding of recording practices by way of the equipment you are using. Not everything in the software computer environment can always be handled as it is an old-fashioned old-school analog methods. Sometimes, depending upon the software utilized, you have an environment more similar to the analog workflow. In other pieces of software, you have a completely different concept, conceived by the software programmers. So that really has a lot to do with how you go about things.
Regarding Pre & Post auxiliary/effects sends: Pre simply means that you are auxiliary/effects send is after your volume level mix fader. Where, pre means that the volume level mix fader can be completely down while that particular sound source is being fed to the auxiliary send even with the volume level mix fader down. Post simply means it is following the volume level mix fader so that if that is down, so is the auxiliary/effect send goes down if the volume level mix fader goes down and it goes up when the volume level mix fader goes up. And so that is not particularly useful when trying to feed a compressor/limiter. One can still do that however to create parallel processing with compression/limiting being mixed with the non-compressed/limited source. This is helpful when trying to maintain a more open dynamic sound. So compression and/or limiting get mixed without compression and/or limiting and instead are used together in parallel.
So all of you what you want to do is not always 100% possible within just the software environment depending upon your software. Some allow for real-time effects monitoring without printing the real-time effects to the track. Other software simply adds it to the track you are recording which is not necessarily what you want to do. It's something we frequently had to do in the old days of analog tape recording. But then you are locked in to that. So sometimes that's where some outboard analog processing is necessary with your mixer for monitoring during overdubbing. Some computer audio interfaces now feature on board DSP chips that effectively create hardware devices within the DSP chip. Those will allow for real-time effects to be utilized for monitoring only without recording them to the track unless you want to. But most rudimentary audio computer interfaces don't provide for those features. This can become quite confusing for a lot of people which is where you are now.
Set up and prep are done in a myriad of ways depending upon what your facility is stocked with from an equipment standpoint. It's different in each and every studio as each and every studio is designed around particular concepts. So there is no real standard one follows. Then there are also studios that feature certain pre-session setup protocols as a house standard. And that depends upon studio management and ownership. That coupled with the different recording/tracking concepts can become a patching and routing nightmare. So when one doesn't understand what their equipment can do or can't do, one reaches an impasse. So that's where home recording books and magazines can be really helpful. It's not rocket science but it is rocket science. I've designed multiple recording studios and broadcast facilities over my 40+ years in the business. I design things according to customer & Company requests. Otherwise, I design it for me and the thought of who else will be utilizing the facility. Just looking at advertisements and purchasing equipment does not make for a cohesive nor comprehensive studio design criteria. That's called willy-nilly concept design. Which is also doable but sometimes can have its limiting factors. So I can't exactly make many recommendations for you without knowing more about your total usage and equipment particulars along with software. Your assumptions are not completely wrong and they are not also completely accurate. You are both right and wrong and you are wrong and right. We cannot provide for you a full understanding of what you have until you have a full understanding of what you have. You've got stuff, that's obvious. How you go about what you do with your stuff will be incomprehensible if you don't understand your stuff. And we don't understand your stuff when you don't tell us what stuff you have. I think that covers just about everything? And now you know nothing more than what you've already asked about it except other than the possibility you think I am a smartass? And you would be correct in that assumption. Score one. So now that we've gotten beyond that, how about listing everything you have?
Mx. Remy Ann David