Five quick tips for choosing the right drum sounds for your beat.
1. Keep a go to collection of drum samples ready for action. A go to collection of drums you know like the back of your hand. Not only will it save you time but you can build and layer around them and define a signature sound.
2. Organise and separate your samples into folders by type so you know where to go to. You can arrange by type or you get more specific. For example you could have a folder of kicks with directories for hard kicks, ghost notes, 808's etc. It will help keep you in the flow of the beat when the inspiration hits you.
3. Audition your samples against the main elements in your beat or if your starting with the drums audition against the other drum elements. You want a nice balance between the drums. You don't want to force the sounds in, they have to work with one another so finding the balance is crucial.
4. Practice. The more you practice matching your drums with your samples or main musical parts the easier it will become. You will start instinctively know the sound you are looking for when you dig thru your drum collection. Like anything it can take some time to master but persistence always pays.
5. Fine Tune - Adjust the pitch, Attack, Decay, Release, Volume, Ressonance. Finding the right sample is sometimes just half of the job. To really get your drums tight with the rest of your musical elements you can sculpt it into position fine tunning and adjusting your ADSR settings and tweaking the volume until it sits nice.
These are just a few for those of you who have difficulty choosing the right drum samples in your beats. Golden rule as always is keep experimenting, keep practicing and keep your ear in until it feels and sounds right. That's all that matters!