Drum samples come in a lot of flavors in this golden age of music production. The trouble of choosing genre-pleasing sounds is as much of a blessing as it is a curse. This mix and match policy employed by program library editors serves to inspire new beat makers but also confuses them. When looking for complementary sounds to use with the currently selected sounds, what's a guy to do? Look through potentially thousands of poorly and inaptly-named files to locate the next one? There must be a better way. So with this said, let's take at a few configurations you can have a go at immediately.
For Rap and Hip Hop : The range of urban music is now so diverse that most well-used sounds could pass in a hip hop song. But how do you spice up samples that were clearly not made for this genre? One way is to add some vinyl 'air' sounds to the sound wave. This will give this particular sound a sampled feel, like it came straight off a hot 70s record or something similar. Great for those types of rap tracks. If you're making something and trying to be as new school as possible, consider simply mixing one drum with another. If your chosen drum sample is low on bass, get some lower frequencies in there.
For RnB and Soul : Sounds for this genre can also be different varied, but the bass component is not as widespread a phenomenon as it is in the rap production scene. Soul and RnB music have a more focused tendency towards coherence, and you will rarely find mixes with drum samples that just do not go together. Sometimes this rhythmic dissonance is welcomed in rap and hip hop, though.
For Dance music : Dance music has a predictable drum samples choice pattern. Alongside the switch-ups which normally involve main low-pass filtered sounds at increased speeds, dance music focuses on the kick. This is one essential part of the music production curve here. Add some tone to your kick drum sample instead of just depth and you will see some great results.
Using these tips to make and alter sounds is just part of the process, of course. What makes the rhythmic elements of these genres unique is the timing, signatures and syncopation, among other distinguishing characteristics.
A final word on altering drum samples: make sure you're organizing the altered versions so you can easily relocate them for later use. If you're already tired of having three thousand samples to look through for samples that you like, you'll be much better off!