1. Use the right sounds
First of all you need to use great sounds of high quality. The sounds you use need to fit your production. So before even going thru your sample libraries you should figur out for yourself how you want your drums to sound. Then you should pick your sounds carefully and tweak them till they sound the way you want them to sound.
2. Layer your kicks and/or snares
To make your drums knock more a very simple trick you can use is layering your kicks and snares. When layering make sure you at least pick one sample with a lot of body and one with a lot of attack/punch. And if it’s kicks your layering you might want to add one with some low end as well (maybe an 808). Always make sure the sounds your layering are in-phase. When your samples are out-of-phase you can always try to hit the phase button. Check out this article for more details on layering drums.
3. Program off-grid
To create some more groove/swing and to give you drums more of a live feel, like it was played by a real drummer, you should program them slightly off-grid. Kicks and snares I usually program just slightly off-grid but with hihats I play around some more till I got the groove right. Also the bass plays a big part when it comes to creating groove but even with 808 driven tracks you can make your drums groove if your program them right.
When you’re programming drum samples you don’t really create a feeling that all these drums were played in the same room. That’s why I like to put a little bit of reverb on my drum bus to re-create that feeling. You have to be careful tho, cause reverb can also push your drums to the back of the mix and I usually like my drums to be in-your-face.
5. Use a few different hihats
When a drummer plays he never hits each note the same way and at the same volume. That’s why I like to use a couple of different hihat samples that come close to each other but still sound slightly different.