When mixing drum recordings for Metal, I've noticed that it's pretty hard or even impossible to get the consistency and punch that kick and snare samples afford, without adding samples. I'm guessing that this is because most drummers can't hit the kick and snare consistently hard enough to get that big attack, no matter how much compression and eq you add. Of course there are some songs that benefit from more natural drum dynamics, but most Metal post-1990 is entrenched in that sampled drum sound. So, I wonder how early in the process you decide to add samples. Do you try to get your sound from the recordings first with all kinds of processing, and add samples when natural is just not good enough, or do you go for samples from the start? Also, if you blend samples with the recorded shells, do you still heavily process the shells (compression and eq to make the kick consistent and present) or do you leave them relatively dry, so as not to compete with the samples when it comes to mix presence, and only to give a more natural sound to the samples? I've tried most options but not sure what's the best one.