Yep.. it's all in the envelope.. You can make a drum sound out of anything with the right pitch/amp env on it.
But generally it's easiest with sine waves and white noise to achieve the kind of 808ey sounds you're probably thinking of.
An 808 kick drum is just a bass sine wave with a short decay and longer release than usual.. to get that "boooom" sound.. simply shorten the release to get rid of it and get the shorter typical house kicks. Compressing, EQing, Distorting or sometimes simply amplifying the synth can help give it a bit a of oomph (High distortion= Hardstyle kicks). Add reverb for spacey deep house kicks.
A hi hat is just white noise.. and it's the same deal all over again. Long release for an open hi hat, and short for a closed.
If you get your kicks.. raise their pitch and fuck with their pitch envelopes 80s toms come quite easily.
Other drum sounds are slightly more complicated.. but generally I find they sound better when I keep them simple and effect them.. instead of trying to do everything in-synth.
Originally Posted by Flux302
I like to use found sounds and mix them with analog drum techniques.. often taking something like the recording of me hitting a metal bin with sound shapping from something like a minibrute or diva then resample it all together with a bit of bit crushing to mesh the sound together nicely. also a lil bit of fuzz can go a long way.
I like the way you think sir. Indeedy lots of fun.. resampling can sometimes be an easy solution to drum synthesis too. Not enough producers edit their drum samples in soundwave editors to see what they can do either.
Also.. Tape distortions can be very fun mixed with this.
It's definitely worth taking the leap.. now if I want a drum sound that's very specific I can usually make it pretty quickly. Where as before I would've scoured the internet for it until I probably gave up or searched my room for an object I could hit that might sound like it. For typical drum sounds, it isn't really worth it.. better to just use packs of 808 samples.. but it can be worth it if you want to automate the simple sounds in interesting ways. So it opens up all kinds of possibilities.