EQ. Start carving out A LOT of each layer’s EQ with a mind to leaving only the defining frequencies intact.
Which adds another dimension to selecting samples for those layers: besides things like attack and tone and whatnot, you also have to be picking elements because they compliment each other, not just because you like them.
So say you have one where you like the crack, another where you like the hiss, and another where you like the thunk: the thunk gets most of its mid-high and upwards rolled off, the hiss gets highpassed pretty aggressively, and the crack probably lives somewhere in between (varies a bit depending) and gets its lows and highs cut. Kind of like a jigsaw puzzle.
This is why I like a combination of different sound types - often one real drum sample, one synthesized drum, and one sound that’s not often even any kind of a drum like a firecracker, metal strike fx, foley, something like that.