To get the "dirty" sound for drums, You would use some sort of overdrive effect or saturation effect. A compressor will effect the dynamic range of the drum sounds.
Sure but I'm sure you know a compressor can destroy the sound which can make it sound dirty. Thats what he is saying.
My favorites are the chandler limiter, ubk-1, and an 1176 comp,uad or slate.
Hardware- distressor, dbx160,wa76.
Typically, I use some sort of 1176 plugin that's fairly cranked. In parallel, this tends to bring out some "grit" and "hair" to drums while also making them much more aggressive.
Another great plugin I just started using (though not in parallel yet) is called Oxidizer from UA.
Even on a simple, boring sounding electronic drum kit, whatever that thing is doing is pretty ridiculous. If you can demo it on your UA system, check it out sometime.
Also, in general, while this is not necessarily a parallel trick, putting SoundToys Decapitator on anything can add grit and character if you need it. I love plugins that can do this because, lets face it, some of the best music in the world has always had a bit of distortion on it—think Motown and the Beetles (who mostly copied the Motown sound and the Beachboys).
I usually start off with the correct drum samples that have the characteristics I'm looking for. Parallel ITB, using two tracks, never quite sounds right to me. Plus there are so many great "right out of the box" drum sample sets around.
edit: If it's a mix and the drums need fixin' up, Soundtoys Decapitator smashed. Use the Cut and Tone knobs to dial in exactly what I want. Mix knob to taste (usually around 8-10 o'clock). Slate Monster is another option.