Review of the new Alesis DM10X Kit Mesh.
Electric drum kits are a great example of how technology is a big part of our drumming lives. Gone are the days of annoyed neighbours complaining about the drum noise of acoustic kits. Some people are still a little confused about e-kits as they believe the feel of an acoustic kit is hard to recreate, however, companies such as Alesis, Yamaha and Roland have been striving to perfect this. I had the privilege of reviewing a new six-piece Alesis kit with new added mesh heads, and what a kit this is!
This electric drum kit boasts two 10” and two 12” toms, a 12” snare and a four-piece cymbal set: 12” hi-hats, two 14” crashes and a 16” ride, all of which are connected to a heavy-duty chrome X Rack that provides many angles for the drums and a sturdy frame for the kit. The kit comes with the DM10 sound module, which includes 12 trigger inputs for customising your kit, over 1,000 samples, USB connection and a handy connection for an iPad. The main feature that sets this apart from the DM10X Kit are the black mesh heads, which have four points of sensitivity on each head and give better response and dynamic playability.
The first thing to point out would be that this kit was not all that easy to set up. Instructions were given on the sound module, however, not on the actual kit itself. For drummers already accustomed to electric kits I’m sure this isn’t a problem, but for a novice this may be a slight issue. Due to the big sizes, it takes a little while to find the correct angles for each drum but once set up this kit looks incredible.
When playing, this kit really comes to life with realistic sounds and amazing sensitivity. Where ghost notes had previously become a blur of accents or disappeared completely, these mesh heads are perfect dynamically and feel natural too. The snare gives a great rim shot and not a bad rim click. Acoustically, the sound is quite loud and seems to have a tone to each drum.
The kick drum is deceptively quiet though, which is a massive plus for people living in shared accommodation. The hi-hat comes with a pad and a foot trigger, rather than a stand, which is a little disappointing considering the high quality of the rest of the kit, but this hardly outweighs the plus points of this kit. A personal highlight for me is the snare, which comes with a separate stand – this is very welcome after years of struggling with snare positions.
The module itself is slick and easy to use, with a handy volume mixer on the left, along with a volume control for main output and headphones. There are 99 kits and sounds on the module to choose from (more can be added via USB), many of which add another dimension to playing by adding electronic sounds to the bass and snare triggers. Dynamic articulation is a big feature – this means each sound is a series of different samples. The sound not only changes in volume from how you play the pad, it also changes its timbre as a natural drum or cymbal would.
It’s almost impossible for an electric kit to give the same feel of an acoustic kit, however the DM10 X Mesh Kit comes incredibly close. For £859.99 you can have a kit that has the sensitivity and feel of an acoustic kit that would easily give most Roland and Yamaha kits a run for their money. Overall, I think this is a great value professional kit, with superb sounds and a definite example of how technology can be a blessing when used correctly.
Alesis DM10X Kit Mesh Price £859.99. Contact Alesis 01252 896000, www.alesis.com.