Courtesy of Alesis
The Alesis Nitro Mesh kit is a kit which is a good choice for beginning players who are looking for hardware that is a step up from the entry level Alesis Turbo Mesh kit, but don’t have the budget for a high end model. The Nitro offers a good balance of value vs features, and you get pretty much everything you need to get started – a kick drum pedal, sticks, and a drum tuning key. Read on for the Alesis Nitro Mesh kit review.
Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit Review
Courtesy of Alesis
Cheaper electronic drum kits tend to have all rubber pads, which are robust and low-cost, but they just don’t feel as nice as a good mesh head. Not to mention that mesh looks a whole lot cooler. The Nitro’s mesh heads give you a nicer stick response than rubber and they’re a lot quieter, which is always nicer for the people around you.
You can tune the heads with the included drum key if you prefer a tighter or looser head for a feel which suits your preferences. You can also replace the heads if they do eventually wear out, so there’s no need to worry about wearing them through.
Courtesy of Alesis
This is what you’ll get for your money with the Nitro Mesh Kit:
Alesis Nitro drum module
10” dual zone mesh snare pad
3x 8” dual zone mesh tom pads
10” hi-hat pad
10” crash pad with choke function
10” ride pad
8” bass drum pad
Kick drum pedal
Pair of Drumsticks
Drum tuning key
4-posted aluminium rack
Alesis Nitro Drum Module
Courtesy of Alesis
The drum module is fairly straightforward to use and features a large backlit LCD screen. It’s easy to assign different sounds to the pads using dedicated buttons for each pad. These are arranged in the layout of a traditional drum kit.
There are 40 built in drum kits, all of which are customisable, or you can create and save your own custom kit with some of the 385 sounds which the module has to offer.
Once you’ve finished customising your sounds, there are an impressive 60 play along tracks built into the module so you can practice in loads of different styles.
The Nitro mesh kit works great with drum tuition software Melodics which comes with 60 free lessons.
These are found within the ‘learning mode’ You can listen to these songs with the drums first to get a feel for the sound, then silence the drum track so you can do your thing. You can record your playing, which is nice to get a feel for how well your progressing, and licking up on any problems which you could improve on.
The module gives you quite a bit of customisation for editing the existing kits, or creating your own. The adjustments include reverb, pitch, and pan. These settings are handy for if you think the default sounds need a bit of a tweak.
If you’re feeling limited and want some extra pads, the module has an extra two inputs so you can upgrade your kit with an extra tom and crash cymbal as you progress in your playing. If you’re slightly more adventurous, you can split the inputs and have two separate single trigger pads instead of one.
USB midi – used for connecting to software such as a DAW for recording or modifying the module’s output.
MIDI in and out jacks
Separate left and right ¼” outputs
Aux in – connect your phone or MP3 player to play along with your own music
What’s good about the kit
The mesh heads give you great looking and responsive playing surfaces. Because they’re tunable, you can tweak them to respond how you like best, a feature you’d miss on an all rubber kit. The Nitro Mesh kit comes with everything you need to start except for a drum throne, which will save you from having to hand over any extra money just to get playing.
All of the drum pads are dual zone, meaning that you can assign separate sounds to the rims to give you some extra options. The crash cymbal supports choking, which is always a nice feature. The cymbals are only single zone, but bell sounds can be triggered by hitting the pad with a higher velocity.
What’s not so good
Drum modules at this price point are never going to be brilliant, but one let down with this kit is the hi-hat sounds. No matter how you use the pedal, there’s no smooth transition between open and closed on the hi-hat.
The module gives you only three sounds – open, half open, and closed. Add to this the less than convincing hi-hat sounds in the module, this is a definite weak point with this kit. This can, however be improved by playing with the settings, there’s some good videos on YouTube related to this.
The cymbal pads only have a thin layer of rubber over plastic, so they’re a bit ‘clunky’ feeling. Not a major, but something to consider.
The Alesis Nitro Mesh is a solid choice for beginning players, and those with a bit of experience already, who are bodger conscious. It’s worth spending a little extra over the entry level Turbo Mesh kit, because you’re getting a proper bass drum pedal and tower, which is better for more realistic playing.
I think the only real reason to go for the Turbo kit is if transmitting noise through the floor to your neighbours is a problem, simply because bass drum pedals are the biggest culprit for making noise.
There’s some room for expansion with an extra tom and crash on the Nitro, which could be a good option in the future. If you are happy to spend a bit of time tweaking the hi-hat settings, you can get around the ‘washy’ preset sounds and create something which sounds pretty decent for a module of this price.
What do you think about the Nitro Mesh kit? Let me know your thoughts, I would love to hear from you.
Featured image courtesy of Alesis