Alesis is becoming a strong contender in the musical instrument market, especially in the electronic drum market. The brand has introduced many moderately priced electronic drum sets to the market, And today, we are excited to be reviewing its Alesis Drums Nitro Electronic Drum Kit.
So far, the Alesis Nitro series has received loads of accolades from several drummers and reviewers alike. This becomes even more poignant because not many people had high hopes concerning the drum kit for a few reasons.
Fortunately, the Alesis Nitro Kit has surpassed many expectations.
Anyway, this kit comes in two versions, the standard one and the one with mesh heads. Today, we will be reviewing the one with mesh heads. As you can tell, this version is the upgrade to the standard one which features the rubber heads.
Alright, before we get ahead of ourselves, we should probably get right on into the review cos there’s a lot to check out.
Features of the Alesis Drums Nitro Electronic Drum Kit
Heads – Mesh and Tunable
The biggest upgrade to the Alesis Drums Nitro Electronic Drum Kit is the addition of the mesh heads for the snare and tom drums. But then again, you also want to keep in mind that the kick pad is still very much rubber. Hey though, that’s not so surprising.
In fact, the cymbals are also rubber too. And like we said about the kick pad, this also is not so surprising. Even high end electronic drum kits often feature rubber kick pads and cymbals.
Okay, that said, we love the feel of the heads of the drums in this kit. They feel a lot more natural than rubber heads which tend to feel cheap. Plus, the fact they are tunable also endears these pads to us even more.
The reason is because tunable heads give you control over your drum’s performance. The fact that the pads are tunable means that you’ll be able to customize the sensitivity and rebound your drum give. As you know these factors are subjective to drummers. So, being able to customize is great.
Additionally, it’s great to know that the heads are quiet as well. It means that you can practice with your kit anywhere and at anytime without necessarily being a nuisance.
Still on the mesh heads, there is something else that we also find quite impressive about these heads. We love how Alesis tried to make these mesh heads feel like those on pricier Alesis kits. That’s pretty thoughtful.
Of course, there are still a couple of differences between both kits. However, the major difference we noticed between both is that the pads on the Alesis Drums Nitro Electronic Drum Kit are smaller than on higher ends. Although that’s a bit of an inconvenience, the pads are still very playable.
The Alesis Nitro mocule comes with several options to modify the sound of the individual pads in your kit. You’ll also be able to activate several fascinating features such as recording, metronome, and you’ll also be able to play-along with tracks too.
Furthermore, in this module, there are loads of sounds to play with: 385 onboard drum, cymbal, as well as percussion sounds. With all these sounds available, Alesis was then able to build about 40 preset kits out of them.
From our research, that’s the largest array of presets and sounds you can possibly get at this price range.
So, with the Alesis Nitro Kit, you have so many sounds on hand to rock any live gig. In fact, you’ll be able to change the sound of your drum set for up to 40 consecutive songs!
What’s more? This module also comes MIDI compatible. So, yeah you’ll be able to connect your drum set to your personal computer. With this, you should be able to record (we’ll discuss this further later) and also do some external sample triggering.
Also, for a louder sound during your practice or gigs, you can also connect this kit to an amp or a PA system.
Now, before we get to the really fun parts of this kit, let’s quickly check out one other important aspect of this kit. And that aspect is the…
When you open the box containing this kit, you find 8 drumming elements along with the drum pads, cymbal pads, and kick pad.
The snare is a dual-trigger snare measuring at 8 inches while the tom pads are single zone pads also measuring at 8 inches. Seeing from the measurements, you should observe that these pads aren’t particularly massive. In fact, there are several inches smaller than actual drums but that’s fine.
In the cymbal section of the kit, there are three familiar cymbal pads, those are the hi-hats, the ride cymbal and the crash cymbal (with choke).
The hi-hat foot controller is pretty decent even though there isn’t actually a stand per se. But then again, this shouldn’t be so surprising as this a pretty affordable kit. And most kits within this price range hardly ever feature a hi-hat stand.
That said, all cymbals here measure at 10 inches. Plus, you mount all of them on an aluminum stack with four posts.
Fortunately for us, there is a kick tower here which is great news. This allows you use the kick pedal which gives a much better playing experience. Most kits tend to come with a foot-switch kick which don’t feel so great when you use them. So, the kick tower is definitely a huge pro with this kit.
Even though some of these electronic drum kits come at a budget price, they are still pretty good at giving quality recording. The Alesis Nitro Kit, of course, also delivers also delivers on quality recording. Moreover, there are 3 ways to go about recording on the Alesis Nitro Kit.
In the first place, you can just hit the record button while playing your drums. Afterwards, if you want to, you can listen to your recording later using either speakers or headphones. You won’t be able to export your recording from your module though.
Secondly, you could also connect to a recording device through the audio outputs on the back of the module. The recording device could even be your smartphone. Once you do that, simply hit “record” and you can lay down your track.
Another way, you can also do this is to connect the sound module using MIDI outputs. Or you could also use the MIDI-USB and then use the kit as the MIDI trigger. Just keep in mind that you’ll need a recording software to be able to do this. Any good one would od from Ableton to Logic to Garage Band.
Have Fun while you Practice
There are several ways to practice on the Alesis Nitro Kit. One, you can play along to your favorite songs from your smartphone or mp3-play or iPhone. With your headphones or speakers, you can then play along to your songs as you practice.
And just in case, you need something fresh besides your playlist, there are 60 great play-along songs on this kit as well which you can practice with as well.
But hey, there are still many other ways to practice on your Alesis Nitro Kit. Moreover, there is a learning mode here which we feel might be the strongest feature on this kit. It’s even more impressive because you only find this learning feature on higher end kits. So, bravo Alesis!
So, we found the learning mode to be quite engaging and interesting. It’s just like a challenge but in a playful manner. So, you’ll either have to play along with a pattern or rhythm following a count-in. Or, the module plays you a pattern or rhythm without the drums, then you supply the missing parts!
Whatever the case, the module records your activity so you can listen back and make corrections. Oh yeah, you also get a score which indicates who accurate you were. Many students testify that the learning mode on this kit actually encouraged them to learn better.
Now, before we run off, let’s quickly address some questions you might have about the Alesis Drums Nitro Electronic Drum Kit.
Can Children use this Kit?
Yes, kids can play on this kit, especially if they are at least 7 years. Plus, the pads are adjustable, so you can make them suitable for your child’s height. The only challenge we foresee is with reaching the foot pedal. But then again, whatever drum kit you get, they would still have to deal with that problem.
Can you use Double Bass Pedals with the Kick Pad?
Well, generally, you should be able to. Actually, it does depend on the size of the double bass pedal you intend to use. However, bear in mind that you might not get the level of sensitivity you want from your hits. This is because the beaters will lean more towards the edge of the kick pad.
- One of the most affordable electronic kits with mesh heads available.
- Sound module is pretty easy to handle.
- You can use a double bass pedal here.
- Hardware is pretty sturdy and looks good too.
- Lesson mode is pretty interesting.
- Great for beginners and intermediate players.
- Mesh heads are a little smaller on higher end kits. They are still playable though.
- The racks are adjustable but not easily so.
The Alesis Drums Nitro Electronic Kit is a budget kit targeted at beginners and intermediate players. It comes with a pretty decent quality. And we can’t get over the mesh heads here which gives a more enjoyable drumming experience.
It might not satisfy the experts. But then again, that wasn’t the purpose of Alesis for this drum set. So, in all, we would say Alesis did a good job here for an entry level electronic drum kit. Worth the price!