Today we take an in-depth look at the Nitro Mesh Kit from Alesis. Alesis is a name that is synonymous with quality electronic instruments.
This entry-level kit offers a lot of value at a budget price, and can be an excellent tool for you to start learning how to drum, or brush up on the skills you already possess. With a good buzz around it, we wanted to see how it stacks up compared to other e-kits in the same price range.
Is it worth spending your hard-earned money on? Read on to find out!
At a Glance – Our Initial Thoughts
Alesis is a leading manufacturer of electronic drum kits, and in this model, they’ve included everything you need to “rock out” to your heart’s content. Outfitted with mesh heads for a more immersive and expressive drum experience, it can be used for practicing, jamming with fellow musicians, gigging, or home recording. We think it’s a great option for those that are just starting out, as well as those looking to refine their skills while keeping noise levels down. If you live in a smaller space, or have neighbors who like to complain, this kit is probably what you are looking for.
What’s In The Box
This is an 8-piece, mesh head electronic kit that is a complete drum set. It provides everything you need to get started, making it a good quality choice at a price that won’t break the bank.
It includes three 8 inch toms, three 8 inch cymbals, an 8-inch dual-zone snare, and 10-inch ride, crash, and hi-hat cymbals. The drum pads are composed of mesh for a softer volume output and realistic feel, while the cymbals are silicone-coated to help dampen the noise level.
The bass drum pad is a floating design, meaning you can position it anywhere it feels comfortable for your foot. While you can rig it up to use a double-bass pedal, Alesis did not design the bass pad to be used with two beaters, so you will probably find it troublesome to get consistent double-thumping. The hi-hats pedal works on a trigger for opening and closing and uses the same floating design for comfort and custom placement.
The 4-post rack is constructed of aluminum, which not only makes it lightweight but also helps sturdy the kit. All cymbals and pads attach to the frame and are adjustable for a custom fit around you.
Also included on the frame is the Nitro drum module, which is the brain of the kit. All pads and cymbals are fed into it, allowing it to control everything that comes through your headphones. It is loaded with 40 different kits so you can play many styles of music and over 380 sounds that can be customized to your liking. If that wasn’t enough, it also includes play-along tracks and a practice mode for brushing up on your skills.
How Does It Stand Out?
Feels Like A Real Kit
The addition of mesh heads is a feature that benefits both you, as well as the people you live with. Mesh’s heads emulate the feel and realism of playing on an acoustic kit, while also dampening the sound of the sticks hitting them. This makes the e-kit as quiet as it possibly can be, which is ideal for playing in apartments or condos, so you don’t disturb the people around you.
Alesis includes a dual-zone snare that can allow for cross-stick playing with a focus on rim shots. Of course, you can always play the snare normally, but the bonus of a secondary option gives you some cool flexibility that a lot of entry-level kits don’t provide.
Fun For Your Feet
The kit comes with two floating pedals for the bass drum and hi-hats, respectively. As they aren’t attached to the frame, they can be adjusted and positioned for a custom fit and placement, allowing for increased comfort while playing.
Learn As You Play
True professionals are always looking to improve their skills. Alesis includes a practice mode in the drum module brain where you can not only play along with over 60 tracks but also brush up on your fills. There is also a metronome that can be turned on while running through your exercises.
Record It All
When you are ready, you can hook this kit up to your computer and record your sessions. This is an excellent way to track your progress, or demo tracks for yourself or your band. Auxillary and USB Midi ports allow you to seamlessly connect everything.
How much space do I need to play this comfortably?
You should have a minimum space size of 6 x 6 feet. This allows enough room for both adults and children to let loose on the kit.
Can I use this e-kit to play along with games like Rock Band?
While Alesis claims it may or may not work (as the kit wasn’t specifically designed to play along with Rock Band), you should still be able to make this happen using the proper MIDI adapter.
PS4 users will only need the Playstation 3 Rock Band 3 MadCatz MIDI Pro Adapter for use with Rock Band 4.
Do I need to purchase any extra cables/accessories to use this kit?
This kit comes with everything to make it work with headphones with a 1/4” jack. The only extra cables you will need are line-out/auxiliary cables if you want to connect the kit to an amp/speaker system, or the appropriate MIDI cables if you are looking to use the kit to record demos.
Is the Nitro Mesh Kit the same as the Nitro Kit?
They are different kits. The Nitro Mesh Kit is designed with mesh heads, whereas the Nitro Kit uses silicone pads. Mesh pads provide a more realistic feel when playing, and also keep the noise levels down as mesh absorbs stick shock better than silicone.
Our Final Thoughts
While you won’t be using this on any high-end studio sessions, this is a really good entry-level kit that can help increase your instrument proficiency quickly. It caters to those that are looking for something that is priced well and can be used in places where you want to drum but need to keep the volume to a minimum.
However, it isn’t without its drawbacks. Due to the smaller size of the pads, as well as its compact design, some players can find it a bit small and will need time to adjust to its size.
It also does not come with a throne, which will be an added expense. Other reported grievances are a low headphone volume, and lack of design for a double bass pedal.
However, if you can overlook those minor inconveniences, you might just find it’s a great kit that will provide you hours of enjoyment to refine your skills on.
If this electronic drum set is not what you were looking for, check out our Best Best Electronic Drum Set post.