The Alesis DM10 Studio Kit will play the same role in your studio set up as Guile did in Street Fighter, it will supply the necessary, “SONIC BOOM!” to make a rampaging raucous on any and all recordings. Alesis presents an overwhelming bargain in the form of the DM10 Studio drum kit which has an undeniable quality difficult to find anywhere for $999.
Upon receiving the unit one is overtaken with how much Alesis can fit into a single box. It is very clear that Alesis measured down to the nearest yactometer on how to properly finagle the DM10 without so much a breath of extra space. At first that caused a bit of worry that certain pieces were not protected or packaged as well as others within the massive shipment, but all was safe and securely delivered.
Setting up the DM10 Studio Kit will take a Zen-like patience and the ingenuity of MacGyver. It should be noted that the directions sheet is ludicrously cramped and printed in what must have been a carpenter ant’s Gutenberg press. No fear, this is remedied by a quick Google search and some freshly minted instructions for people who cannot fit into Zoolander’s original reading center.
What seems to be a corner cut are the plasticity of the clamps used to hold the frame, drums and cymbals. They crack without too much pressure from hand-tightening so be warned about exuding Hulk strength. However, the cables are clearly marked and that is another point for the good guys, now you’re mounting drum pieces and getting excited. Until you realize how precisely measured the cables are, and that any rearranging of drums on the rack alternative to the Alesis standard will result in failure. After yielding to the design overlords at Alesis, you will recognize a beautiful sight to behold: your very own electronic drum kit waiting to be manhandled. Almost.
Post-set up there is an extensive calibration period that can take an hour or two if you have experience with this. The hi-hat pedal, as this unit is now notorious for, is a bit less than the real deal but you didn’t purchase an acoustic kit and you didn’t blow the bank for this electric one; therefore, for the price range it would be in poor taste to complain too loudly. The sounds emitting from the DM10 module itself are great, and surpassed what we’d expected by quite a bit.
The “RealHead” drum pads are dual zone and “feature real mylar,” which supply a more authentic drumming experience. Dual zone meaning the possibility of rimshots, clicks as well as a slew of other assignable sounds is never out of reach. A definite plus to the unit is the ability to use any single or double kick pedal with the kick pad.
The four low noise cymbals included, DMPads are rubberized and take a little adjustment period to really feel out. With any electronic drum kit that is standard, regardless of sales pitch—it will take time to transition from acoustic to electric.
The rubber lining on the drum rims is softer than a cliché about something extremely soft. The harder hitting among us will certainly see some heavy splitting after a few thorough jam sessions. 8 inch drum pads are smaller than the 10 inch pads you most likely learned on; again, for the price of the unit the loss of 2 inches is a noble sacrifice. Your first big surprise with the DM10 Studio kit will be the superb rebound on the triggers during play, possibly stiffer than what you’re used. The bass drum packs a noticeable BOOM but less than an acoustic kit. A patch of Velcro, included, on the bottom of the bass drum is a nice touch to securing the unit.
Briefly we touched on the DM10 module itself and the sounds created by it. Let’s expound on this a bit more. The menu system is high five worthy in its simplicity and design, extremely easy to navigate and there are no qualms imaginable with this aspect of the kit. 1047 sounds make up the brains, 16-bit uncompressed standard samples and a smorgasbord of snares, toms, rides and the like. Some 100 kits are included, all with overwriting available and 75 preset sequencer patterns. A USB port allows an ease of updates and modifications.
The Alesis DM10 Studio Kit is a wild ride. I’m unsure of the equation necessary to compute the amount of drumming awesomeness per dollar spent, but I am confident any mathematician would find the deal is roundly delivered to the consumer. Alesis DM10 Studio Kit is a great addition to any at-home studio set up, and with a great sound, magnificent quality and bar-shattering price it is impossible to beat.