Electronic drum kits are readily available now at affordable prices. No longer does the consumer have to pay extortionate prices for an electronic drum kit that comes close to sounding like the real deal.
I’ve recently road tested one of the more affordable electronic drum kits, the Alesis DM5 Pro. Having played the standard DM5 for a good while with no problems at all, I was keen to get my hands on the new ‘Pro’ kit.
Standard rrp on this kit is around £465, nearly £100 less than the retail of the it’s competitors; Traps E400 and Yamaha DTXplorer. However, you will find the kit at the best price on PlayRecord.Net.
Out of the box, setting up the kit was a breeze. Not once did I need to look at the instructions to figure how to put the rack together. Once tightened the rack stands solid and feels comfortable as far as reach goes. I then fitted the toms to the kit, firmly locked in with a couple of turns of the screws with no wobble on the tom arms..superb. The wiring is neatly all together with just enough length for each trigger it reflects the all-togetherness of the kit.
So the kit was all together within an hour and I was ready to plug it in and start enjoying. Note: there’s no bass drum pedal supplied with these kits, so I used a Ludwig. If you’ve used the DM5 kit you’ll be familiar with the brain straight away, I turned it on and let rip.
First off, the pads now have rims and actual drums skins on. The general feel is very close to the feel of an acoustic kit, which is great. All the tom pads are 8 inches and I appreciate the way that this forces accuracy around the kit. The snare has dual triggers, using the rim as the second trigger. By default the rim trigger is not set to the standard “rim click” sound that I desired but with a quick tweak of the DM5 brain it was soon sorted. The new cymbals are designed well and they don’t miss a beat, they’re extremely quiet and sit nice and firm in position. Bass drum pad, held upright with a floor plate and two legs on a 45 degree angle. On the bottom if the plate is some velcro, when I eventually managed to move the bass pad I noticed that i’d actually pulled the carpet tile up to – that’s how much it stays in place.
So i’m playing the kit and the first thing that comes to mind is that unlike a few of its competitors, the pads don’t miss a beat. Buzz rolls, any roll, you play it and you’ll hear it. The sensitivity is great, giving a very dynamic feel to the kit.
After a good play of the kit i can only find one thing that i would change, that’s the hi-hat pedal switch. It’s simply to big and chunky. You really need to take your foot of it to get the open hat sound, and this is an unnatural feel compared to the rest of the kit. In my opinion, I would buy a replacement standard DM5 hi-hat switch pedal and use that.
So, overall i’m very impressed. Price is great, the feel is like an acoustic kit and its reliable. Apart from the hi-hat switch i’ve nothing to grumble about. Just remember to get yourself a decent bass drum pedal and some headphones and start rocking out.