From rudiments to rockshows – discussing one of the best beginner electronic drumkits available.
The world of the electronic drum kit is vast, and somewhat difficult to navigate if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, especially if you’re just starting out. It can also be very difficult trying to find a kit that can work in a live situation, is ideal for beginners without sounding cheap and toy-like yet is high enough quality to last a long time without a need to upgrade. Thankfully Alesis are professionals at making entry level electronic drum kits that even seasoned professionals would be happy to use thanks to their penchant for high quality engineering and dedication to response and realistic sounds. The Alesis DM Nitro kit is a budget friendly option for those who want to learn or record with without ever being held back by a lack of sounds or connectivity options. We look at 10 things we really love about it and why you should consider it when looking for a beginner electronic drumkit that will last for many years.
1. It’s got everything you need to play like a pro
Considering its low price tag, you get an awful lot of hardware to play with. In fact, Alesis have included a complete 8-piece drum kit in this nifty little package that includes three 8” toms, an 8” dual zone snare and kick drum pad complete with pedal. You also get three 10” cymbals which includes crash, complete with choke for extra dynamics which makes sure you have a realistic response and even more control over your sound. It’s all held together by a rock solid 4-post aluminium mounting rack that is easy to set up and pack down.
2. The realistic response
One of the biggest issues users of electronic drums have identified is that the response can sometimes leave a lot to be desired, and something that brands have tried their best to hone over the years. Fortunately, Alesis are professionals at recreating realistic drum sounds as well as realistic response and feel when it comes to their electronic drums. The Alesis DM Nitro is amazingly realistic in its response thanks to awesome little features like the dual-zone technology inherent in the snare drum. This means that things like rim shots and powerstrokes are represented accurately when played and delivered with clarity. Furthermore, the ride and crash cymbals have choke detection, meaning you can bring hits to a sudden end just like the real thing – something you’d normally find only reserved for kits with a far greater price tag.
3. There’s so many kits to choose from
The DM Nitro module is packed with a huge amount of kits and drum sounds that will keep the most ardent of drum fans happy. Whether you’re just starting to learn and in the early stages of figuring out how you like your drums to sound or you’re a seasoned pro and know exactly what style of drum you want, you’ll find a plethora of fantastic and expertly sampled kits to choose from. In fact, you have 40 ready to play kits straight out of the box as well as 385 drum and cymbal sounds in total – so you’re spoilt for choice really. From percussion sounds that can be triggered at various areas on the kit, to stadium like drum sounds to vintage style drums – you’ve got it all. You can even tweak each kit or create your own custom drum kit at the touch of button.
4. The electronic drum kit that encourages learning
Not only do you have a plethora of drum sounds to choose from, but you also have 60 play-along music tracks as well as a built in metronome to hone your skills at your own pace. Pactice your dynamics and timing whilst keeping track of your performances via the built in sequencer for listening back to at a later date. Yes, it’s perfect for the absolute beginner, but it’s also a great way for the seasoned pro to keep their skills sharp and their timing accurate all whilst enjoying a superb and comfortable feel. Which brings me to my next point…
5. Comfortable pads for practicing and gigging with
As a drummer, your hands and wrists can get extremely tired after a long day of playing, practicing and eventually touring, so it makes sense that the drums, and in this case the pads, you choose to use should keep safety and comfort in mind. Alesis have included thick 8” inch rubber pads as part of the DM Nitro set up which are comfortable to hit and practice rudiments on all day long. They have a great feel to them, which will save your hands and wrists a lot of pain. Whether you’re playing hard or soft, the drum kit will respond accurately making it a pleasure to play too.
6. It’s super easy to use
No one wants to be bothering with a million buttons when all you want to do is play drums! So with this in mind, Alesis have made the DM Nitro kit super easy to use as the Module is clearly labelled with everything you need intuitively laid out in front of you. Each button is dedicated to a particular drum and laid out exactly how it would look in a real setting so you don’t have to scroll for hours looking for the right drum to manipulate. There’s also a bright LCD display which ensures you can see what’s going on onstage or when you’re playing late into the night. And speaking of which…
7. Late night practice? No problem!
Thanks to the thick rubber pads, you’re not only saving your wrists and hands from unwanted stress, but they also allow you to play without waking the neighbours or your room mates. In addition, the incorporation of a headphone socket with stereo output lets you play at any time. It can also be hooked up to an amplifier when you need it for live gigs, or you know – waking your housemate up when they’ve annoyed you.
8. Play along with your own songs
If you’re in a band and you want to demo drum sounds over something you’ve just recorded, or you want to nail that John Bonham drum solo at home, then you’ll be pleased to know the Alesis DM Nitro lets you connect a CD, MP3 or any other audio source so you can play along to whatever you want. Got a new track you need to learn? No problem, just hook up your MP3 player and you’re good to go. Need to put some drums to your new track? Fire up the kit and your PC/MAC and hook it up via USB and you’re all set. Easy!
9. Connectivity and expandability
As we’ve previously mentioned, the connectivity options inherent in the Alesis DM Nitro ensure you have scope to enhance your music making potential, especially due to the fact you have MIDI In and Out jacks to hook up your favourite MIDI equipment whether they be other drum machines, sound modules or synths. There’s even 2 additional trigger inputs which means you can hook up another Tom and another Crash should you need to expand your kit – perfect for drummers who need a little extra when it comes to their rig.
10. A professional piece of kit for a modest price tag
Considering you get an 8-piece drum kit, frame all the required cables and even a set of sticks and a drum key, it’s unbelievable that this kit costs as little as it does. When you take into account the sheer amount of sounds that come with it, namely 40 kits and over 350 drum sounds, it’s no wonder it’s one of the best-selling kits around for both beginners and professionals who need a practice kit at home or in the studio.
Check out a full range of electronic drum kits at the Dawsons website.
Lee Glynn is a guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who lives in Liverpool, England. After moving to the UK from Perth, Australia, Lee enjoyed a successful career as guitarist in Liverpool based rock band Sound of Guns.
After releasing two albums, a myriad of EPs / singles and touring extensively around the world for 6 years including stops at Glastonbury, Latitude Festival, as well as the coveted Reading & Leeds Festivals, Lee decided it was a time for a change of scenery.
Utilising his experience in music journalism, Lee now works within the web team at Dawsons Music, where he can still relay his passion for music by producing great content for the Dawsons blog and social media. Lee is still an avid guitar player and writer.