Even today, some people are still sceptical about buying electronic drums. The common opinion is that electronic drums cannot fully emulate the sound of acoustic ones. While it is somewhat true, electronic drums have their advantages. They don’t take up much space, and you won’t annoy your roommates or neighbours. So, we present one model we believe is a bang for your buck. While not the best model, it is certainly affordable and offers impressive stats for the asking price. Stick around with us in this Alesis Nitro Mesh kit review and determine why we think this is one of the best electronic drums for beginners.
Package and Features
Alesis offers different versions of this model of electric drums. You have the kids and adult version, the version with the throne and headphones, and the version with the 8″ drum amp. For the purpose of this review, we will concentrate on the standard adult version. The package includes one standard 8″ Dual-zone snare pad, three 8″ tom pads, and three 10″ cymbals. It includes all basic cymbal types: Ride, Crash, and Hi-Hat.
Expanding the kit with another tom and a cymbal is an option if this isn’t enough for you. The pads connect to the module using a 25-pin loom cable. You also have the jacks for 5-pin MIDI, USB cable, aux input, and headphones output. The basic version does not include a throne, but there is a version with the throne included. It is nice and comfortable, but it may be uncomfortable for you if you are tall.
Build Quality and Design
Design is undoubtedly one of the best aspects of this electric drum kit. Mash pads and cymbals are all black, which makes the whole kit elegant and stylish. As for build quality, they seem to be very durable. Mesh heads are especially nice as they are quiet and resemble the acoustic drums’ feel very well. Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit is tiny in size. They will not take up too much space in your apartment and can even fit in the bedroom, making them the perfect first drum for your child.
Mesh Pads and Overall Feel
Experienced drummers prefer using mesh pads instead of the standard electric plastic drums. Mesh pads do an excellent job at imitating the real feel and are overall very satisfying to hit. Classic plastic drums are louder and are very awkward to play on. It is no surprise to see that the mesh heads are one of the main highlights of this electronic drum set.
They are very satisfying to hit, they are not very loud but still produce enough sound to emulate the real deal, and they will last you for a long time. If that’s not the case, you can easily replace them with new ones. The only gripe we have with these mesh pads is that the rim is somewhat awkward. They are very high, and you will often hit them unintentionally with your drumsticks. While this is not a major con, it takes time to get used to them.
Cymbal Feel and Quality
Arguably the more challenging to emulate, cymbals are the essential part of every drum kit, even the electric kit. In my opinion, nothing can replace the feel of the classic cymbal, but Alesis did an outstanding job trying to emulate acoustic drums. The cymbals are made of rubber, and they feel nice. If you are switching from acoustic drums, you will need time to get used to them.
However, you won’t notice the difference after just a few hours of playing. As previously said, the kit includes ride, crash, and hi-hat cymbal. The ride functions are like your standard ride cymbal. The crash can be “choked,” and the hi-hat is controlled by the dedicated pedal. You can play your closed, half-closed, and open hi-hat. You won’t even notice the difference between electric and acoustic versions. However, the dimensions of the cymbals are 10″. Many people will find the small, but for us, this makes them perfect for the apartment jam.
There are about 60 pre-recorded tracks on this electric drum kit. All kinds of music genres are present- from funk and soul to jazz, Latin, and rock. Pick your favourite sample, play it, and jam the whole day. While they are an excellent addition to the Alesis Nitro Mesh electronic drum kit, they could be slightly better. They will do their job, but only if you are a beginner. Advanced musicians would want something more professional, but they are not the target group of this product after all. The 60 MIDI rhythms are an excellent addition for beginner drummers. As a beginner, they will ensure that you will get hours and hours of fun jamming.
For the entry-level electronic drum kit, sound quality is more than satisfactory. Don’t immediately get your hopes up and expect Zildjian or Sabian cymbal sound quality or the exceptional sound of your snare, but the overall audio provided will suit your needs. You have the dedicated pedal for the bass drum, not the clickable classic electronic drum pedal.
That will simulate the feel of the real bass drum, so you will get a real kick if you love to play heavier music. If you worry about the variety of sounds the Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh kit can produce, you can stop worrying now. Out of the box, it comes with the 40 preset kit sounds. It should be enough to cover all music genres like rock, metal, Latino, jazz, or funk. If you do not dig any of them, you can customize them to your liking.
The kit isn’t designed for live sessions or severe studio work but should serve as the perfect practice set. It has a metronome built-in, which will ease the learning process to play. While the sound quality certainly can’t match its more expensive counterparts, it is well worth its asking price.
Don’t expect studio-quality recording on any electric drum kit, especially entry-level ones. But it is certainly a nice feature when you practice and want to review all your mistakes. The Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Kit offers three types of recording options, and they are:
- Recording on the Nitro Module: this is the easiest method to use. Press the “record” button on the module to start recording.
- Connect using the audio output: connect your electronic drums to any audio device, even your smartphone. You can get some decent sound using this method.
- MIDI Connection: using dedicated audio programs like Reaper, Apple Logic Pro, or Ableton Live, you can easily record your tunes. Connect the drums using MIDI in/out or the standard USB connector.
Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit Pros
The thing that I like the most about this electronic drum kit is that it offers features far above its asking price. While I expected to get a solid beginner drum kit, I left with the impression that it is overall a great kit. Mesh pads are nice; they have a satisfying feel, cymbals offer solid sound and variety, and the build quality is exceptional. They are very small and do not take up a lot of space, so they can easily fit in any apartment.
Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit Cons
I do not have any major gripes with this electric drum kit model, just a few warnings when you decide to buy them. This kit is not for tall people. The components are all close together, so hitting the proper drum part may be challenging. Also, you don’t have enough space to fit your legs, so playing with them can be tiresome in the long run. The other warning is that this kit is for beginners. If you are a drum veteran or drum god and want an excellent electronic alternative, don’t expect it at this price range.
It is no coincidence that Alesis rose to prominence as one of the world’s best manufacturers of electronic drums. They offer a wide array of products that satisfy the needs of all musicians. If you are a beginner or a pro, Alesis certainly has the product for you. This particular drum kit is dedicated to beginner drummers. Its small size and the quality of the mesh heads make them an ideal choice if you have a small apartment or a smaller garage. Despite its low price, we were impressed by the build quality and the overall sound in this package. While not the best electronic drum kit out there, it is one of the best deals you can get.