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As the name indicates, the Alesis Crimson Mesh Kit is a five-piece electronic drum set with a full selection of mesh drum heads. To allow it to work as a drum head, each head is tightly braided for added strength. Mesh’s heads are often associated with higher-end drum sets, so seeing one like this is unusual. Alesis’ ability to create a kit with all-mesh heads speaks eloquently about their commitment to providing true value to the electronic drum set industry.
Mesh drum heads have been prohibitively expensive for far too long. Sure, you can get a Roland TD-11Kor TD-11KV, but they’re more expensive and don’t have as many mesh pads as the Crimson Mesh Kit. The TD-11K, for example, includes a mesh snare and rubber tom pads but costs a few hundred dollars more than this kit. The TD-11KV, on the other hand, features a mesh snare and three mesh toms but no mesh head on the bass drum. The prices are much higher when it comes to Yamaha mesh kits.
Mesh’s heads are better at replicating a true acoustic drum head. Therefore they offer more playability with electronic drum sets. As a result, the drummer’s limbs and joints are less worn, and the drumstick bounce is more lifelike. Mesh also has the advantage of being far quieter than rubber and Mylar. This total mesh kit promises to be incredibly housemate-friendly since it can be played virtually anywhere and at any time of day.
An 8″ kick pad, a 12″ snare, two 8″ rack toms, and a 12″ floor tom make up the five-piece Crimson mesh electronic drum kit. Except for the kick, all drum pads have a ‘dual-zone,’ meaning that the head and rim sensors are distinct. The basic configuration contains a 12V DC power supply to complete the setup “Hi-hat (with control pedal), 12″ dual-zone choke able to crash, and 14″ ride with three zones (bell, bow, and edge). The set includes a four-post chrome rack system, as well as a snare, stand for the 12” snare drum “a pad.
Alesis’ proprietary black mesh is used on all drum heads, which was previously only available on the higher-end Strike series. In reality, the Crimson’s’shells’ have a red wrap to help them seem more like a genuine kit, just like its elder brothers. The Crimson pads, on the other hand, are substantially shallower than the Strikes.
The sound module is a sleek and small device. A big metal rotary dial, which is used to browse among kits and settings, sits proudly in the center of the device. The top half is coated in a glossy black, while the lower half has a more smooth matte feel.
Before any of the other components have even been removed from the box, the mirror finish chrome lends credibility to the package.
A tiny blue LCD screen, master volume, and headphone level controls, and several of the primary navigation buttons are located in the gloss section: menu, down, up, enter, and exit. Left and right buttons, click and tempo controls, and record/start-stop functions are all found in the bottom part. A sleek illuminated Alesis logo finishes off the front fascia.
The module has mini-jack headphones and aux-in connections, as well as 14-pin connectors “USB (B) port with USB MIDI capabilities, left and right jack outputs, midi in/out ports, and a USB (B) port. In addition, there are two fourteenth-century fourteenth-century fourteenth-century fourteenth-century fourteenth- “trigger outputs, allowing for the addition of a fourth tom pad and a second crash.
The pads in the kit are connected by a 25-pin loom that connects into the unit’s underside when fitted. This fits tightly into the mounting system and is secured with screws, guaranteeing that no connections break.
On the right-hand side of the brain, next to the power input, is a USB memory slot, which is where the Crimson’s true potential emerges. User samples can be loaded into the module’s sound banks, custom kits can be saved and loaded, whole songs and backing tracks may be played directly from the external memory without the need to import, and up to 99 drum parts can be recorded in real-time directly to the USB. To put it in context, the former is a top-notch function that has just recently emerged on Roland’s flagship TD-50.
I’m confident enough to claim that most customers won’t need to open the directions because putting the frame together was so simple. And I mean, figuring it out is always a fun part, but we all know that playing it is way better!
The plastic connecting brackets and robust feet add to the weight and durability of the four-post rack system. Before any of the other components have even been removed from the box, the mirror finish chrome lends credibility to the package.
The tom brackets and L-rods allow for a lot of flexibility, and we’ve had almost everything where we want it in no time. You might be wondering why I said nearly. The supplied snare stand, while useful, appears to be a little short for the job at hand. Perfect for an acoustic snare but limited due to the shallowness of the electronic snare pad. As a result, we discovered that we needed to angle the snare away from us in order to comfortably play rimshots.
The First Play
The module includes 50 kits ranging from acoustic to electronic, as well as percussion synths and tuned world instruments, as well as 20 blank patches for your own compositions. We chose a basic funk kit to serve as a foundation for developing my own musical vision.
There are over 600 included sounds, so there’s enough to select from, albeit electronic sounds, FX, and percussion take up a large portion of them. Pitch, reverb, and delay are some of the fundamental editing tools available for each sample. Each source’s volume and panning may be modified individually, which is very useful when using headphones.
There are also 60 built-loaded play-along tracks in the module, which cover pretty much any style you might want. From hard metal to large band jazz and everything in between, they aren’t always the most enjoyable to listen to, but they’re still a great practice tool.
Because of the USB capabilities, you may use a memory stick to store your own tunes or backing tracks (WAV or MP3) and pass the time. After that, you may press record and save your drum takes to your hard drive.
Loading our own samples was similarly simple, but we did need to consult the instructions to figure out how to do so. We did come upon something a little unexpected at this point. It turns out that you can’t delete individual samples; you can only delete them all at once. This appears to be a major omission that, hopefully, will be rectified in future firmware releases.
The Crimson module’s level of control over each sample is one of its most impressive features. Sound files may be set up as loops or one-shots, and mute groups can be created. Any pad may also be configured as a tap tempo, click on/off, or kill switch. This type of versatility is usually reserved for specially developed sample pads. Thus the Crimson adds another string to its bow, especially if it’s utilized in a hybrid setup.
In terms of overall playability, the Crimson is OK, but nothing to write home about. The features are clearly fantastic value for money at this pricing range, albeit there are a few flaws.
The cymbals respond effectively, and the bigger ride has enough natural movement to simulate the actual thing’s response. The bell, bow, and edge all have their own triggers, which is a nice detail. However, the tiny bell made it difficult to trigger reliably and felt harsh. Because there is no cross-stick option, you can only pick between a rimshot sound or the cross-stick, rather from both being controlled by velocity, as is usual with other e-kits.
Most Notable Features
If the 60 play-along tunes aren’t enough, there’s also a stereo 18-inch input for connecting any audio device. Connecting to an MP3, iPod, or even a laptop allows you to simply groove along to your favorite music.
The Crimson module’s headphone connector may be used to monitor your sound. There are also a pair of 14-inch outputs if you wish to play along with the sound outside of headphones. The Crimson module may be connected to any powered display or PA via these outputs.
The Crimson module also allows you to bring in your own drum samples, which is a fantastic feature. This means you’ll be able to develop and save your own drum sets for subsequent usage. Importing is a rather simple process. Importing Wav files into the module is as simple as plugging in a flash USB disk. You may change and store them as new sounds once they’re on the device. This is a feature that many of the Crimson Mesh Kit’s rivals lack; therefore, it’s an added benefit.
For the price, this kit provides excellent gameplay. Mesh’s heads are exceptionally pleasant to play on and provide excellent value. When it comes to Roland and Yamaha brands, you’ll spend a lot more on features like these.
The Crimson Mesh Kit produces very little noise, making it ideal for all drummers who want a practice kit.
For many drummers, the option to bring in their own samples will be a huge benefit. It’s quite simple to get weary of the onboard sounds that come with drum modules in many circumstances. This kit’s shelf life is extended by allowing the user to insert his or her own original drum sounds.
Some of the sounds included in the Crimson module from Alesis aren’t of the highest quality. The majority of the kits are decent and tolerable. However, some of the sounds are just too harsh. They don’t have enough dynamic range and sound a little cheesy.
Another flaw with the Crimson Mesh Kit is the lack of a stand-mountable hi-hat.
Other Choices I Would Recommend
If you can extend your budget by $200–300, the Roland TD-11KV is a great option. It’s a solid electronic drum set with a diverse range of drum sample sounds. The TD-11KV also includes four mesh pads that improve playability.
The Yamaha DTX562K, like the TD-11KV and the Crimson Mesh Kit, is a mesh kit (save for the bass drum) and is generally significantly more costly. Take a look at it if your budget isn’t a constraint.
It’s worth noting that Alesis also sells the Crimson II Kit, which is a more advanced version of the Crimson Mesh Kit. This kit includes an additional crash cymbal pad as well as a newly built drum module.
Answer: Alesis does not have the same brand recognition as Roland or Yamaha. They do, however, create a number of high-quality drum kits that are definitely worth investigating. They’ve made outstanding electronic features inexpensive and accessible to the majority of drummers in terms of quality.
Answer: In every way, Alesis is superior to Simmons in terms of quality. That isn’t to suggest Alesis is the finest, but it is far superior to Simmons. If those are the only two kits you’re considering, Alesis is the way to go.
Answer: Alesis is still doing strong, but it hasn’t released a new synth design since 2005’s Fusion multi-algorithm synth. Keith Barr, the company’s founder who had lost control after the bankruptcy, died in 2010. Alesis produces drum synthesizers and drum machines solely as of August 2015.
Answer: Alesis is an inMusic Brands business based in Cumberland, Rhode Island. Alesi’s goods are made in China and designed in the United States.
When it comes to value, Alesis is a clear leader in electronic drums. Beginners and expert drummers alike will find something to enjoy in the Crimson Mesh Kit. It provides quality gameplay at an affordable price, which will appeal to a wide range of consumers.
I recommend this kit very much. I would argue it’s best for intermediate drummers that are looking to improve their beginner kit. It’s great for studio drummers that are looking for an almost endless amount of sounds!