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The Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit is part of the acclaimed “Mesh” family, brought to us by Alesis. There are five different models in the lineup:
- The Alesis Turbo Mesh Kit: 3 x 08″ Toms, dual-zone 08″ snare, and 100 sounds in the TD 30 module. No bass drum, just kick pedal.
- The Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit: Explained in detail below
- The Alesis Surge Mesh Kit: 385 sounds, 40 kits, a 08″ bass drum, 3 x 08″ toms, and the 10″ dual-zone snare. Ride and Crash have a choke system.
- The Alesis Command Mesh Kit: Boasts an advanced Alesis drum module with 600 sounds, an 08″ bass drum, dual-zone 10″ snare, 3x 08″ toms and 10″ crash cymbals with choke function.
- The Alesis Crimson Mesh II SE Kit: Its most prominent difference is the introduction of “Dynamic Articulation”, which helps make the pad sounds not as monotonous and “sample” sounding. The snare is 12″, and now even the Toms are dual-zone.
As you can see, the Nitro Mesh kit sits not at the most affordable bottom but just above. It still makes it an entry-level kit, as does most of the lineup, maybe excluding the Crimson Mesh II Kit, a more intermediate-level kit. All the kits have a slight variant, compared to the next one above it in the price range or the one before. The price difference is very little, relatively insignificant, but attracts enough buyers to make sure that you feel you are picking exactly the right one for your needs. This is why you should read this article in depth before making any decisions, as you might come out regretting your decision had you spent just that little extra on the next model in the lineup.
In this review, I will explain everything you need to know about the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit to find out if it will be your next electronic drum kit, with which you can learn the routines to become the next Buddy Rich.
What Do You Get With The Nitro Mesh Kit?
A 5-piece electronic drum kit at an insane price: This electronic drum kit comprises of 5 pieces (snare, three toms, and bass drum) so you can learn to play with a drum kit with the same parts as a standard drum kit. As mentioned above, the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit is one of the most affordable kits of the Alesis “Mesh” family of electronic drums. Aesthetically, there is not much difference from the previous Nitro configuration, except that they have added to the new box and tom pads a mesh instead of a membrane. They have 8″ all-black pads, each with an extremely shallow profile and a plastic-like rim, allowing you to fine-tune the tension of the heads to your taste.
The Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit comes with 40 preset drum kits and 385 drums, cymbal, and percussion sounds for us to play with while learning the different sounds that can be achieved with a drum kit. Just in case, it has a MIDI output to introduce more sounds. If the hundreds of sounds included in the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit are not enough, we can (through a DAW) download sound packs to be played by our Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit. In the same way, we can trigger other digital instruments such as a MIDI keyboard or other instruments from the electronic drum kit itself. Have you ever imagined playing a drum-shaped piano?
The cymbal section is made up of three familiar pads: crash cymbal with choke, hi-hat, and ride cymbal. The cymbal comes with a reasonable foot pedal. Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit doesn’t use an actual cymbal stand, but it works ok, although you wouldn’t really expect much more in this price range. The Kit includes all the accessories you need, from its 4-post aluminum frame with pad mounts to its included kick drum pedal and hi-hat controller. This Alesis Mesh Kit package even comes with cable wraps, a drum key, and a pair of drumsticks. In other words, everything you need to get you drumming right away. Of course, a drum stool will come in handy.
The Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit bass drum tower is lightweight and made of a combination of plastic, rubber, and metal. The tower can be moved to best suit your setup, but you must place it on a suitable surface. There are also two adjustable spikes at the base of the tower that allows it to grip carpet or carpeted floors for additional traction. Alesis has even included one of their unique kick drum pedals that will save you from having to spend more money on an additional pedal, although you can use your own if you prefer.
The Nitro Mesh Module
The Nitro module is the same as the one mounted on the Alesis Nitro. The backlit LCD makes navigation a breeze. The drum and cymbal buttons are arranged to resemble the layout of a traditional drum kit, so it’s easy to assign sounds and create your routines quickly.
The Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit drum module offers 40 ready-to-use drum kits, covering virtually all classic acoustic registers, modern electronic rhythm machines, exotic percussion rigs, and more. You can also create your own drum kits from the 385 excellent built-in sounds.
You can get over 60 backing tracks by connecting your phone or tablet, or simply creating tap-tempos with the built-in metronome. If you want to connect the drumkit to your DAW, or even to another sound module, you can do so via USB or traditional MIDI I/O.
Considerably smaller than others in the Alesis product range, the aluminum frame of the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit also features slim tubes. The whole setup is very light and takes up less space. It’s a relief to discover that the frame fits around easily and even though it may seem small, it feels nice and solid when you play. This rack consists of seven aluminum posts and is quite light, making it quite portable. The snare and the three pads can be mounted on the rack and adjusted in both height and angle. The three cymbal pads are also mounted on the rack through adjustable cymbal arms. Most electronic drum kits include a recording function, and this one is no exception. In addition, there are three ways to record with this unit.
- The first way would be the simplest. Simply press the “rec” button on your Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit module and you will record your performance. Although you can’t export captured sounds this way, it’s an excellent tool for listening to your performance, hearing mistakes, etc.
- The second method would be through the audio output. Just connect the module to a recording device and you will get a pretty decent sound quality. It is a very simple method. You can get the recording even through your mobile phone.
- Finally, the best option. We are talking about MIDI conversion. You can use MIDI input/output or USB port. You will have to find some recording software (DAW) and use your electronic drum kit as a MIDI trigger.
Who is this Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit Ideal For?
The price and features of this drum kit place it in the beginner category. Truth be told, this kit is ideal for those who have no experience playing the drums and are looking to get started with this percussion instrument. But it’s not just for beginners. The Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit will serve as a practice tool for many drummers who need a quiet alternative to their acoustic drums. The pads are made of a mesh-like material, producing little sound when struck. The cymbals are made of a type of membrane, so the overall noise level of the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit means it won’t disturb the neighbors too much. This is not the quietest drum kit ever created by mankind, but it will suit most musicians or first-timers.
And now for an important clarification. Hitting the pads of the electronic drum kit doesn’t feel like playing a normal drum kit, that’s for sure. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing either. It makes sense since acoustic drum pads are not made of rubber or mesh, they are made of mylar (a type of plastic). Therefore, when playing the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit, you won’t get the exact feel of an acoustic drum kit. However, technology is getting closer and closer to it.
Pros and Cons of the Nitro Mesh Kit (Compared to the Mesh Kit Lineup)
- A huge pro is the ability to add an official extension to the Nitro Mesh Kit: An extra 08″ Tom and 10 “Crash. It comes with the necessary clips to join it to the existing drum set and turns your kit into something resembling a bigger acoustic set. It’s very useful if we feel it’s time to invest in a bit of upgrade.
- A bass drum, opposed to just a “pedal”. It gives you a real sample of what it’s like to feel the chain of a kick drum. Very useful if you are a beginner.
- More sounds than the Turbo Mesh Kit, which is very limited.
- No space for a double pedal kick drum.
- Build quality of the kick drum, which could be a bit flimsy compared to others.
- The Bass drum is quite loud on kick, as is the rest of the kit.
- No customizable metronome sound.
- The hi-hat pedal feels quite unrealistic.
Options from other Brands
- Millenium MPS-450 E-Drum Set: This electronic drum kit is a bit more expensive than the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit, but it has certain features that make us consider whether to get the Alesis or this one. It has more sounds, fewer kits but 80 complete songs. But the really cool thing about this electronic drum kit is its incredible 10″ for the double hit mesh snare. If you are used to playing a real drum kit, you will love this snare.
- Millenium MD-90 Mobile Drum: First clarification: This is not a drum pad or multipath. It is a mini electronic drum kit with a bunch of sounds and two pedals (hi-hat and bass drum). Second clarification, it is more a toy than an instrument. But it can be a child’s first contact with a percussion instrument and will prepare him to make the leap to an electronic drum set. And the last thing I have to say; it’s pretty cool, and it costs less than a normal drum pedal.
- Roland TD-17KVX E-Drum Set: If budget isn’t a deal for you, I’d go directly with this. I talk so much about this drum kit that it seems I’m trying to sell it. Roland, who always makes quality electronic drums, comes up with this beast. An impressive 12″ snare, 2 x 10″ toms, 10″ bass drum, 10″ hi-hat, two 12″ crashes, and a 13″ ride. All mesh pads and dual sound except the ride which has THREE SOUNDS. Mind you, it does not include a bass drum pedal or hi-hat pedal, nor does it include drumsticks, stool, or any amenities. But the fact is, if you try this electronic drum kit you will probably fall in love with it. Your wallet won’t, though.
Answer: Starting from the premise that compared to acoustic drums, it makes hardly any sound at all, it can be annoying as if you were drumming on a leather cushion or on your desktop with some chopsticks.
Answer: Yes, on average, they are. The good thing is they fold up and fit into tight spaces if you have it set up at home and don’t have a lot of space.
Answer: Alesis has good a good grip on the selection of entry-level electronic drumsets. Yamaha, Roland, and newcomer Efnote, are brands you will see in the top tiers. Roland, personally, is one of my favorites.
Answer: Mostly size, and the fact it doesn’t make a considerable racket. Some more advanced electronic drumsets feel very similar to a real acoustic drumkit, which has made a lot of professional drummers have them as part of their sets.
Answer: It depends on how much musical talent you have, although nevertheless, everybody can learn. I would give it a year, year and a half before you can say “you “play the drums”. At first, the learning curve is exponential, which makes everything easier.
The Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit does not disappoint. The mesh pads are pretty cool and found to be durable and well made. The frame provides decent support- it is very quick to set up and ultra-compact, making it ideal for beginner drummers and a secondary practice kit for advanced musicians. The Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit electronic drum kit offers excellent sound for its low price. It is versatile and perfect for practicing at home. While it may not meet the needs of advanced drummers, it is a good beginner drum kit and offers excellent value for the money.
All in all, this is a fantastic electronic drum kit. The sounds are not the best, but there is an impressive range of drum sounds to choose from. The Nitro module is accurate and responsive, which adds to the enjoyable experience of playing with it.