Alesis Surge Mesh Review and Guide


The Alesis Surge Mesh Mesh Kit is an 8-piece electronic drum kit that includes everything a percussionist needs to play or practice like a pro. It features a 10″ dual-zone mesh snare pad and three 8″ dual-zone mesh tom pads, plus an 8″ mesh bass drum pad with pedal. It also has three 10″ cymbals that serve as hi-hat, ride and crash, the latter two with a “choke” stop system.

The backlit module features 40 drum kits with 385 sounds and 60 backing tracks. It incorporates a metronome input. It also has a pair of 1/4-inch stereo outputs, headphone output, and a USB-MIDI output to trigger plugins. It has an additional input for a fourth tom pad and a second crash pad, and the knobs for all elements are arranged well to make it easy to assign sounds and create kits quickly.

Load your samples with the drum module also features a USB memory card input. You can use this input to load your wav samples. Once you have loaded the samples, they can easily be assigned to any pad or cymbal on the drum kit. With this, the possibilities are endless.

The “Mesh” Lineup

Nitro Mesh Kit

The Nitro Mesh Kit has an aluminum rack, whereas the Surge is made of chrome. The kick drum on the Nitro is also a bit smaller than the Surge’s kick drum. The heads of all drums are covered with mesh that makes possible a more responsive and realistic performance, closer to the classics’ natural feel. It consists of eight high-quality parts: an 8″ dual snare pad, 3 x 8″ tom pads, and 3 x 10″ cymbals: ride cymbal, charleston, crash with choke function.

The sounds included are decently realistic. It has a Nitro Drum Module with 40 classic and modern kits, 60 backing tracks, 385 expertly controlled percussion and cymbal sounds, and 60 built-in playback tracks. Accessories include a 4-post aluminum rack, connecting cables, drumsticks, drum key, and power supply. All these elements make the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit electronic drum kit a true modern gem.

Turbo Mesh Kit

The Turbo Mesh model has a smaller 8-inch mesh snare that allows for quite a natural feel when playing the instrument. It has three 10-inch cymbals, a hi-hat pedal, a pump pedal, a steel frame, and a pair of drumsticks. In terms of connectivity, it has a 3.5 mm headphone output, 6.35 mm TRS stereo output, and 3.5 mm auxiliary input.

It is a more entry-level prices kit with the built-in turbo kit with more than 100 classified drum and cymbal sounds, and the Turbo Drum module with ten kits between classic and modern, perfect for playing any musical genre that interests us. It also includes 30 internal backing tracks, a drum trainer, a metronome, and 40 extra lessons that can be downloaded to the mobile or computer, which will make it possible to perfect the rolls. It is the cheapest out of the four.

Command Mesh Kit

command mesh kit

This 8-piece kit with mesh drumheads and module with 70 kits, 600 sounds, and 60 play-along tracks is the kit with the most juice squeezed into it. Includes USB input so you can load your own samples on each drum kit element. The Command Mesh Kit includes:

  • 10″ snare drum sensitive in two zones and 3 8″ toms sensitive in two zones.
  • 3 x 10″ hi-Hat, Ride and Crash cymbals with choke
  • Bass drum pedal included
  • Real-time recording (5 tracks internally; 99 via USB)
  • USB/MIDI outputs to control virtual instruments and recording capabilities
  • Four premium chrome posts with cymbal stands.
  • Cables, drumhead wrench, sticks, and power supply included.
  • Retails for just slightly more than the Surge Mesh Kit.

Alesis Drums

Electronic drums went viral in the ’80s, and bands on the scene had to have one; otherwise, they were not cool. But the euphoria for this equipment did not last long, as it seems that the sound quality was not similar to the traditional ones. But electronic drums refused to die, and their manufacturers contributed to preventing this from happening, so they improved them during all these years, so much so that it is common to see bands that have incorporated them into their instruments while still using the cymbals. Today we can see how bands like Rush and Orgy use them in all their concerts.

One of those companies dedicated to the manufacture of electronic drums is Alesis, which has an extensive list of models and designs that have nothing to envy to the big firms of musical instruments. In this article, we will show you their best drums, the most popular among musicians who have adopted them.

Alesis Surge Mesh

alesis surge mesh

Alesis presented in 2018 at NAMM in California two new kits designed with the latest technology in digital percussion: Among them there was the Alesis Surge Mesh Kit. This time we will focus on telling their details and features. This kit is among the best in value for money. A complete kit that stands out from other drum kits for beginners with fewer advantages. I’ll try to outline these advantages and make sure you feel you know your way around the Alesis “Mesh” line and what makes the “Surge” a very good option out of all of them.

Whether you are a beginner who wants to start playing electronic drums in a big way or a more experienced drummer who wants to play without disturbing the neighbors while maintaining a realistic playing feel, the Alesis Surge Mesh Kit is definitely a good choice.

The metal frame of the Alesis Surge Mesh Kit forms a sturdy construction that will stand up to all your drumming sessions. In addition to being chrome-plated, the mounting rack is collapsible and consists of 4 posts, so you will never lose your playing position. You will be able to adapt the drum set to any space in your home.

Its mesh pads are one of its strong points, as they give a more natural playing feel than rubber pads. In addition, they are adjustable to set the rebound and sensitivity to your liking, changing it according to your style or the drumsticks you are going to play with.

They have different sensitivity in two zones, responding with different sounds depending on where you hit the pad, emulating acoustic drums. They are also silent pads, something that is appreciated- especially when we want to practice at home without disturbing anyone.

Surge Drum Module

The new Surge Drum module includes 40 drum kits (24 preset kits + 16 user kits) with more than 385 sounds, 60 backing tracks, and a built-in metronome. With built-in effects (reverb and a 3-band EQ), a radiant LCD display, and even a built-in sequencer with 80 songs. In addition to tons of drum kits and sounds, the Alesis Surge Mesh module comes preloaded with sixty backing tracks for practice and performance.

To get the most out of it, a decent electronic drum kit must also have editing and customization possibilities for kits and sounds. The Surge Mesh Kit allows you to connect mobile phones, mp3 players, and any device compatible with the auxiliary input of the surge drum module. It also has a USB output and MIDI input and output connection. The PC or Mac synchronized drum kit takes the possibilities to infinity, allowing you to create your own kits, connect them to a DAW like Logic Pro, and play along with your favorite songs.

First Time Setup

Setting up this kit is fairly easy, and by following these simple steps, you will have it up and drumming:

  1. Connect the kits pads to the multicable, and this multicable to the multicable in, in the back of the module. *Optional*: If you have additional pads (like a tom or a crash), connect them to inputs Tom 4 or Crash 2.
  2. Connect speakers to the Outputs, and connect headphones (if necessary) to the Phones output.
  3. Turn volume knob to minimum.
  4. Connect the module to a power supply using the power adaptor that comes with the kit.
  5. Turn the On/Off switch to turn the whole module on.
  6. Adjust the volume knob, and voila!

Speakers are to be purchased separately, but I shall recommend some further below.

Closest Alternatives

Being part of the mesh lineup, the best alternatives would probably be amongst them. The Surge Mesh Kit is not the cheapest alternative nor is it the most expensive. It fits comfortably as a cheap option for the quality it offers. The 10″ snare, and the possibility of adding a double kick pedal make it the best choice out of the four, in my opinion. Apart from these options:

  • Nitro Mesh Kit
  • Turbo Mesh Kit
  • Command Mesh Kit

I would add one more in the same category price-wise, but I’d have to suggest pairing it up to external software for a more extensive library of drum sounds:

Millenium MPS 850 e-drum

Millenium MPS-850 E-Drum Set

This Millenium drumkit is a very good alternative, as a medium-level kit, it feels good to play and includes:

  • 1x 10″ Dual-zone mesh-head snare pad
  • 2x 08″ Dual-zone mesh-head tom pad
  • 2x 10″ Dual-zone mesh-head tom pad
  • 1x 08″ Mesh head bass drum pad
  • 2x 12″ Dual-zone crash cymbal pads with stop function
  • 1x 12″ Triple zone ride cymbal pad with stop function
  • 1x Pair of 12″ hi-hat pads on tripod

As you can see, its hardware brings more toms than the Alesis option. Millenium takes a step forward and presents us with a mid-range electronic drum kit that is excellent in many ways. The pads are of high quality, the sounds are excellent, as well as the configuration and recording possibilities that at times border on more high-end electronic drumkits.  Another similar aspect is the rack structure made of carbon fibre reinforced aluminium, highly resistant to any treatment and abuse. I love the structure of the bass drum, because it is fixed to the rack and constitute a single piece, which gives it the greatest resistance and prevents it from sliding backwards.

On the drum module, we find the MPS-850 has 550 preset sounds and most of them are configurable, so you can enhance and customize them. It has 30 factory preset drum kits, as well as 20 kits that can be reprogrammed so you have your own drum setup in one place. Some argue that it doesn’t sound as realistic as the Alesis module, but when you outsource the sounds, this shouldn’t matter much.

Accessories to Buy Along with This Kit

Drum Speakers

So as not to bore you or make this article longer than it actually might be, I’ll go straight to the point: You will need a good amplifier if you’re not planning on only using headphones. Pairing it with a good speaker will give you a good EQ response when plugging it in for practice and for gigs at small venues. For this option, I would go with the same brand and pick up the Alesis Strike Amp.

Alesis Strike Amp 8

Alesis Strike Amp 8

The Strike Amp 8 has all the functionality and versatility to adapt to any location instantly and is very easy to use. It features a lightweight, flexible and tiltable structure that can also be mounted on a stand. It can be used vertically as well as horizontally, tilted like a stage monitor. Dual combined XLR, TRS, and 6.35 mm jack inputs with independent volume controls and clip indicators offer virtually unlimited connection versatility that avoids overloading and distorting the speaker by mistake. It also features an XLR output to connect to another Strike Amp 8 or 12 or send the performance to another input device. Use the built-in contour EQ control. Plus, the ground on/off switch eliminates unwanted noise and ensures maximum sound purity for your own tone. It’s the ultimate mid to high-end speaker, and the price is not that unbearable: 250$.

Drummer Seats and Drumsticks

If you are going to purchase the Alesis Surge Mesh Kit, make sure you get a drum seat with it, it doesn’t really matter which one if you are just starting out. What I can recommend are nylon tip drumsticks. Nylon tips achieve a brighter cymbal sound and are more resistant than wooden tips. If you play electronic drums, try using nylon tips, as they do not splinter and do not influence the electronic sound:

Vic Firth 7AN Nova Hickory Nylon Tip

Vic Firth 7AN Nova Hickory Nylon Tip


If you take a look at professional drums such as those of the Roland brand or other models from Alesis, you will see the price difference sometimes noticeable. One of the features that make the difference, for example, in the best Roland drums, is that the high-end kits use multiple samples for each velocity, which means that you get a different sample from the same drum when you play near the edge or right in the middle.

The Alesis Surge Mesh Kit has sensitivity in two areas of the pad, changing the volume instead of the actual sample. A great way to reduce manufacturing costs and make quality electronic drums accessible to the public.

The best thing about the Alesis Surge Mesh is its excellent responsiveness, thanks to the mesh pads that will also allow you to install a double pedal. There is currently no other electronic drum kit in this price range that has similar features- Another point for Alesis, a leading brand that will continue to maintain the throne in the electronic percussion sector in the times to come. Suppose you are looking for the best quality-price ratio. In that case, the Alesis Surge Mesh Kit has sweeping reviews in the UK and other countries where it is marketed. Beginners recommend it with sights set on playing percussion and well as by more advanced drummers who, with a limited budget, can have a folding kit with mesh pads at home. It does not take up space, so it can be easily folded and placed in a corner to save space in the room.


Question: Which is the Best Out of the Mesh Line for Beginners?

Answer: The ALESIS NITRO MESH KIT. The best electronic drum kit for beginners: the perfect combination of versatility, ease of use, and price. The Alesis Nitro Mesh is clearly the queen of electronic drum kits for beginners. Its quality is also not as good as the other mesh lineup.

Question: How Loud is an Electronic Drumset?

Answer: As hard as you can hit plastic. It’s obviously not completely soundproof, but between that and an acoustic drumset, there is a long way. I would recommend putting the kit on a rug or carpet to further muffle the kick drum.

Question: What is the Best Brand of Electronic Drums?

Answer: Probably Roland or Yamaha. Alesis is a great upcoming brand that has positioned itself very well with its budget options, but you still can’t go wrong with Roland or Yamaha.

Question: What Other Brand Might Compete with the Surge Mesh Kit?

Answer: I usually steer away from “Millenium” products (Thomann’s own brand), but they have an 850 e-drum set that seems to have a very good feeling. Paired up with a good drumming program and maybe not using the module sounds, it could make it a good option if you’re not sold on the Surge Mesh Kit.

Question: If I’m Starting Out, How Much Should I Spend on Electronic Drums?

Answer: Around 200 $ / €. You should be learning on something that is joyful to play. If you’re already a musician, I’d probably spend more because you are going to be put off by the repetitive “sample” sound.

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