A lot of people that have an interest in music gravitate towards the drums at some point or another. There is something very exciting about what this instrument brings to the art form. The fact that there is also a physical aspect to playing definitely adds to the enjoyment and appreciation for the activity. Nowadays, everyone can take part and pick up an electronic drum kit, without needing a dedicated and isolated space that was required for big and noisy acoustic sets. Alesis is one of the manufacturers that democratized this access. Their Nitro Mesh Kit is an excellent example of great value, thanks to great features and a manageable price tag.
In this video, I’ve recorded some sound samples and my initial impressions of the Nitro Mesh Kit.
Great pads and options
The Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit comes with great quality pads that feature mesh skins. These offer a realistic feeling and you can even adjust their tension to suit your playing style. This is a great way to develop technique if you are a beginner or to preserve your drumming skills when you play on an electronic set. The snare is a bit different from the two rack toms and the floor tom. It has a second zone on the rim, so you can make use of rim shots.
The three 10” cymbal pads are more straight-ahead types and you’ll have access to a hi-hat, crash and ride. Their single-zone design doesn’t allow for a lot of variation, such as playing on the bell on the ride. That being said, they are dynamic and will play an adequate sample depending on the force you use to play.
This set ships with a kick drum tower and a kick pedal. This is a huge plus, because you’ll have a way more authentic experience. It’s superior to a simple spring model, because you’ll have the appropriate feeling from the beater hitting the pad. You’ll also have access to more advanced techniques, such as doubles. The Hi-Hat is a simple spring pedal which serves its purpose well.
Nitro Mesh Kit’s powerful module
The module that comes with the Nitro Mesh Kit is very well made and easy to use. You get the choice of 40 different preset kits that range from natural-sounding instruments to electronic style drum machines. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the sampling, which is a definite step up from the more affordable Turbo Mesh Kit that I reviewed simultaneously. Additionally, there is the possibility of some editing. You can adjust the EQ and even activate reverb. Also, you can mix and match different pieces to create your own user kits. This adds a lot of depth to this product.
In addition to a metronome, you have access to a virtual drum coach which will help you build your time-keeping skills and supplement your private lessons. The beat analyzer is always on, letting you know how late or ahead you are according to the metronome. This is an excellent reference to tighten up your playing. Additionally, you’ll be able to follow along different snare beats, full kit patterns and musical tracks. Each of these modes has various difficulty settings to help you ease into things. It’s definitely a great way to learn and will really help you develop your ear; essential if you want to perform with other musicians on day.
There is a simple recording feature so you can listen to yourself. Taking a step back and analyzing your own playing is one of the best ways to develop your musicality. When we are actually performing, we get distracted by the actual physical demands of playing and might be slightly misled on how things are coming along. Listening to your own beats can be a difficult experience, but it will definitely point out which areas need work, so I highly recommend doing it from time to time.
The module has many different connections to make it a very flexible unit. First of all, you get the usual main stereo outs, headphone output and an auxiliary input to jam along to your wired device such as a CD player or iPod. You have two inputs for additional pads; a fourth tom and a second crash cymbal. Finally, you’ll also have access to some digital possibilities. You’ll have a dedicated MIDI input and output, as well as a USB out. Use these to interface with external sound banks and your computer. This opens up a huge amount of possibilities for your playing, recording and songwriting needs.
Good choice for every level
Beginners will greatly benefit from starting out on a fully loaded product such as the Nitro Mesh Kit. The mesh heads really make a difference in technique development and future proof your investment. The cool thing is that you also get a two-zone snare for the all-important rim trigger that is very common. The fact that you also get a genuine kick pedal with a tower pad is very good news, since the bass drum is one of the most important aspects of drumming.
More experienced players will definitely appreciate these features. Also, the fact that you can adjust the tension on the skins is another plus for those that have explored how it affects their playing. I’m pretty sure they will equally appreciate the quality sounds included in the module and the fact that it’s easy to plug into any kind of external sound bank for easy exploration.
This electronic kit is a lot quieter than an acoustic, but be aware that vibrations still travel through floors and walls. I recommend a thick rug or maybe even a rubber mat to reduce the possibility of complaints, if you have neighbors who live below you.
This particular set is a great value for your money, thanks to its quality sounds and hardware. It’s a great investment because you’ll be able to grow with it and use it for years to come.
Check out the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit on Best Buy’s website.