- Bang for buck10
- Sound Quality10
Summary : The Alesis Nitro is the best-selling electronic drum kit in 2017 and for good reasons. It offers incredible bang for buck - it comes at a negligible price point but at the same time is packed with features. Comparable to other models that are three times the same price!
Electronic drums have really revolutionized the way we make music today. They add substance and extended versatility to a studio or even a live drummer’s music arsenal. Advances in music technology have enhanced the hardware of electronic drums with software but the demand for even better quality is still high.
Electronic drums have been a staple for Rap and Hip Hop for years. They also provide great rhythm for one-man bands too. Singers or songwriters who want to perform or record music without necessarily having to learn a lot about programming drums can achieve their goals quite easily using electronic drums. Let’s also not forget that the drums provide the perfect practice tools for keyboardists, bass players, and guitarists.
How Does an Electric Drum Work?
The basic operating principle of almost every electronic drum is actually very simple.
The drum has a sensor under the rubber pad or mesh head. Whenever you strike the pad, the sensor underneath sends a voltage value to the brain, or sound module, which translates the value of the voltage to a specific sound. The sound produced can be a cymbal, a drum, or anything depending on the voltage value initially produced and the module’s features. The module can also translate the speed of the strike into a specific value that will determine how soft or loud the sound will be.
Advanced designs of electronic drums come with two or even three sensors beneath the pads. This allows a single pad to produce multiple sounds. For instance, a snare can produce a head sound as well as a rimshot, while a cymbal pad can deliver the sound of a bow, bell, or even an edge hit.
Benefits of an Electronic Drum Kit
Electronic drums technology has really taken the music industry to a new level. It has given drummers a potential that they could not dream of in the last decades. Here are some of the awesome benefits and advantages of owning an electronic drum set.
As any drummer would tell you, the ability to simply dial in the perfect drum kit sounds any time you want is simply awesome. This is the kind of versatility provided by electronic drum kits.
You may be called for different gigs that require different music styles probably on short notice. Having a drum set that can manage different types of gigs is always helpful. Remember today’s pop musician could just as well be tomorrow’s jazz player strumming out 1970s covers. Rather than own a collection of different acoustic kits for different genres, your single electronic kit will be enough to do it all.
Live Playing Convenience
An electronic drum kit can handle all your gig requirements quite conveniently. It solves all the playing problems whether you are playing in a church, a concert, or a club. It is suitable for all environments. In small stages or clubs, you can rely on the kit’s near-silent pads performance while in large stages, where you don’t need microphones, the drum kit will give your audience all the fun they wish for.
The electronic drum kit gives the power keyboard players have been boasting of since the evolution of MIDI sequencing. This is the ability to create tracks and even edit them to your liking. You can capture every groove you want and still insert in a late hit or balance velocities to your preferred style.
Practice Anywhere, Anytime
If everyone who has a drummer neighbour was reading this review, they’d buy their noisy neighbour an electronic drum kit. Every drummer has encountered the issues of complaining neighbours at one time in their drumming careers. An electronic drum kit gives you the ability to practice quietly without disturbing the peace and tranquility of your neighbours. It features practice-pad-quiet volume that you can listen to via headphones. You can even practice songs you want to play using built-in metronomes and auxiliary inputs such MP3 players, iPods, laptops or smartphones.
Regardless of whether you are on a road tour or simply practicing from the comforts of your apartment, the compactness and portability of an electronic drum set are quite convenient. You can easily carry and transport the kit anywhere you want. The kits require less transportation space and weigh less than the traditional counterparts. The electronic drum kit is designed to fold and fit into a small storage space at your home.
Considering the benefits and advantages provided by electronic drum kits, we went out to research on the best model on the market to help you make an informed decision when shopping for the best electronic drum set. The electronic drum set we have reviewed below meets all the demands of a beginner and professional drummer. Let’s take a moment to look at its features and other functionalities in details.
Our Review of the Alesis Nitro Electronic Drum Set
What Is the Alesis Nitro?
The Alesis Nitro has everything anyone would need to play drums like a seasoned pro. It is a complete 8-piece drum kit featuring tom pads, a dual-zone snare drum, cymbals, an aluminium mounting rack, and a powerful electronic drum module that gives you hundreds of percussion sounds and 60 built-in tracks. Actually here is what is included in the package:
- The drum module
- Five 8-inch drum pads, 1 snare drum pad, 3 tom pads and a kick drum complete with a stand
- Three 10-inch cymbal pads - the hi-hat, ride cymbal and a crash
- One hi-hat controller
- One bass drum pedal - the set's kick pad is large and sensitive enough to handle a double bass pedal
Setting up the Kit
The Alesis Nitro actually comes ready to play as soon as you get it out of the box. Setting it up is quite easy. There is even a setup video to guide you. It won’t take you more than hour to set it up even if you are a first-time drum assembler.
When completely set up, the entire set will take up a space of around 6 feet by 4 feet depending on how you want to position it. To be honest, the Alesis Nitro is the largest kit in its price range but don’t forget that is also the sturdiest of them all.
You’ll definitely want to hear yourself play at first before you take it out for your next gig. In this case, you’ll need headphones or speakers and of course an amplifier. If you opt for headphones simply connect them via the Nitro’s 1/8 inch to ¼ inch adapter. Once you plug in headphones, amplifier or some speakers, you’ll be ready to start rocking.
Here are some of the most impressive features of the Alesis Nitro.
Natural Dynamics and a Great Feel
This complete 8-piece electronic drum set features everything you’d want in a drum set. Its dynamic 8-inch tom pads includes a dual-zone snare drum that provides an awesome feel and response enhanced by its kick drum pad that comes with a pedal. The cymbals will give a wide range of sounds while the aluminum mounting rack resting on 4 posts keeps everything secure and stable.
Versatile Expandable Sounds
The electronic drum set features a Nitro module with 40 ready-to-play sounds. You’ll get both modern and classic tunes from this module. You can even create your favorite from the module’s 385 custom sounds or simply perfect your skills using 60 built-in play tracks contained in the module.
Stable and Securely Held Together
The Alesis Nitro’s 4-post mounting rack holds everything securely to ensure that no matter how hard you play, everything stays intact. Its height adjustment and memory lock features are great for drummers who want to take their skills to the next level. The entire set is also quite easy to set up wherever you want to play from.
The Best Quality Pads
One thing you’ll love about the Alesis Nitro is it's quiet and responsive drum and cymbal pads. They are all made of the finest rubber. The pads give you a realistic drum feel and the ability to practice anywhere, at your apartment or club.
Talking of performance, you’ll be surprised by the wide range of sounds and versatility you get from this thing. It has a backlit LCD screen that helps you navigate through different features with great ease. The cymbal and drum buttons are have a similar arrangement to the traditional kit which makes it easier and quicker to assign sounds or even create your own kits. The Nitro module’s 40 classic and modern kits provide an easy, ready-to-play practice guide. You can easily play an existing kit or simply create one of your own from the 385 drum, cymbal, or percussion sounds.
There are lots of extra functions in the Nitro module from sixty play-along tracks to an onboard metronome. Expand your potential in making music with the Nitro module’s performance recorder and high quality sequencer. The unit features a USB MIDI connection that makes it possible to use the electronic drum set with a computer or mobile device.
The Nitro module also provides those old school MIDI I/O jacks that enable users to use any audio equipment, sound module or any MIDI equipped drum machine. The headphone jack is great for quiet practicing especially if you practice in your apartment. Let your neighbours get the peace they deserve by practicing using a decent pair of headphones.
The Nitro module’s stereo outs can easily connect to a PA, an amplifier, or any recording console you wish to connect to. Its stereo auxiliary input ports can be used with a CD or MP3 player so you can play along your favourite tracks. Here are a few more functional benefits the Alesis Nitro provides:
- You can connect the Nitro drum module to a computer using the USB/MIDI connection. You can even connect the Nitro module to virtual instruments and any recording software you prefer to use. The Nitro module is cross-compliant and works with all modern Mac or PC devices without needing to download drivers or software. It is completely compatible with most modern operating systems.
- Play along tracks can be adjusted in many ways including volume level and tempo. The main key cannot be adjusted but you can toggle the drums using the DRUM OFF key located at the front of the Nitro module.
- You can use other dual-zone single pads with the Nitro module although it functions best when connected to the included drum kit. Third-party triggers can be used too but they will not respond as well as you may expect. It is highly recommended you only connect the included drums or cymbals.
Pros and cons of the Alesis Nitro
- Comes with 42 beats to help you practice
- Module is intuitive and easy to learn even as a complete beginner
- You can use the set with a double bass pedal (rare for electronic kits!)
- The 4-post aluminium mounting rack not only looks great but it's stronger and sturdier than anything else in this price range
- It has an AMAZING bang for buck
WE DON'T LIKE
- Fewer pads than Alesis's last similar model
- Few more advanced features would've been great - such as a triple zone ride and a half-open hi-hat.
Ask any drummer who has been in the industry long enough and he or she will tell that Alesis is a renowned name that has continuously provided great products for drummers. The Nitro is no exception to this rule. It may seem as an advanced version of the previous version, the Alesis DM7X, but its groundbreaking features and specs are simply incomparable. This is an electronic drum set worth investing in whether you are a beginner or pro drummer.