When it comes to creating the best electronic drum sets, Alesis has become a reputable brand. The Alesis Command Series, a mid-level e-drum kit, has been upgraded with an addition of mesh-head toms. Before, they were rubber pads.
This makes the Command Mesh a high-quality budget-friendly kit. It comes with the best performance and features you can expect in such a product.
How good is Alesis on the market?
The world of electronic drum sets used to be run by two giants, Yamaha and Roland. And this is why these are the names that pop out in the names of many users of e-drums.
In the past ten years, however, the market has opened up a huge battleground. This is true, especially in the entry-level and mid-range drums.
And in this Alesis is one company that has really stricken many as a serious opponent. They offer excellent products that are not just what we call ‘me too.’
Because of this, Alesis is now the third name on the list of reputable e-drum manufacturers.
The Alesis collection has been a safe house for making seeking to get affordable electronic music products. They offer a wide range of products from the 3630 compressors, all the way to the SR16.
This is why it does not hit me as a surprise that Alesis has attained a reputable level in the production of electronic drums.
Currently, they have upgrades the Command kit, adding on mesh heads. As such, you should get a pretty impressive sound experience.
In this article, I will be looking at this kit.
About the Command Mesh Kit – Review
There is no doubt Alesis has put a lot of effort into the Alesis Command Mesh Kit. First, the pads have been made better with mesh, giving them better sounding. Also, the range of sounds onboard with the sample playback features all makes it a worthy contender.
In the box, you get:
- Eight-inch kick pad (with pedal), one ten-inch dual-zone snare.
- 8-inch dual-zone toms (3).
- 3 10-inch cymbals (one ride, one crash, and one hi-hat).
- Both kick and the cymbals come with a foot pedal.
- All pads with mesh heads.
There are only three kits by Alesis that feature all-mesh pads, and the Command Mesh Kit is one of them. The other two include the Surge and the premium offering, Strike.
As such, you can expect the best from this five-piece drum kit. It comes with beautifully sounding 3-inch toms pads and a bass drum pad, and a 10-ich snare.
All the pads on the snare and toms are dual-zone. That means you can give separate sounds to the head and rim of these pads. With this, you get eight or so varying voices, before including other instruments.
The cymbals measure 10-inch each, which is an excellent size. Also, you get a 1 ½-inch tube rack system. You can find a similar construction with Roland and Yamaha drums.
Also, you will be glad to know the kit comes with a bunch of the ins and outs. There is a USB MIDI connection. This is a vital feature when it comes to recording MIDI data using a computer. Besides, it comes with normal MIDI in/out sockets.
The 3.5mm headphones and AUX input jacks let you connect external audio devices.
Additionally, there more pad inputs for an extra tom and cymbal pad. There is a USB socket on the side, which lets you connect a memory stick. Use this to jam tracks or play your favorite samples.
Alesis has followed the footsteps of other brands in offering a ‘flat-pack’ style. And this means you will have to build your sounds.
This task takes a lot of time and energy. But you cannot avoid it. Besides, a photographic guide has been included to make the process easy for you.
The module is pretty impressive. It features a sleek look, and it is different from those off-the-shelf modules you may have seen.
It bears a huge rotary control in the middle, which is the central control for everything. And as you may expect, it is pretty easy to navigate through the kits. It is also possible to edit sounds. You may need a bit more work to get through menus with the help of the cursor buttons.
Every sound comes up when you hit a specified playing surface. You can then adjust the volume, decay time, pitch, and reverb, among other parameters easily.
You may have come across a simpler display, slicker interface, which looks much better. But through practice, you will soon learn to navigate through the interface.
The sounds in the module do not disappoint either. They reflect the overall feel of the kit.
You will find a wide range of acoustic kits, including brushed jazz, rock, funk, and power. In other words, there is nothing this kit will not provide.
There are also a bunch of electro standards like snappy snares, handclaps, and Simmons-style toms, among others. There is a surprisingly large amount of tuned percussion that can offer excellent playability on several surfaces. And the dual-zone pads make it all come together nicely.
A player can easily tweak any kind of sound they need. This makes it easy applicable to playing various genres.
This is possible when you connect your phone the aux input or use the USB memory stick. With this, you can upload custom samples.
But there a few setbacks you may encounter. In the manual, it says the function is fit for a USB stick range of 4 to 64GB. It must go through the formation of DOS Fat 32 (this can be done effortlessly on a computer). Also, you have to ensure the samples are in WAV format. Also, they have to mono. Hence, be ready for a lot of editing.
The module creates some folders when it senses a USB stick. And if you have the songs you triggered in the “Samples” folder, the module will display them on the LCD.
Selecting the files and importing them onto the module is a pretty basis too. You can then scroll to the beginning and assign that sound to the pad you choose.
It seems tedious, right? But once you have everything you need in the right place, you will enjoy working with the kit.
- Alesis have included a “proper’ bass drum pad and a sturdy pedal.
- Great for shifting between acoustic and electronic kits.
- A very affordable piece from a reputable company.
- A solid sound.
- The hi-hat control is not sturdy.
- The mounting hardware moves a lot.
The Alesis Command Mesh kit designed for beginner and mid-range drummers. But if you are not convinced it is for you, there are a few alternatives.
One of my favorites is Roland –TD-17KVX. This is a more expensive kit, but it comes with some of the best features on the market—Roland targets, with it a higher range of customers.
A much cheaper option is the Alesis Turbo Mesh Electronic drum kit. You can get it at less than the price of the Command Mesh. And yet it also features mesh heads.
Frequently asked questions
Which is better, Alesis or Roland?
Roland has been on the market longer than Alesis. Besides, their products mostly target professional and more experienced drummers.
Alesis, on the other hand, targets beginners and mid-range drummers. At first, they used rubber heads on their drum pads. But recently, they have been upgrading them, as you can see with the Commend Mesh to feature mesh head.
Hence, in terms of affordability, I give it to Alesis. But when you consider high-quality, the Roland carries the day.
For this reason, it all depends on your needs and budget. Both brands are great at their own levels.
Who makes the best electronic drum kits?
Traditionally, the electronic drum set industry has been a two-horse race involving Yamaha and Roland.
When you mention e-drums, chances are whoever you are telling to will only think of these two. And for long, it seemed the world belonged to them.
But recently, Alesis has joined the race strongly as a worthy opponent. And then there were three.
Are Alesis drums good?
Yes. Alesis has really made a lot of improvements to their products. I was never a fan because of the rubber heads. But today, I can confidently recommend Alesis’ beginner drum kits to anyone seeking to venture into electronic drumming.
What is a mesh drum kit?
Electronic drums are either made either of rubber or Mesh. Mesh drum kits come with pads made of mesh, which a more superior and better sounding material to rubber.
It is mostly featured in higher-end, electronic drums pads. But Alesis has started using them in more affordable kits.
There is no denying Alesis Command Mesh Kit is an excellent kit. And considering its features and price tag, it can say it is a great value-for-money e-drum set.
I would highly recommend for beginners and mid-level drummer. For professional drummers, you may have to check out some Rolands or Yamahas.