No doubts that Alesis has grown as a company to become one of the top brands for electronic drum sets today. I wasn’t a fan of their products a few years ago, but since then I changed my mind and I’m a big fan nowadays.
Value for Money
- The kits come with all-mesh pads, which makes it great for performing in noise-less productions.
- You can alter the tension which you can use with the kit as a MIDI controller.
- You can import samples on the kit.
- Use it in the studio as the MIDI controller.
- You may be a bit disappointed with the hi-hat and the free-floating hi-hat pedals that are not very playable.
- The sound on the module is a bit harsh, with less dynamism.
There are several details with this electronic drum kit, but nothing you cannot handle. I will be reviewing the kit and high-lighting a few features that made me love the unit.
About the Alesis Crimson II
Many of the drum kits from Alesis today, feature high-quality functions. And this is why they have been receiving a lot of positive feedback today.
The Alesis Crimson II kit comes with very few issues. For this reason, it works well as an alternative for any drumming level.
With the set, perhaps the only thing you may want to buy separately is the cymbals. The ones that come with the kit don’t sound very convincing, which may be a bit disappointing.
This kit comes with:
- An 8-inch kick, 8-inch dual-zone rack toms, 10-inch dual-zone floor tomes, and 12-inch dual-zone snare
- Four cymbals (one 12-inch hi-hat, two 12-inch choke-able crashes, and 14-inch triple-zone rid).
- Crimson 2 module (with 74 drum kits, 672 sounds, and 120-play along tracks, a built-in metronome, USB MIDI output, 1/4 -inch stereo outs, USB memory stick).
Hardware and accessories
- Four-post rack
- Double-braced snare stand
- DM Hi-Hat pedal.
Who is the Alesis Crimson II suitable for?
Alesis has been making impressive kits to cover all needs of users. And the Crimson II does not disappoint.
Based on its features, I would say it’s pretty much a solution for everyone. It comes with a full mesh setup and rubber cymbal pads. This means it is very silent, suitable for practicing at home or performing on stage.
The sounds also stand out against most of its competitors. This item has a sound module with nice samples that directly rival the Roland TD-1K.
The drums and pads
One of the things that will certainly capture your attention is the size of the drum pads on the kit. They are extra-large, a feature that only comes with higher-end kits. For instance, the snare carries an incredible 12-inch playing surface, which is bigger than most competitors.
Also, the pads are made with mesh heads containing real hoop and lugs. You can, therefore, loosen or tighten the snare head for better response, or loosen the toms for a darker bound. You can also adjust the bass drum to your desired range.
The upright kick tower that holds the 8-inch bass drum pad is pretty steady. It comes with supporting spikes on both the racks, allowing you a solid performance with both single and double-bass functions.
Alesis seems to have given special attention to the three toms on the Crimson 2. They come in different sizes, a produce better sounds than what you get some sets in this price range.
You will also love the cymbals on this piece. It comes with a portable and light hi-hat controller. But you will not get a hi-hat stand as you would in other mid-range and high-end option,
Each cymbal is independent of others, and you can fasten them individually using a cymbal nut. There could be some movements when you strike them, hence focus on positioning them right.
You will definitely like the sounds on the Crimson 2. It features many sounds and special functions.
You get a total of 671 sounds ranging from acoustic sets to e-drum kits, to percussion, as well as a few SFX sounds. These sounds are divided into 54 drum kits. Besides, there are 20 free spaces for custom sounds.
Saving sounds on the module is pretty easy. All you need is select the “voice” you want to use and assign it to a specific pad, cymbal, or the pedal you want. And once you are satisfied, you can store them in the empty slots.
And the sounds are pretty incredible. Of course, there are a few dud kits that may not sound as interesting, but you can always create alternative sounds.
Even though some drummers prefer sound sampling from other manufacturers, this kit offers a more personal taste, which is something you may want to consider.
Other important features
Apart from the onboard 671 sounds, you can import your own samples. The kit comes with USB MIDI functionality, which lets you load cymbal and drum samples.
For those who enjoy using MIDI and virtual instruments, then you will love the Crimson II. Connect it to your PC or Mac and use it alongside your favorite DAW tool.
Choosing between Electronic and Traditional Drum set in 2021
When it comes to getting the best drumming feel, everyone has their own taste. And in the world where there is so much to choose from, you can always be sure to find something interesting.
Choosing between electronic and acoustic drums is, therefore, more of a personal decision. Each type of set has features that make it stand out and perhaps seem better.
However, we can always find common ground where each of these kits will make sense. It is vital to establish your needs before setting your priorities and choosing the right kit.
Consider the following.
The sound and the feel
If you are looking to get the best sound and the most excellent feel of drumming, the acoustic pieces should be your best option.
Many musicians just love the feeling and sound of traditional drum sets. I can’t blame them. Such traditional cool feel only comes from acoustic drums.
However, there are could certain sounds you want that you can never find in these drums. Electronic drum sets, on the other hand, offer a more versatile solution. You have a chance to choose different drum kits, from a single portable unit.
You can customize and electronic drum set to give you a wide range of drum sounds. Also, they come with fine-tuning features that will open your mind to great imagination.
Besides, some of the high-end e-drums come with all these features with improved sounding and feel. They feature the biggest pads and are set in a similar way as the traditional setup. This characteristic makes them worth your investment.
Ranges and quality
When picking up any drum set, one of the things you need to consider is the price. And this is determined by features; you can always pick something that fits your budget.
For acoustic drums, it is the construction and material of the heads, that determines the price. On the other hand, electronic drum sets go by the module’s features, connectivity, and sound.
Both these sets come in varying price ranges, sizes, and quality.
It is always important to do proper research before settling on any option. Rush, you will not get the best.
In most cases, it is the drum brand that most people consider. In acoustic drum sets, we have Pearl and DW, which offer beginners to professional products. There are many other brands, all offering various features.
For electronic drums, there is Yamaha and Roland as the biggest players. And then there is Alesis, which has been making a mark in the beginner to mid-level e-drum solutions.
Electronic drum sets offer more versatility, portability, and functionality. This is why they are the best choices for most players.
Alternatives to Alesis
The Crimson II is an excellent e-drum set if you need an all-mesh solution. But there are several alternatives with similar and even better features.
One such product is the Roland TD-11KV. It comes with mesh heads on the snare and the three toms. The bass pad is not mesh though, and the whole kit is smaller than Crimson II. It is also a bit more expensive, perhaps because of its high-end module.
Another great option would be the Yamaha DTX562K. The kit bears the same number of pads as the TD-11KV, featuring four mesh drum pads, one rubber, and three cymbals. This kit is also more expensive than the Crimson II, thought their features don’t differ very much. The heads come with factory-set tension that allows you to alter with a drum key.
The Crimson II is an electronic drum kit from Alesis that targets experienced players. It comes with some premium features that make it a great value for money. You will not get any all-mesh kit at this price range from Roland and Yamaha.
And because it has wonderful sounds and DAW VST compatible, there is nothing you cannot do with this kit. I would recommend it for all levels of drummers.