Alesis has changed the entry-level drum sets market with their inventions. And the Alesis DM Lite Kit is a true example. Before the company came into action, beginners had a difficult time with companies like Roland and Yamaha, making electronic drum sets for high-end users only.
Today, there are better sounds with entry-level kits, even from the main giants in the entry, thanks to Alesis’s competition.
I have been reviewing Alesis’ products for quite a while now, and this five-piece drum kit that is the DM Lite sounds incredibly wonderful. It comes with three cymbals and a wide range of different drum sounds. It is quite fascinating how compact and portable the kit is.
What to consider when buying a beginner e-drum kit
Before looking at the DM Lite features, I thought it would be nice to share a few tips on what makes a beginner drum kit worth the money. Consider the following:
I would have said you begin with your needs, but a starter only has one thing in mind – to get the best drumming experience, so that is already taken care of. If you really want to get the best, brand consideration matters a lot.
There are so many e-drum sets on the market today that choosing the right one does not just look as easy as it should be. Different brands have come up with luring features just to make sure you buy what they are selling.
Alesis, for instance, is one of the biggest e-drum makers on the market today. For the past few years, the company focused on bringing the best sounds to those who cannot afford high-end products. As such, it is one of the most recommended brands.
There are many ways to know what a company can give you. First, consider what your friends are using, or what they recommend. Those who have been in the industry long enough may have the best ideas on where you should begin.
Second, check out their website and notice how long they have been on the market. A long time on the market means they have the best experience and will get you where you want to be.
Again, the company must be trustworthy. You can tell this from the information they give about their product. Some companies overprice their drum sets just to look good.
Looking for an entry-level e-drum set means you have to sacrifice quality sounds. We all know that e-drum sets don’t sound as good as acoustic sounds.
However, today, many manufacturers are making an effort to bring the sounds as close to the real drums as possible. This is why there are variations in the prices of these drums.
Nevertheless, it does not mean that you just pick any cheap electronic drum set you find out there. You can always find something cheap, yet one that sounds wonderful.
Besides, you may not use e-drums forever. They are only good for practicing because of their discreteness. Once you are sure about your skills, you can then switch to acoustic drums.
And that is where the real problem may arise. Many drummers who begin with e-drums find it hard to adjust to real drums. This is mainly because of rounding differences.
Hence, you need to find something that offers the most realistic experience. It has to trigger the feeling of an acoustic kit.
Adapting to acoustic drums may be hard because e-drums are very small, and their set-up is minimalistic. Acoustic drums, on the other hand, are as big as they are loud.
Luckily, manufacturers realized this issue, hence making drum pads that are larger. It is therefore advisable to go for larger bass, snare, and cymbals. When you switch to the acoustic ones, it may feel like you trained on them.
The good thing about beginner drums sets is that they don’t have to be too complicated. All you want is to learn rhythm, timekeeping, and hitting with the right amount of force.
For this, you only need a metronome and the drum pads. Other features found on higher-end products can be left for studio producers and more experienced drummers.
But there are other features like inbuilt coaching functions and play along with tunes that can help you perfect your skills. It would, therefore, be wise to have them included.
Also, if you wish to do more, like expand your kit, or record your songs, there are drum set with such features.
About the Alesis DM Lite Kit
If you are looking to start to learn to drum, then the entry-level DM Lite Kit from Alesis could be a wonderful solution. It comes complete with five pieces, including three cymbals, hence ready for you to begin playing.
It is one of my favorite beginner kits because Alesis has tried to bring out the best sound in the low-end products. And perhaps this is the reason it is very famous among many consumers.
Who is the DM Lite Kit for?
One of the main reasons the kit has been selling very fast if its low price and light build. With about $300, you can get this kit in many stores, including online channels.
Besides, there are not very many other drum kits in the same price range but with similar features. It may be nothing compared to any Roland or Yamaha, but finding the right alternative may not be very easy.
The DM Lite is one of the lightest and portable e-drum sets you will find on the market. If you are the kind who moves around a lot, you can easily fold it into your carrying bag, and you are good to go. Thus, also means the kit will fit in any room, as long as you know how to fold it well.
These lightweight features make the DM Lite a good choice for kids. They can fit in their room and practice without disturbing anyone. As if that is not enough, the kit can be connected to a headphone to not make any noise.
Sometimes parents look at the prices and think it is not a risk they can take. But do you want your kids to take drumming seriously? Then you need to get them something that encourages them to play on.
As stated above, you don’t need to get the poorest sounds just because you are looking for something cheap. It is the quality aspect of this kit that should make it a worthy investment.
It comes with a drum rug that can be set in different ways depending on the player’s needs. This means even grown-ups looking to get into drumming can adjust it to their fit. The pedals are freestanding too; hence they take up less spaces, and positioning them does not require any training.
In summary, if you are a drummer looking for something simple, portable, and affordable in an electronic drum kit, the DM Lite should be on your list. It does not come with all the fancy features of a high-end product, but there is nothing much to expect at this price range.
The DM Lite comes with everything you need to start playing. All the essential components that make an e-drum kit have been included.
From the box you get:
- Alesis DM Drum Module
- One 7.5-inch Snare Drum pad
- Three 7.5-inch tom pads
- Three 10-inch cymbal parts
- One hi-hat
- One velocity-sensitive kick pedal and drumsticks.
The notable feature includes:
- 10 pre-set drum kits
- 30-playlong songs
- 200 percussion sounds
- A metronome
- Coaching features
- 1/8-inch Aux input
- A USB MIDI out
- ¼ inch out
We have already mentioned that the DM Lite is a five-piece complete kit. This means it comes with five drums. The three cymbals included make it a complete drum set.
The five drums come with four pads and one bass pedal. Therefore, the bass drum does not require the use of a pad because it has internal triggering.
Many lower-priced e-drum sets feature bass drum pedals because they are cheaper to produce. The pedal works very simply by sensing when the foot is pressed down, hence triggering the right sample.
These pedals are not very suitable for experienced drummers, which is why the DM Lite is reserved for beginners. It does not offer the best footwork techniques, which may be even impossible to pull off. Anyway, beginners and heel-down players will find these pedals very functional.
The pads are basic in that they only come with a surface trigger. Hence, you should not expect anything like a multi-zoned pad. Also, there is no way you can play to get different sounds from the rim because it does not come with built-in triggers. Such features are not expected in entry-level drum kits.
I liked the built-in lights on each drum and cymbal pad, though. It makes you feel like you are playing something of high value.
Its design is not merely cosmetic. The added lights on the drums make it useful even as an instructional kit.
Some tutorial exercises may work with the lights, teaching you to play specific beats and patterns. I have not seen any other brand use such an innovative feature.
The hi-hat is a freestanding pedal, similar to the bass pedal. Some e-kit cymbals feature a stand on which you can put a pedal at the base as you play. This is a cool feature, but mostly very bulky, which makes the Alesis DM Lite more portable.
The hi-hat controller is directly connected to the drum module with a cable. Its positioning has also been affected to meet the needs of the user.
But the hi-hat on the Alesis DM Lite is not very sensitive. But you can still play in three positions as open, closed, or semi-open. It is very delicate too, which I find to be a huge disadvantage. But since it can function as a second bass pedal, this issue may not be of much concern.
It is the sounds that matter most when you are looking for the perfect e-drum kit. And the Alesis DM Lite comes equipped with a good variety of useful sounds on the module.
There are ten built-in drum kits you can play with. Any genre you want, rock, pop, jazz, and several unorthodox selections have been included. You get more than 200 sounds with cymbals and percussion samples for your choice.
Another thing I found interesting one the DM Lite, is its standard studio kit. This nice-sounding rock/pop kit has a full sounding bass drum with a wide range of attacks. It lets you cut through the sound when working with a band. Such features make the Alesis DM Lite suitable for nearly all contemporary settings.
You will enjoy the tech-sounding kits, and the classic 90’s drum sounds with synth tunes. The synth works with the ride and crash cymbals. But you can switch the settings for the best functioning. The kit also comes with the right amount of strange sounds.
There is nothing much on the sample quality of the DM Lite. It is limited dynamically too, yet the great for a portable set-up.
What the DM Lite can do
- Easy set-up with simple folding. The included pre-assembled rack means you don’t have to start arranging anything.
- Lightening on each pad. Though this feature cannot be disabled.
- You can modify the existing sounds for custom tunes.
- A coach functions for improving your skills.
- It has all the connections to create a modern DAW. It has both MIDI and USB, with the audio ins and outs.
What it cannot do
- The DM Lite comes with a dynamic range from the pads. And there is no subtlety like the higher-end kits.
- Only one playing area on the pads does not make it realistic
- No features.
- The pads are very small, which is never a good size for many.
Conclusion and alternatives
The Alesis DM Lite Kit by Alesis is an incredible entry-level e-drum kit. It is perfect for those in need of something simple yet portable.
Yamaha DTX400K and Roland TD-4KP are on the same level in terms of features and price. The TD-4KP is even more portable and has better sounds. And if you are looking for more sounds, perhaps DTX400K should be your choice.