When I was still a newbie to drum sets, I wanted to know the best electronic drum sets on the market. Back then, I remember Yamaha and Roland as the only giants.
Also, I was only playing acoustic drums, which became very loud for my family. They suggested that I get an e-kit to make my practice more efficient.
I could not afford any Roland or Yamaha. But I was glad Alesis was just coming up with more affordable options.
Today, Alesis has become one of the most reputable makers of e-drum kits. They have joined the market firmly, targeting entry-level buyers mostly.
With the advancement being witnessed in the industry, there is no doubt that Alesis is going far. Electronic drum sets have now received the respect they deserved.
In this guide, I will be reviewing the DM5 drum kit, one of the company’s latest entries. I know we all have different experiences with different manufacturers, but Alesis has earned good standing.
Are Alesis Drums any good?
There are so many e-drum manufacturers on the market today. Hence, it can become overwhelming to pick the right one, especially if you are still new.
Besides, brand selection is among the main aspects to consider when looking for a good set.
It is therefore normal that any buyer would want to know if a brand is outstanding.
I have come across such questions as things online while looking for reviews on e-drum kits. Alesis is one of the names that will always come up in such situations.
Alesis is not a new name in this industry. This means they have several products that have done well in the industry. Alesis has had products such as electronic musical instruments, drum amplifiers, drum accessories, amplifiers, digital audio interfaces, and many others.
Each user may have a different opinion of the manufacturer. I met one online who says people should stay away from Alesis as they have bad products.
However, in my experience, I have never seen anything wrong with their drum kits. Here are some reasons why:
Value for money
Any drum set would be priced based on its features. There are those made for the lower market, which sacrifice features for the price.
Alesis offers some of the most affordable products out there. If you are looking for an excellent set to practice on, you can always rely on this company.
But then, you must remember that they will not give the functionality of a high-end drum set. Most of them don’t sound or feel anything like real drum sets.
Also, the quality of e-drum sets depends on how much you are willing to invest. But you will be surprised that Alesis’s beginner drum sets are really good.
Besides, the company has several higher-end sets that compete well with giants like Yamaha and Roland. Alesis seems to have invested heavily in technological advancement.
Alesis has been very effective in creating suitable kits. Their quality is quite remarkable.
Generally, Alesis remains a big part of the music industry. If you are looking for a good set, you can always find one.
But that does not mean they have all the best kits. You should look for other brands if you need more advanced features.
About Alesis DM5 Kit
I have been playing many electronic drum sets over the years, which has given me a great experience. The newer and better versions that have come up all seem to have something in common – they have greatly advanced technology.
And where pocket-friendly set-ups are involved, the DM Pro is one kit you can always rely on. Well, it does not come with all the features you would expect from a high-quality kit, but this less affordable package offers a great argument.
Who is the kit for?
The DM5 entry-level e-drum kit comes with a rubber pads setup that fits the DM5 sound module’s long-standing reputation. It is not a top-quality product, but still a decent value for cash.
If you are a beginner looking for an affordable kit, this should be a good product. Besides, as a beginner, you don’t need an expensive kit.
As a parent, you may want to buy something good for your kid; this is the kit you should get. It is not expensive and yet useful enough to perform.
A professional drummer can also find the DM5 kit very useful. You can use it for practice and or learn new moves from home.
However, this is not a kit for professional performance.
The first thing I sought to discover was the hardware and setup of this kit. I was not expecting much, but it surprised me.
The kit was very compact and well-arranged. It is configured with a black rack in frame for the pads, five trigger pads for drums and one for the hi-hat, two cymbal pads, and a DM5 module. The module carries 12 analog trigger inputs.
The black-painted rack comes with many clamps housing the side extension and tom arms—Tehra T-bar leg support on either side, supporting the whole frame.
Assembling the kit was very easy. Everything seems to have been made for straightforward assembly, giving this kit a significant advantage over others at this price range.
Straight from the box, you can see that the hardware is exceptionally lightweight. But it supports the velocity-sensitive playing pads quite well.
Each pad is about 8-inches, presenting a somehow larger playing surface than earlier kits. Each pad features a ¼-inch jack socket that lets you connect to the module. They also come with sockets for dual triggering.
The cymbal triggers are 12-inch each and straightforward to position on the rack.
Concerning the compatibility of the hardware, the mount may not accept other brands. This is because the tube diameter is smaller.
Playing the surface of the DM5 cymbal pads, including the hi-hat feels a bit hard. Specific small details don’t come out clearly. But like I said initially, there is not much one can expect from a beginner kit.
The DM5 drum module is very old and yet still useful. It comes with a wide range of sounds, all of which have passed the test of time.
You get a wide range of both acoustic and electronic percussion tunes with a few notable features. It has more than 500 internal sounds and 21 kits on which you can store 61 sounds each. These drum sounds are not very disappointing, based on how good they can be used.
Simplicity is a good part of operating a drum set, especially electronic ones, and this module delivers that. It may not be the ideal module for modern technologies, but still very useful.
The new DM5 Pro looks and feels more sophisticated than the normal standard DM5. It is a more home-friendly kit and makes a great partner for modern drummers.
Alesis may have believed that making improvements could give the DM5 a better boost. And they have delivered it in this kit.
The typical DM5 kit featured a rack that was not very good. It was too basic, featuring a simple flat, square design, without much to offer.
The rack on the Pro is still simple, but it has been given a little lift. It performs better than the original one.
Now it uses a curved front bar, which is the most significant improvement. It might seem minor, but once you use it, everything becomes clear. It allows the user to position the pads attached to it comfortably.
Also, this new feature improves the kit’s appearance, with a better hi-hat mount.
Alesis has also added reinforcing arms running between the curved bar and the feet. This increases stability, making it stand out from the DM5 kit.
The slightly tiring middle and bottom rack bars have been eliminated, improving the sleekness of the kit. This is another feature that shows the company’s focus on improvement.
Unlike the previous version, the kick pad and the pedal are separated. Here, the pad is supported by straight legs while the pedal attaches with the same clamping approach.
There seems to be nothing much about this arrangement. But once you have mounted it on a carpet, you will realize the whole arrangement appears more professional than you may have thought.
Nothing has changed on the feeling of the kit. However, the new version is designed to be set and set and stay strong. Hence, you don’t want to transfer it too much from place to place.
Every other component looks nice and sturdy, only that you have operated each of the numerous clamps with a drum key. Also, there are chances of fiddling around while putting the components together, which could inconvenience traveling.
Nevertheless, if you have a big vehicle, you will not have any issues transporting the DM5 Pro. Still, it would be best if you were very careful. You wouldn’t want to risk anything with your kit.
The rack is among the most significant upgrades that Alesis has done here. But the pads that hang from it offer another good reason to invest in this kit.
Simple rubbers that defined the original DM5 have been eliminated. They are now perfectly crafted and functional within their means – but still not something you would be thrilled to play on.
From afar, you would think the heads are mesh. It has not. Instead, they have used plastic heads, which are the closest cousin to the mesh one.
You will find cast plastic chassis on the drums, a short shell, and triple-flanged hoops. This makes them feel more realistic.
Also, four lugs have been added for tensioning the heads. Hence, you can tune them to your taste and liking.
I liked how the pads feel positive under the stick. I am not saying it’s anything like real acoustic drums, but they are close enough in their standard.
The cymbal pads on the Pro have been improved. Like the Yamahas, they are simple bell-shaped components. They may not feel or sound like real things, but they are still quite playable.
The hi-hat is simple, like any budget solution. It is allied to a plastic pedal but performs better than many entry-level parts I have seen.
The sound module
The Dm5 drum module remains the same with the same trigger inputs. I must point out that this brain has been around for a long time, and perhaps it’s time Alesis should consider changing it.
Nevertheless, it’s still a functional unit. It comes with 21 kits on offer bearing 500-odd sounds. It also features simple editing, letting you create endless tunes.
It is not too complicated with many features. Other modules leave it behind in terms of realistic sounds and editing depth, but you cannot expect much at this price range.
Ease-of-use is a good score for this kit. Given that it has undergone several upgrades, it’s safe to say Alesis has done a great job here for modern drummers.
Besides, it comes with advantageous trigger-to-MIDI capabilities. These are very applicable both in live and studio settings.
And if you want more action, hook the DM5 Module to an external hardware sampler. Then, the DM5 Pro becomes something you would never expect from the old version.
Alesis DM5 Manual
The DM5 drum kit is not a complicated kit. It comes with the simplest module and setups on the market, allowing you to play anything you want anywhere.
Setting up the hi-hat and other cymbals should be very easy.
But if you find it hard to set things out, which is common with beginners, the DM5 manual should come in handy. This piece can be easily found online.
You can either use it online or download it.
I found it a bit complex for my test, but it’s very detailed. Everything has been outlined and explained in about 60 pages.
You may never need a manual if you are a fast learner. Connecting and using the DM5 is just like you would with any electronic product.
• A good choice for affordable kits
• Improved features on the DM5 Pro
• Useful sounds
• It comes with a bass drum pedal and sticks
• Not easy to transport
• The sound module is too old with 12 trigger inputs
• Noisy playing surfaces
I play acoustic drums mostly, and hence, I know about responsive playing surfaces. Moving from such a setting can feel a bit out of order.
However, the recent developments in the world of e-drums have made things better. You can find mesh heads with better responses across the market.
The Alesis DM5 drum kit is among these products. I may not recommend it for professional drumming, but it’s an excellent tool for practicing.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best electronic drum kit to buy?
The Alesis Nitro Mesh kit and the Roland TD-1DMK are the most popular choices for a cheap solution. And for the mid-range kits, you will find the Alesis Command Mesh kit, Roland TD-17KV, and Yamaha DTX562K will be good for any drummer.
More advanced options include Roland TD-27KV and Roland TD-50 series.
The best brands for electronic drum sets are Yamaha and Roland. Alesis is also a strong competitor, especially for the lower and mid-range markets.
How do I connect my MIDI drums to my computer?
Connecting MIDI drums to the computer is not hard. However, some modules are class-compliant, while others may need special software.
Check the installation guide that came with your e-drum set to install the firmware well. Or, visit the manufacturer’s website for more instructions.
You will need a drum module that has USB/MIDI input or an audio interface. Then, use the MIDI cable to connect the brain to your computer.
Once you have installed the drivers, enable it through your DAW. Launch the DAW and find the right setting window from where you can do what you want.