Picking the right electronic drum set is not as easy as it may sound. There are many questions that you have to answer, especially if you have never used one before. But you only need to define the line between a brand and its products.
And that is why I think you will not go through affordable e-drums without coming across the Alesis DM6. The first reason is because Alesis is an excellent brand with an excellent reputation. And secondly, the company has invested heavily in producing high-class electronic drum sets.
I have been reviewing drums for quite a while now, and I find Alesis a great choice. Besides, many drummers will recommend this manufacturer.
The Alesis DM6 has been on the market for the past several years. It has been among the best-selling pocket-friendly e-drums.
And today, it continues to hold the market of entry-level drum sets. One of the best things about this drum set is its affordability. If therefore, you are looking for something to get you started with e-drums, then this is perhaps your best option.
Important updates by Alesis
Even though the Alesis DM6 continues to take the market as a valuable drum set, there are updates you may want to check out. So be sure to look at my reviews for the other sets if you are looking to buy a new drum set.
The Alesis Nitro is my favorite. It comes with 385 sounds on the cymbals, drums, and percussion. There are also 40 pre-made kits you can play together with this large quantity of sounds.
Now this means you can always practice your drumming whenever you want. Having an e-drum set like this one gives you control over your playability.
The Alesis Nitro comes with couching mode. Compared to the DM6 module, this kit comes with a lot more cooler functions.
If you are a newbie in drumming, it will help you grow your skills much faster. The player has a choice to drum along any of the drumming patterns or add their own patterns. Better still, the module is designed to track the prayer’s accuracy and improvement. If you have missed any part, it will let you practice until you get it right.
Also, there is the Alesis Nitro Mesh. This is another update that shares similar features and elements at the Nitro kit above. However, expect to get updated mesh drum heads.
With these elements, the Nitro Mesh produces a more dynamo and realistic feel compared to rubber pads. But with such great features comes a higher price. Therefore, it may not be the best choice for a beginner, unless you have some cash burning down your pocket.
Who should buy the Alesis DM6?
The Alesis comes with eight drum sets, just like a regular electronic drum kit. This means you should start playing immediately without having to look for other components.
Alesis is a company that puts every musician’s needs in mind while creating their drums. The company has really come along the way altogether, since 1980.
The Alesis DM6 is one of the most affordable e-drums on the market. It is one of the best selling electronic kits on Amazon.
It is made for entry-level players. Therefore, if you are a beginner looking for something affordable yet useful, then this is the product you should check out.
The kit is the cheapest on the market. And this explains why it is the best seller.
However, it comes with a limited sound range and does not have advanced features. As such, it is not recommended for professional and expert drumming. It will not give you the quality of performance you may be looking for.
About the Alesis DM6
I bought the Alesis DM6 when it was still new on the market because it was looking for something to practice with. I have already sold it, but I must admit it is one great e-drum kit.
Many electronic drum sets don’t sound as great as acoustic ones. But the construction of the Alesis DM6 is aimed at reducing vibration, making the pads sound more natural.
It is, therefore, good enough for beginners. It will not disappoint with artificial sounding like other kits in the same price range.
What is in the box?
If you buy this kit from Amazon, expect to receive a package weighing around 35 pounds. Even if you get it from another source, there should be not much difference.
Inside the box are eight drum pads:
- One dual-zone snare
- There single-zone tom pads
- One kick pad and
- Three cymbal pads
Also, the box includes a rack, AC adapter, and a pair of drumming sticks and a bass drum pedal. These are some of the most important hardware.
There is no drum throne and headphones. So you may have to buy them extra because they are all crucial to your playing needs.
Top Features of The DM6
As stated above, there are eight drum pads; all included in the DM6 packages. These drums make a complete for beginner to start playing.
It is important to mention than a bass drum pedal is included. And a pair of low budget sticks.
While the drum pad is standard and will meet most of your drumming needs, the sticks aren’t. It would be better to consider buying new drum sticks if you don’t want to get disappointed while playing.
The ser comes with an AC adapter and a rack for the drums. The rack is aluminum, hence light and easy to carry around by drum players.
Do not expect a pair of headphones, though you need them if you want to practice silently. They come in handy, especially when you live in an apartment building with so many people around.
The cymbals carry a more natural, player-friendly piece that gives a pleasant feeling with each strike. Besides, they are designed with realistic vibrations. This means you will experience a natural and dynamic feel when you are in the playing mode.
This is very important for people who are learning to play drums. Many manufacturers fail to put into consideration the most crucial fact, the feel when creating drums. But Alesis has been at the forefront of technological advancement in this regard.
Many beginning drummers get confused when they listen to acoustic drums because sometimes e-drums can sound artificial. Hence, it is vital to begin playing drums that come with a more realistic feel. And the DM6 offers these features.
The drum heads are made with rubber. And perhaps this is the biggest drawback with this kit. Rubber does not sound very natural.
However, you cannot expect anything better at this price range. Luckily, the company has tried to help beginners get the best feel, compared to many other brands at the same level. This is quite an advantage because it can even help you transition better to acoustic drumming.
The Sound Module
I cannot insist enough that the DM6 is an e-drum kit for beginners. And one of the main reasons for this is in the module.
The sound module on the DM6 is very easy to operate. It eliminates the complications of more advanced kits, making it a wonderful product for learners.
For instance, the control button is properly tagged. You don’t need to scratch your head so much, trying to figure out how it works. Also, it comes with clear instruction, meaning you can always refer whenever there is something you are missing.
Again, the module comes with 108 built-in sounds. With these sounds, including drums, cymbals, and percussion, you can practice as long as you want. In addition, you get more than 15 possible drum sets.
Alesis has created a blend of 108 different sounds into ten drum sets. The remaining five slots are for the player to use for their own work. So you are free to invent your own drum kits and in include in this system.
You can have even more sounds. The sound module comes with USB-MIDI connectivity. You will need to but a cable to use with this feature. The module is compatible with any computer, so it should not be any hard when you have the cable.
And after connecting, you can tune your drum to sound just like acoustic drums. Or you can change it into any musical instrument, even a keyboard.
How? When you connect the DM6 to the computer, you will be able to record your drum arrangements using the software. And then, when you strike the right pad, it will mimic the sound of the instrument saved in the software.
It is also possible to jam your favorite song. Using an audio cable, connection your mp3 player, phone, or whatever device to the sound module and enjoy the sounds.
And how is the sound?
As I have mentioned above, the pads are made with rubber. This means they reduce the vibration and make the drum set close to natural sounding.
However, if you are looking for a drum set that sounds like an acoustic kit, then the DM6 is not that e-drum set. It does not sound anything close to real drums. And this is one of the biggest limitations that come with this kit.
As if that is not enough, the cymbals don’t have choke ability. A chock-able cymbal rings with a reasonable time length before going quiet.
A cymbal without choke functionality will just go on ringing. You may be forced to stop it yourself. And even though they sound great, it would be better if they could choke.
Also, there are no muting features on the hi-hat. It is either totally closed or fully opened, nothing in the middle.
Such a feature can be good with you are performing in a concert or similar events. But when you want to do your things in private while practicing, you might be forced to think again.
Other Notable Features
The DM6 package includes a cable snake. This cable is important in position for an extra cymbal or drum.
This means, if these three single-zone tome and three cymbals are not enough, this cable can be a great boost. It has two inputs that allows for inclusion to extra pads at once.
The kit is not a regular drum kit that produces sound just as you hit. It is important to have an output that helps you properly hear the sounds.
You have two approaches here. One, you could connect an amp to this drum set. In this case, you will be able to hear from an external speaker, together with everyone around you. This can work with PA when playing in a band.
And two, you may want to play for your ears alone. Hence, the headphones will be good. Simply attach the earphones or headphones you the module, and you are good to go.
Note that the DM6 does not come with a drum throne. Therefore, add this to your list of things you will need to start playing the DM6.
- A more natural sound. They are better than most drum pads in the same price range.
- Easy to handle drum module. And it comes with instructions manual, in case you have any issues.
- It features pretty solid construction. From the pads to the mounting hardware, everything looks very strong.
- A cable snake is included to accommodate two more pads.
- AUX connectivity allows you to play through an amplifier or headphones.
- It is affordable.
- No choke-able cymbals
- The hi-hat does not open halfway.
- No learning mode
If you feel like the DM6 is not what you are looking for, there are a few alternatives. Consider the Alesis DM6 USB entry-level kit. It is a decent kit with all the features of the DM6.
The Alesis Nitro is an upgraded version of the DM6. It comes with better features and more sounds. However, it may not be the best for beginners because of its price and complex module.
The DM6 is, without a doubt, a great entry-level electronic drum kit. It comes with everything to help you get started. Also, it is affordable, which is a good thing for a beginner. But if you are an expert or professional drummer, you may have to dig deeper.