June 19

Alesis DM10 MKII Review – Premium Electronic Drum Kit with Mesh Heads

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Alesis is best known for offering the most affordable electronic drum kits in the market. From beginner electronic kits to high-end professional sets, Alesis has made its products stand out not only for practice purposes but also for live and on-stage performances. One of their most famous flagship products is the DM10 MKII Pro.

Intro

The Alesis DM10 MKII Pro is a ten-piece electronic kit, designed for drummers looking for a professional-level kit that can endure both practice and live sessions. Each drum pad is made of woven black mesh head, capable of giving an acoustic feel and sound. With its advanced drum module, the possibilities that you can do with this kit are endless. From its sound recording, play-along tracks, and kit customization, the DM10 MKII Pro is a quality product that could help you with your drumming goals.

Alesis DM10 MKII Pro Review

This Electronic Drum kit offers more features than other electronic kits at the same price. You get more number of mesh drum pads and cymbal pads, with sizes and stick response close to that of an acoustic kit. You can play peacefully without creating sound disturbance due to its silent mesh heads.

The sound module is a great advancement from Alesis and has successfully earned the respect of musicians and drummers worldwide, due to its connectivity to USB thumb drives and MIDI devices.

You can enjoy several features, built-in tracks, training functions, and play-along songs with its powerful sound module. While these are only some of the positive things you can get from this kit, it’s good to be aware of the issues and recurring problems found by some buyers, which will be further discussed below.

What’s in the Box?

Upon purchase, you’ll have:

  • Alesis DM10 MKII Pro Module, loaded with great built-in features,
  • 6 pieces of all-mesh drum pads (3 pieces of 12” mesh drum pad, 2 pieces of 10” mesh drum pad, and 8” mesh kick pad),
  • 2 pieces of 14” crash pad, a 16” triple-zone ride cymbal pad, and a 12” hi-hat, which comes with a real hat pedal.
  • Also, the 4-post chrome quick-lock rack comes with all the clamps, rods, and cymbal arms,
  • A fully adjustable snare stand,
  • Essential cables such as the power adapter, cable snake and cable wraps,
  • Additional freebies such as the drum sticks, and the drum key,
  • And the product’s user guide, and safety and warranty manual booklet.
Pros
  • The kit is massive, containing 6 pieces of drum pads and 4 pieces of cymbals with each pad having a diameter two inches longer than most electronic drum kits in the market.
  • It has a sturdy and customizable rack that can hold the pads and the cymbals firmly, so you don’t have to worry about the whole rack vibrating while you play.
  • It has a superior sound module with several excellent sounds and kits, perfect for your training/jamming sessions.
  • You can adjust the tension in each drum pad to suit your preference or change its parameters on the sound module with a few intuitive steps.
  • The Mesh drum heads produce a crystal-clear drum sound, simulating a response and stick rebound close to that of an acoustic kit.
Cons
  • Some buyers feel that the dynamic range for the drum pads are somewhat limited. For instance, the Snare pad has a concentrated loud volume on the center and a very soft note on the outer radius, making it almost impossible to perform moving ghost notes away the snare’s center.
  • Brushstrokes are not supported, but there are built-in brush sounds that you can assign to a specific pad. Also, cymbal swells are limited but you can choke the cymbal pads right after you hit them.
  • A fair number of buyers experienced occasional dead sounds on the cymbal pads, and some drum pads, after a few months of use.
  • Some users have experienced the same problem with the hi-hat’s pedal, causing a little delay between opening and closing the hi-hat cymbals.
  • Setting up the right sounds, triggers, and settings on the pad might take a while to adjust especially if you are not well-accustomed with piezo trigger settings.

Key Features


As mentioned earlier, the Alesis DM10 MKII Pro offers more features than most electronic drum kits in the market, for the same price. Listed below are some of the things that have contributed to the success of this flagship product.

Drum Module

The MKII Pro’s Sound module is the greatest asset of this electronic drum kit. With more than 700+ sounds, 80 factory kits to explore, and 30 user-defined kits you can create, this kit provides a solid electronic set that you can use anytime and anywhere.

In case you do not prefer the drum sounds or the drum kits on the module, you can easily download or transfer your samples right from your USB Memory stick. Just make sure that the file is in the Fat32 file system, 16-Bit wave format, and is not more than 15MB.

The Module also offers more features such as the onboard sequencer with over 100 patterns, 120 Play-along songs, and built-in metronome, which are all essential for improving your consistency and musicality as a drummer.

Pads and Heads

The drum pads are made of dual-zone sensing technology, featuring an adjustable knob for fine-tuning. The tightly woven black mesh heads provide a great response and stick rebound comparable to a real acoustic drum.

With the provided tuning key, you can easily tweak each pad’s tension to suit your preferred sound. Advanced adjustments on the sound, trigger, and response of the pads could also be changed through the kit’s sound module.

The Cymbal pads are designed to respond to different cymbal techniques such as bow, edge, and bell strokes, which are all essential for building dynamics and incorporating variety in your playing style. With these pads, you can practice without having to worry about producing too much sound and compromising the intensity of your strokes.

Recording and Connectivity

One of the greatest features of the DM10 MKII Pro is its compatibility with USB thumb drives, that you can easily bring with you to play your favorite songs or record your performance right on the spot.

With this feature, you can import any of your Wav or MP3 files to change the drum voices of your kit, or load songs, soundtracks, and loops for you to play along.

In addition, the kit accepts an aux-input, allowing you to connect directly on your mobile phone in case you do not have any USB thumb drive.

To complete the package, the DM10 MKII Pro also has a USB/MIDI Out which is a great feature to access and set up triggers directly in your Virtual Instrument Plugins and software.

Setup


dm10-MkII

The kit is easy to set up since the product includes assembly instructions in the user guide upon purchase. The 4-post chrome rack already comes partially assembled, so you’ll have no problem assembling the base.

The next thing you might want to do is to adjust the rods and the placement of the clamps on the drum pads, and make sure that all pads do not make contact with the rack, or other pads. This will avoid unwanted triggering of the pads, especially if you hit multiple pads at the same time.

It is advisable that you put the kit on a carpeted surface, to avoid vibrations and displacement of the rack.

Set up the cymbal arms on the rack and mount the cymbals. Tighten the wing nuts in such a way that the cymbals will still move freely and swing, but not too much to make the cymbals rigid.

Once you’ve set those things, proceed with the kick drum, position the pedal’s beater just below the pad’s center, to maximize the response and trigger of the kick pad. Remember, the kick drum pedal is not included in the package, so it is wise to buy a non-felt or a plastic beater.

What’s the Difference Between Alesis DM10 MKII Pro and Studio?


DM10MKII Pro kit compare with the DM10MKII Studio kit

In case you didn’t know, the Alesis DM10 MKII has two sub-products, which are the Pro and Studio drum kit. Out of these two, the Alesis DM10 MKII Pro has earned a greater reputation, and here’s why.

The DM10 MKII Pro comes with an extra floor tom, with all pads having a diameter size that is two inches bigger than the studio kit.

The Pro model comes with a fully adjustable snare stand, and a more powerful sound module.

The DM10 MKII Studio kit only offers 50+ factory kits and 20 user-defined kits, while the DM10 MKII Pro has over 70 drum kit presets and up to 30 customizable kits.

In terms of sound and response, the Alesis DM10 MKII Pro has better functionalities and a quicker response time.

All in all, for a difference of $200, you get more features and a larger kit if you buy the Alesis DM10 MKII Pro. While the Studio model serves a good purpose for home/studio practice, the DM10 MKII Pro has more durable materials and more features you can explore, specially designed for both aspiring and seasoned drummers.

Alternatives to DM10 MKII


In case the Alesis DM10 MKII Pro does not suit your taste, you can consider other products that proved to be good competitors for the same quality.

For one, if you are looking for a kit that is as massive as the DM10 MKII Pro, you might want to consider Alesis Strike Pro [ read our complete review here ] instead. This kit is an 11-piece kit, made of higher-quality materials and mesh heads. Compared to the DM10 MKII Pro, the Alesis Strike Pro is of higher quality and price. It contains the same functions of the MKII Pro sound module and offers even more built-in features that would bring out the creative drummer in you.

However, if you feel that these prices are out of your reach, there are great products that you can consider as an alternative, at a much lower price.

Summary


For a mid-priced Electronic kit, you can gain access to a wide range of features and functions that you cannot find anywhere on other sound modules.

The pads are well-built and resemble the response and rebound of an acoustic kit.

The cymbal pads are known to have some issues, but by choosing and adjusting the right triggers, you can maximize the potential of this kit in no time.

You can tweak the sounds of each pad to suit your liking using a given drum key, or even go further by changing its sound, pitch, and tone through the sound module.

If the sounds and the preset drum kits do not suit your style, you can always import your files and sound samples either by connecting the module to a USB drive, or by plugging it in your computer to download sound samples from any of your Virtual Instrument plugins.

All in all, this kit is ideal for practice and studio use, but might not endure long years of professional touring/performances. Recurring issues with the triggers and the pads suggest that this kit could still be further improved but is nonetheless a great deal due to its extensive sound module, and sturdy drum rack at a reasonable price.


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