Alesis has been around for 20 years and is renowned for producing high-quality electric instruments. The Alesis DM6 is a budget electric drum set, designed to provide authentic playability and value for money.
Will the DM6 be a good investment for you? Will it suit all your drumming needs and provide a high-quality drumming experience? We will have an elaborate look at the drum set and answer those questions.
Alesis DM6 Review – Who is this drum kit for?
The Alesis DM6 electronic drum set is for pure beginners. It has all the basic features that you need from an electric drum – acoustic drum sounds, a built-in metronome, and USB output. It is easy to set up and easy to use.
This drum set is not for more experienced players as there are many features that are not up-to-standard. The sound quality is not great and the rubber pads are hard, meaning it doesn’t truly reflect the feel of an acoustic kit.
What’s in the box?
- An aluminum drum rack that holds the kit together.
- A bass drum pedal and hihat pedal.
- Kick pad with stand and pedal
- 8″ dual-zone snare and tom pads
- 4 standard rubber pads, 3 cymbal pads, and a bass drum pad.
- The Alesis DM6 Drum Module.
Features and their performance
Sound quality and range
The Alesis DM6 module has 108 built-in sounds including drums, cymbals, and percussion. The quality of the sounds is what you would expect from an entry-level electric drum set. They aren’t as authentic as a real acoustic kit, but they sound decent, especially to a beginner.
The module has 10 preset kits. Unfortunately, these presets aren’t categorized into styles, but once you have familiarized yourself with their kit numbers, it will be easy to navigate through them.
The module also has 5 open slots for custom kits. You can be really creative here and choose sounds for each pad from the 108 available.
Recording & Connectivity
The Alesis DM6 doesn’t have a record and playback feature built into the module.
The drum set has a USB port that allows you to plug it into your computer. You can then record drums easily with the help of software such as Garageband, Ableton, or Reaper. You can record with the onboard sounds from the DM6 module or you can trigger sounds form the software and use the kit as a MIDI controller.
Snare and Tom Pads
This Alesis dm-6 kit comes with four 8” rubber pads for the snare and toms. It has a dual-zone snare pad, meaning it can produce two different sounds. The tom pads are single-zone.
The rubber pads provide an authentic feel and don’t have too much rebound like most entry-level electric pads.
Cymbals and Hihat
The kit comes with three 12” rubber pads for the crash, ride, and hi-hat. The cymbals can’t be choked, so they ring for a long time.
The hi-hat can only be tightly closed or wide open. There is no option of having them half-open. The widely open hi-hat sound is not something that most people like.
Kick Drum and Pedal
The Alesis DM6 has a kick drum pedal pad, something that a lot of entry-level electric kits don’t have. The kit also comes with a kick pedal for the pad. The kick pad helps emulate the feel of playing a real kick drum, which is a highly desirable quality in an electric drum kit.
The kick pad is a bit small, so it won’t accommodate a double pedal, but the kit allows the option to buy a separate kick pad that is bigger and connect it.
The kick pedal that comes with this electronic drum set is a bit flimsy. It will be suitable for beginners, but not intermediate players.
Setup and Assembly
The drum rack connects together to accommodate all the drum and cymbal pads, while the DM6 module can be placed anywhere on the rack where there is an open space. This is a cool feature since you can choose where to place the drum module.
The rack is easily maneuverable, so you can move it around to comfortably suit your playing style. You can also fold it to conserve space when not playing.
The entire electronic drum only takes up 20 square feet of space when set up, which is a very small area compared to other electric kits.
Alternative to Alesis DM6
Alesis Nitro Mesh:
The Alesis Nitro Mesh is the updated version of the DM6 electronic drum set. It has mesh heads on all the drums, an improved sound module, and an overall higher build quality. It is priced a bit higher than the DM6. Read a full review of Nitro Mesh here.
Yamaha’s DTX562K electronic drum has silicone pads and a full hihat stand. The hihat stand-alone makes this kit a top pick since most entry-level electric kits don’t have hihat stands. The DTX502 drum module that comes with it has 50 preset kits, a huge amount for an entry-level kit. It is also priced slightly higher than the Alesis DM6.
My Final Opinion
After looking at all it offers, you’ll find that the Alesis DM6 is a decent entry-level electronic drum set. The quality, usability, and convenient design offer more than what it is priced.
It is not a long-term kit. There are a few limitations that you will notice as you start to improve in your playing, such as the snare not accommodating ghost notes.
If you are looking for a serious electric kit to take your drumming further, the DM6 might not be for you.
If you are starting out on the drums and in the initial phase of developing solid rhythm, the 108 sounds and sturdy build make the Alesis DM6 USB kit a great option to consider.