In this Strike Pro review, you will know who should buy this professional electronic drum kit along with its features and performance. The Alesis Strike Pro is one of the flagship products made by Alesis, first released in 2017. It is designed to compete with other professional electronic drum kits, with the aim to replicate an acoustic drum kit containing the advanced technology of the present age.
Alesis Strike Pro Review
It is an 11-piece drum kit, 6 of which are drum pieces designed with multi-level sensors and adjustable sensitivity to fit your playing style. With its state-of-the-art features, versatile sound module, and aesthetic appearance, this kit has always been one of the top choices of professionals and beginners alike.
With its 4.3″ Backlit and full-color LCD, you’d find that this kit provides the user a more convenient interface, allowing you to modify multiple settings quickly and more efficiently. The User manual and guide are a treasure for defining and describing user options that you could do with its high-quality sound module.
The drum kit has an overall exceptional sound quality and versatile drum kit presets. The sound module provides an excellent interface where you could easily edit your sound samples, monitor other audio inputs, and perform several functions to adjust the kit’s sensitivity and sound. The module supports multi-instrument editing, sampling, and looping, which allows you to create recordings and soundtracks to incorporate the sound of your kit with other instruments from scratch.
The mesh heads have multi-sensing technology, allowing the pads to respond and sound like real acoustic drums. The 14″ dual-zone snare drum and the dual-zone toms are quite an upgrade compared to earlier e-kits. The three-zone ride cymbal is a monumental step up from the previous rubber ride cymbal pad and technology, allowing a more acoustic-like response.
However, to make the cymbals work correctly, you must adjust several settings on the sound module, which requires great patience and time. The heads included in this kit are larger than what you get with a typical electronic kit. While it does mean it’s not as compact as some e-kits, the larger pads give a playing experience closer to an acoustic kit.
Some buyers find the hi-hat challenging to tweak and set up, making hi-hat techniques such as barking and sizzling almost impossible to play smoothly. However, by updating the kit’s firmware to the latest version and following some of Alesis’ recommended steps, you’ll soon be able to maximize the potential of the Strike Pro’s hi-hat in no time.
A fair number of customers have reported minor defects and issues with the hardware upon delivery, especially the clamps for the mounted toms. Some users have reported unwanted triggers from the cymbal pads whenever the rack vibrates or shakes while playing.
Even after some issues, compared to other electronic drums within the same price, the Alesis Strike Pro offers more features, preset drum kits, and sound samples, which you can all use right outside the box.
Whether you are wondering whether the Alesis Strike Pro is worth it, there’s no other way to get a quick answer other than weighing its pros and cons.
What’s in the box?
As mentioned earlier, it is an 11-piece kit containing six all-mesh drum pieces with large dual hoops modeled and designed to look and feel like a traditional acoustic kit. The hoops have genuine wood shells.
- It has a 14″ dual-zone snare, a total of 4 rack-mounted dual-zone toms with sizes 8, 10, 12, 14 inches, and a 14-inch kick drum that can easily handle a double-kick pedal.
- All dual-zone drum pads are crafted with premium wood shells, resembling a well-crafted acoustic drum. Like most professional drum sets, the drum throne, hi-hat stand, and kick pedal are not included in the package.
- It comes with three pieces of 14″ dual-zone crash cymbal pads, a standalone and a movable 12″ hi-hat, and a 16-inch triple-zone ride cymbal.
- Essential manuals are included right inside the box, providing every vital information, from the kit’s assembly to the navigation of the Sound Performance Module.
- Moreover, the 4-post chrome rack, cable snake, cable wrap, drum key, a pair of drumsticks, and the power supply adapter are also delivered upon purchase.
- 8GB SD card included for storing user kits
With this large setup, you’ll have tons of features and possibilities that will undoubtedly contribute to bringing your practice and live sessions to the next level.
Key Features and Performance
For more than 30 years of production, Alesis has made significant advancements and improvements that could be seen in the Alesis Strike Pro kit. While it’s not the flagship any longer, it is still filled with impressive features.
With its premium wood-shells, hammered cymbals, 4-post chrome rack, and tunable mesh heads, you could see that every detail of this electronic drum kit is designed to resemble a complete acoustic drum set.
There are so many features that make it one of the best electronic drum kits.
The drum pads come with impressive sound quality and response, which you can further adjust to your liking by tweaking the mesh pads or adjusting each pad’s sensitivity through the kit’s expansive sound module.
In terms of its cymbal technologies, Alesis has done a great job making a three-zone ride cymbal with a larger bell area to simulate an actual ride cymbal acoustics. The dual-zone crash cymbals have a well-defined sound, thanks to its dual-zone sensors that support dynamic cymbal techniques such as choke and cymbal swells. The pads are so quite large, so it feels better to practice and play on them. They feel more like an acoustic set than most e-kits that cost around the same.
Another great thing about this pad is that you can adjust the responsiveness of the mesh pads. It helps make the pads feel more like an acoustic drum head, therefore gives you a more enjoyable playing experience.
Strike Pro Drum Module
The Alesis Strike Pro comes with the Strike Performance sound module that acts as the brain of the whole electronic drum. Without it, the features, sounds, responses, and triggers would not be as smooth. It contains a wide range of impressive features allowing you to do multiple functions to adjust the kit’s configuration to suit your preference. With the adjustment knobs, you can easily tune and tweak the sound of the pads. The best part of this strike pro module is that it has a moderately big 4.3″ color display, which is so much more intuitive to use most similarly priced sound modules.
The strike performance module is ideal for live-performance setups, featuring 110 factory preset drum kits and 1760 multi-sampled sounds that you can use for almost any type of music genre. Even though some of the preset kits sound horrendous, most of them are pretty great for this kit’s price point. Upon purchasing the product, it is highly recommended that you update the firmware to its latest version to fix issues with the sound, triggering, and pads’ response.
Dynamic functions and controls could also be adjusted, along with a fine-tuning feature of the strike performance module; therefore, you can make your electronic drum set sound the way you want it to be.
The only major drawback of the strike performance module is that it doesn’t work smoothly with External VST instruments. Many users have complained about the process of getting the drum module to properly talk with VST to be a long and grudging process, and the worst part is that it might still not work correctly even after you put in a lot of time.
The Alesis strike pro drum set comes with a downloadable software editor that allows you to quickly build, program, and modify sound samples, sequences, or kits, depending on your choice, by connecting your sound module to your computer via USB. The good thing about this software editor is that it automatically syncs and updates the sound samples you edit from your computer straight to the electronic kit’s internal storage.
With this powerful editor, you can save multiple custom kits or even entire sequences and soundtracks on your electronic kit’s memory. You can import .wav files from other sound libraries and use those sounds for your kit. Setting them up on your kit would mean that you have to adjust their triggers to respond naturally on your kit.
However, with the Auto-map feature, the sound module automatically combines the multi-sampled files as one playable instrument, allowing you to assign them on any pads of your choice. Make sure to save these settings on your kit’s SD card, so you can use them anytime without having to go through the process again.
Should you need to expand your e-kit’s memory and storage space, this kit is compatible with any class 10 SDHC memory card.
The onboard sampler and audio-mixer expand the number of possibilities you can do with this kit. Without having to switch often with your computer’s virtual instrument software, you can sample and monitor sound inputs right up in this kit’s sound module.
The record button on the sound module allows you to record samples from your aux-in and make loops out of these recordings. Such a feature helps improve your timing, consistency, and musicality.
If you want to record your playing with the best accuracy, the first thing you want to do is to connect your sound module’s line-outs to an audio interface or an audio mixer.
In terms of connectivity, the Alesis Strike Pro comes with eight analog drum outs, two main analog outs, an aux-in, and one headphone out, engineered to meet your demands in every step of your drumming career.
This drum set provides compatibility to a wide range of USB and MIDI devices, useful for a more convenient audio sampling in any of your virtual software. It also comes with an 8GB SD card on which you can load new samples and sounds.
With its high-quality sound module and well-designed drum pads, you are guaranteed to have a great drumming experience with lots of features and possibilities to explore from the Alesis Strike Pro electronic kit.
Although the kit has certain limitations, especially in playing buzz rolls and ghost notes, the high-quality drum sounds, versatile sound module, and appearance are enough reasons to make an acoustic drum player feel comfortable playing this kit.
The only thing that seems to be an issue for some buyers is the hi-hat’s inconsistent triggering, which could be improved by updating the strike pro kit’s firmware to the latest version.
In terms of its external features, the kit is such a beauty to behold. The wood shells come with a red sparkle finish made from a sturdy shell-wood that looks like an acoustic kit. The product comes with a suitable set of hardware that looks sturdy enough to endure the test of time.
As mentioned earlier, the bass drum pedal, hi-hat stand, and drum throne are not included upon purchase. For the bass drum, use a plastic beater instead of the traditional felt beater to avoid damaging the kick pad’s mesh head.
Along with the 4-post chrome rack, drum key, clamps, cymbal holders, and tom rods, a double-braced snare stand also comes upon delivery. The clamps for the toms are replaceable, but it is advised that you use clamps of the same size designed for Alesis products. As it comes with 11 pieces of pads, you have limited options for kit expansion in terms of customization.
However, you can replace any of the given pads with your preferred pads and make them work by appropriately tweaking and choosing the proper trigger type in the kit’s sound module.
The dimensions of the drum pads have diameters close to their acoustic counterparts. Mounting all the drums and cymbals on the rack would roughly take 53 x 35 x 36 inches of space, considerably larger than other standard-sized electronic kits.
Hence, if you have limited space, you might want to consider buying an alternative electronic drum set since the pads generally have bigger dimensions to replicate an acoustic kit.
Free Drum lessons from Melodics
Upon purchasing the Alesis Strike Pro, you are entitled to a free 40-day electronic drum lesson from Melodics, redeemed after registration of your product from Alesis’ website. The Melodics is a great app that you can download on any of your devices, offering a more personalized and effective practice plan that could make you improve your drumming significantly.
Who is this kit best for?
This electronic drum set is very versatile and entertaining to use. It would not be a surprise if a beginner would find a home in the Strike Pro’s configuration. With a complete user guide upon purchase, 40-day free drum lessons from Melodics, and several drums and cymbals to play with, the kit is ideal for inspiring even an amateur drummer to go beyond his/her limitations.
While some issues might show up occasionally, there are several videos and forums online that could address most of your problems. Whether you are looking for a kit that could make your practice sessions quieter or an investment that could get you started in the drums, the Alesis Strike Pro is an excellent option for that.
Setting up Strike Pro
The assembly manual provides all the necessary information that you need to set up the electronic kit fully.
To mount the toms on the chrome rack, you need to clamp the pad on the oversized L-rods. Ensure that the mounted toms do not make contact with the clamps, the stand, or one another to avoid unwanted triggering. The cymbals must be positioned on the boom stands with the “Alesis” brand facing you. This will ensure that the sensors will respond well to your cymbal chokes.
Finally, set up the bass drum, extend the spurs in the middle position first, adjust it accordingly, and try to look for the vertical place to make the kick drum stable. Add the drum pedal, tune the kick drum’s mesh head a little loose to avoid too much rebound with the beater that would result in unwanted double triggering. You can change the heads’ sound and tune through the kit’s sound module or by tweaking each pad manually using the given drum key.
Just like how you would set it up in acoustic kits, you have to mount the hi-hat cymbals on your hi-hat stand and perform adjustments on the Alesis sound module to make it respond and trigger appropriately. Ensure that you properly seat the hi-hat controller, and there should not be any washer or pad between the controller and the hi-hat. This can lead to an unwanted suspension that will cause unexpected hi-hat behavior.
The cables, hardware, and outlets are all labeled upon delivery, which allows you to quickly identify which piece of hardware or pad to pair/connect with. The items inside are packaged with an extra layer of protection to cushion sensitive pieces such as the drum and cymbal pads.
Alternatives to Alesis Strike Pro
In case you want to have second options for the same price, the Roland TD17KV is an excellent investment to make. While the Alesis Strike Pro provides more advanced features and more drum and cymbal pads, the Roland TD17KV stands as a good competitor with its good sound quality and clean natural response.
If you have a bigger budget, you should check out the Alesis Strike Pro SE. It has white mesh heads, has a bigger kick pad, sounds better, and is built better. Most of the quality issues that plagued the Strike Pro have been rectified with the SE version.
Summing it up
I hope you liked our detailed Alesis strike pro review. In conclusion, the Strike Pro electronic drum is excellent due to its sound, 100 drum presets, 1600 multi-sampled instruments, intuitive software editor, and onboard features such as the mixer and sampler.
The Strike module can do several functions, from sound and sensitivity tweaking to connectivity options with other MIDI/USB Devices.
With its multi-sensor drum pads and multiple-zone cymbals, the number of things that you could do with this kit is close enough to the options you have in an actual acoustic set.
The SDHC slot allows you to expand your kit’s memory and capacity, customize more kits, monitor audio inputs, and record sound samples without having to worry about insufficient memory space.
While improvements could make this kit better, Alesis has achieved a significant milestone with this product, the Alesis Strike Pro kit, designed for the most passionate drummers.