Alesis DM10 Studio Mesh Kit Review
The Alesis DM10 Studio Mesh Kit is an electronic drum set that features an all-mesh setup. This kit is designed to be compact and portable as well as offer low noise output when practicing. This drum set is smaller than some of the other Alesis kits, such as the DM10 MKII Pro Kit and the DM10 X Kit. It has smaller drum pads and all in all is a more compact setup.
The Alesis DM10 Studio Mesh Kit is both a perfect practice kit and also functions well at live gigs and studio recording sessions. The DM10 module comes with all the connectivity required to use this drum set alongside your home recording studio setup. It also has features that allow for fun and interesting practice sessions. There is a wide variety of playalong tracks contained on the drum module and it also has the capability to connect to any MP3 player through a standard stereo jack.
The DM10 Studio Mesh Kit is affordable for beginners too. The smaller drum sizes make this kit both cheaper to produce and also more lightweight. The smaller drums have the advantage of being easily positioned for smaller players such as kids. The mesh heads make this drum set quite a noiseless instrument compared with some other electronic drum kits.
Who Should Buy the Alesis DM10 Studio Mesh Kit?
The DM10 Studio Mesh Kit is less expensive than the DM10 MKII Pro Kit. This set will appeal to those who like many of the aspects of the DM10 MKII Pro Kit but have a limited budget to work with. The DM10 module on this drum set is one of the most popular out there today. It’s combination of quality samples, usability and connectivity make it a hit among drummers.
The DM10 Studio Mesh Kit is an ideal kit for a drummer who is looking to transition from acoustic drums to electronic. Electronic drums offer many things that acoustic drums just cannot.
First, there is the large database of sound samples contained within the DM10 drum module. With this module you have access to hundreds of different drum and cymbal sounds. You also get lots of world percussion and experimental sounds to play with. The DM10 module lets you edit and save sounds as well as import your own. This makes the drum kit ideal for those who like to play along with song loops or trigger samples during performances.
And second, the quiet nature of the DM10 Studio Mesh Kit makes it an ideal practice tool for experienced or beginner drummers.
This kit not too big an investment to make if you’re thinking of trying out on drums or are buying for your son or daughter. The DM10 Studio Mesh Kit also has smaller drum sizes than many other Alesis kits so this gives it an advantage when it comes to playing in tight spaces or cluttered bedrooms.
Drums, Pads and Other Hardware
The DM10 Studio Mesh Kit is a six-piece drum kit with four cymbals. This is the same configuration as the Alesis DM10 MKII Pro Kit. Like this drum set The DM10 MKII Pro Kit is also a fully mesh kit but it has a few differences. The four toms on this set are each 8 inches in diameter. This is a smaller size than the toms that ship with the DM10 MKII Pro Kit.
The snare on this set is a 10-inch dual-zoned pad. This is 2 inches smaller than the 12-inch pad that comes with the DM10 MKII Pro Kit. Each pad is dual-zoned so that means you can play on the drumhead surface and on the rims too. This allows for rim shots and an all-round better playing experience.
Having playable rims on the DM10 Studio Mesh Kit allows you to reassign any sound sample to them. You can switch out the default drum samples for alternative sounds. This may be percussion sounds such as tambourine or cowbell. You can easily expand your musical horizons by customizing each drum in this manner.
The triggering on each drum is of a much higher caliber than with Alesis’ entry-level models. There is a much more nuanced response from each drum. With the entry-level Alesis kits, such as the DM Lite, the triggering works with just the one sample. This sample is triggered at different levels depending on how hard you strike the drum. With this kit, using the DM10 module and these dual-zone pads allows for more expressive playing. Now the drum module will use more than one sample to create a more realistic drum response. This improved triggering is very noticeable when playing around on the DM10 Studio Mesh Kit.
There are four cymbal pads with the DM10 Studio Mesh Kit. The hi-hat is a 12-inch pad which works with a free-floating hi-hat pedal controller. There are also two 12-inch crash cymbals and a 14-inch ride cymbal.
Each of the cymbals is mounted onto adjustable cymbal arms. The hi-hat cymbal arm sits upon the drum rack and just beside the DM10 drum module. The 12-inch pad can be tightened with a wing-nut to the desired tension, tight or loose. The pad can be angled for easier playing and repositioning is quick and simple to do.
The hi-hat consists of a pad and controller pedal as opposed to a separate hi-hat stand. The pedal is portable and quiet to play on. There are a number of playing positions possible with this hi-hat configuration. You can play fully open to fully closed and many degrees in between. The pedal does not have the realism of a stand-mounted hi-hat but it’s less expensive to produce. Alesis do offer the ProX hi-hat upgrade, which costs around $100. This pad can be mounted to any standard hi-hat stand with a clutch and simulates a real acoustic hi-hat setup.
The bass drum is an 8-inch mesh pad that is mounted on an upright tower. This pad is adjustable like all the other drum pads on the DM10 Studio Mesh Kit. You can customize the tension of the mesh head so that it best suits your pedal and playing style. The pad is also big enough to use with any single or double bass drum pedal.
The ride cymbal is the largest of all the pads. It also has the most advanced triggering. This 14-inch cymbal is a three-zone pad. There are sensors on the cymbal bell, the bow and the edge of the pad. This allows for more nuanced playing and better expression. The cymbal can also be choke-muted by gripping the outer edge of the pad after striking.
The two crash cymbals are slightly smaller than the ride, at 12 inches. They are a nice size to be able to position in and around the toms. Each cymbal rests on a boom cymbal arm for extra flexibility. Just like the drum pads on this DM10 Studio Mesh Kit, each cymbal pad can be assigned to any one of the DM10’s on-board sound samples.
The DM10 drum module comes with over 1000 different drum sounds. These sounds are taken from studio recordings of top-end drum kits. There is also a fine selection of cymbal types. From crashes to rides, splashes to China-types, the DM10 has pretty much every FX cymbal on board.
Along with acoustic kit sounds, there are some electronic offerings too. There are kits that are suitable for many different electronic genres. From drum and bass to techno and trance, there are many varied and interesting digital drum kits to pick from. You can mix and match the drum sounds on the DM10 to create your own unique kit selections.
Each pad on the DM10 Studio Mesh Kit can be assigned to any sample. Each sample can also be customized further. This module allows the user to edit and manipulate any given sample for added control. Each drum and cymbal sound can be pitched up or down to create new and interesting sounds. There are some post-editing tools as well. You can add reverbs to your custom kits to give them a different live feel. This is particularly useful when playing at live gig venues. A small amount of reverb can help the different drum sounds blend together on stage.
Along with the many drum sounds, there is also a wide variety of playalong tracks. These songs are ideal practice aids and help improve timing and skill on the instrument. You can adjust the tempo of each track for added variety. The USB port on the DM10 module allows the user to import some of his or her own custom samples or songs too.
Once imported, the sound sample can be assigned to any pad of your choosing. This is great if you play in a band that likes to use samples or loops. Each sample is triggered simply by playing the assigned drum. You can start and stop the loop in this way too.
Each drum pad comes with an adjustable knob on the side of the drum shell. This knob allows for further customization of the DM10 Studio Mesh Kit. You can adjust the sensitivity of the internal triggering to suit any playing style. This is perfect for adjusting the kit to your own preference. Hard hitters will want to reduce the sensitivity of the triggers. Light hitters, or kids for example, will want to raise the sensitivity.
The DM10 module has all the connectivity you need to use it alongside any modern day DAW. All of the major DAWs will be compatible with the DM10 module. This means Cubase, Logic, Ableton, Pro Tools, GarageBand and all the rest. Connecting is simple. The module uses a USB cable to connect from the back of the unit. Once connected the pads on the DM10 Studio Mesh Kit can be used as a MIDI controller. This allows the kit to control any drumming virtual instruments or VST’s such as BFD or EZ Drummer.
Take a look at the DM10 drum module in action here:
The Alesis DM10 Studio Mesh Kit has a lot going for it. It’s cheaper than most all-mesh drum kits on the market. It comes with the DM10 module which has a host of cool features. You can import your own sounds in order to create custom drum kits as well as trigger song loops and samples. This is a feature that is not commonplace with mid-range kits and is a welcome addition.
The DM10 Studio Mesh Kit is a very quiet kit to play on too. The hi-hat pedal controller reduces the noise generated even further. The bass drum is a kick tower which can accommodate either a single or double bass drum pedal.
The drum pads on the DM10 Studio Kit are tensionable. This is not a feature that you will see on competing kits such as the Roland TD-11KV or the Yamaha DTX-652K. Being able to adjust the tension of each pad allows for better playability.
The DM10 Studio Mesh Kit comes with 8-inch tom pads and a 10-inch snare drum. These pads may feel a little too small for some drummers. This drum kit also comes with a hi-hat pedal controller that lacks the realism and playability of a real hi-hat stand.
Other Kits You Might Consider Instead
If you have a bit more to spend, it might be worth considering the Alesis DM10 MKII Pro Kit. This kit has larger drum sizes than the DM10 Studio Mesh Kit. Like the DM10 Studio Mesh Kit it’s a six-piece drum set with four cymbals. The snare is 12 inches and so are two of the floor toms. The other two toms are 10 inches in diameter. The bigger sizes offer better playability and the snare has the added benefit of coming with its own separate snare stand.
The Bottom Line
The Alesis DM10 Studio Mesh Kit offers quality and value. The DM10 drum module has some great sounds and some advanced features such as custom sample importing and sound editing. The smaller drum sizes mean this kit is more portable, more lightweight and less expensive than larger sets. Whether you’re a beginner drummer or an experienced player, there is something for you with the DM10 Studio Mesh Kit.