Alesis Nitro 8-Piece E-Kit

 

Best Budget Electronic Drum Kit

In this kit, Alesis have created a slightly modified version of their popular DM7X kit. With some fun and useful onboard features and an LED screen module, this model has all the markings of an Alesis product. At this price, it is an extremely competent kit that can get any first-time drummer of the mark. For under $300 you are getting a lot of pads and pedals and an impressive array of features and sounds. You really can’t ask for any more at this cost!

Specs

  • 3 x  8″ tom pads
  • 3 x 10” cymbals (dual-zoned crash) and hi-hat pedal
  • 1 x 8” dual-zoned snare pad
  • 1 x kick pad and kick pedal
  • 40 ‘drum kits’ to choose from
  • 385 sounds
  • Line input
  • Headphone jack
  • USB, MP3 and MIDI ready
  • Training functions

 

Pads and Stands:   

 

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Module and Features:   
Sound:   
Value:   

 

Equipment

Let’s start with the two dual-zoned bits of gear. The snare pad has some sort of acoustic properties and the dual-zones means you can do rim shots. The dual-zoned crash cymbal allows for some pretty good choking and overall whilst it is only 2 pads that are dual triggered, they are both surprisingly competent and pleasing to play. You can’t expect half-open hi-hat shots or rim shots with all of the kit but that doesn’t take away from the pads that do have it. Some of the pads are more sensitive than others which can be a bit annoying and you may get occasional crosstalk but nothing that at this price you can’t forgive.

The toms are no frills, standard toms with the response you would expect. They also may need adjusting to your liking at first, but thanks to an intuitive and simple module, this takes no time at all. This is one of the main benefits this kit has over others at this price point – the layout is fantastic and it makes editing and mucking with any of the sounds or parameters rapid. At this cost you expect the pads to be a bit flat, but to have such a usable and versatile module is a nice surprise. In fact, to edit and change settings, you sim strike a pad that corresponds to a button. Quite a good and innovative system that deals with a simpler module than the high end really well.

The kick is much better than we thought it would be. The robust pad, grips and spikes result in a rock kick drum that is extremely solid on a carpeted surface and overall another unexpected plus. Set up to take into account velocity and sensitivity, in many ways it verges on feeling like a real kick drum. The one thing we will say is that it is a bit of a hassle to put together. Not only are the parts not labeled but the instructions aren’t clear. When you finally do manage to put it together it is a great bit of gear.

 

Features and functions:

The first thing we will say is that the volume feedback on the headphones is impressive, even for a higher value kit we would be happy. The preprogrammed songs are great for getting used to rhythm, tempo and structures with a whole host of timings and styles and on top of this, there are some basic practice routines such as a bouncing ball metronome, all of which is invaluable for getting the hang of timing and accuracy. The drum and percussion sounds are good. They aren’t great by any means and you aren’t going to get the acoustic drums you get with the Yamaha, but you get a LOT of sounds and a really versatile range which means you can really play about with sounds and start sampling! You can plug in a USB to save or upload sounds and more importantly you can connect an mp3 or phone in order to play along with your favorite sounds.

 

Our Opinion

Wow – that is a lot of kit for very little money and not just cheap flimsy kit but decent, playable gear. Yes, there are some problems with height, sensitivity, responsiveness and drum sounds, but when you weigh that up against all that this set has got going for it, it is inconsequential. You are getting an 8-piece drum set with pedals, training programmes, 40 songs and hundreds of drum and percussion sounds for under $300. If you are looking for a kit on a tight budget then you need to look no further. This is the kit.