Alesis DM10X Review – Professional yet Affordable
Whether you’re planning on playing live concerts or recording in the studio, professional drummers demand a level of quality and excellence that stands out from the rest. The Alesis DM10x electronic drum kit is jam packed with features and components that make it an alluring option for the serious drummer, covering a wide range of areas that account for the demands of a professional musician.
What’s in the Box
The DM10X is all about the drums, so you’re not going to see a ton of accessories here. However, what you do get is pretty impressive. First up, there’s a chrome rack that’s designed to withstand the demands of playing live, forgoing flimsy plastic for strong metal. The rack also includes a series of mounts to accommodate the six drum pads and four cymbal pads that you get, as well as a separate module mount and an adjustable snare stand. You do get a pair or drum sticks with this kit, but odds are you’ve already got more than enough pairs lying around already.
One thing that you don’t get with this kit is a kick pedal, even though you do get a kick pad. This means that you will need to purchase your own kick pedal in order to activate the kick drum on this kit. The good news is that the pad is compatible with most traditional kick pedals, so you don’t have to buy a proprietary unit to use with this kit.
This kit is built for professional drummers, and it’s most evident in the mounting hardware. Instead of cumbersome screw-based systems that can take a long time to setup and undo, you have quick-release hinge clamps. The quick-release clamps could really come in handy when you’re setting up for a show, so you can spend less time moving the equipment and more time checking levels and configuring your other gear. The clamps also feature T-bolts, so you won’t need any tools to make adjustments, like if you need to raise or lower a pad in between songs.
Considering that this kit features two 10” and two 12” toms, a 12” snare drum, an 8” kick pad, a 12” hi-hat, two 14” crash cymbals and a 16” ride cymbal, the layout of the kit is surprisingly well balanced. Everything is placed where you would expect to find it, and the rack includes built-in cymbal arms that you can switch to a boom setup if needed. With more toms and cymbals than you would find on most standard kits, it’s a professional-level layout that is made for drummers that know how to handle more than the average number of pieces.
All of these components call for a powerful drum brain. That’s where the DMX10 comes in. It’s designed to support all of these drums and cymbals independently, but that’s just the start. It comes with a sample library of over 1,000 uncompressed audio files, which is more than you’re going to find on almost any other module. The samples also support dynamic articulation, so you can achieve different tonality when using a multi-zone pad. On the module’s face, you can find a sequencer that allows for fast changes between presets, as well as the ability to adjust the levels and output of the sounds.
Even with all of these great features, the best part of the DMX10 module is the fact that you can load your own samples into it via a USB port. As if 1,000 samples wasn’t enough to begin with, this feature unlocks an unbelievable amount of flexibility and customization, allowing you to create a drumming experience unlike anything else. You can connect the module to your computer and load in new drum sounds, custom instruments or anything that you can imagine. You can even connect it to an Apple iPad and use it with different iOS music apps.
Benefits for Professionals
The configurable module is easily the best feature of this kit, since it gives you complete freedom for how you shape your sound during a performance or while recording. Beyond that, another amazing feature is the multi-zone pads that come standard with the kit. Two of the toms and the snare drum are dual zone, which means that you can create different sounds depending on where you strike the head. Even better, the ride cymbal is triple-zone, so you can achieve three separate sounds—just like you would be able to do on a real ride cymbal.
The configurability and dynamism of the components really makes it clear that this is a versatile kit that’s definitely going to be too much for a novice. Combine this with the easy setup and durability of the rack, and there’s nothing here that a professional wouldn’t absolutely love.