As I have mentioned elsewhere, Alesis uses the DM10 label for several of their electronic drum sets. The DM10 Studio Kit and DM10 Studio Mesh Kit are large, 6-piece drum sets that are at the top of the Alesis electronic line.
Let’s take a look at these two similar sets to see which one would suit you best.
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What Pieces Do You Get in the Studio (Mesh) Kit?
Both the Studio and the Studio Mesh kits have the same number of pieces. The only difference between the two is that the Mesh kit has mesh drums instead of the more common rubber pads.
Here are the drums and cymbals, along with their sizes, that you get in this set.
- Snare Drum – 10 inch
- Tom 1 – 8 inch
- Tom 2 – 8 inch
- Tom 3 – 8 inch
- Tom 4 – 8 inch
- Hi-hat – 12 inch
- Crash Cymbal 1 – 12 inch
- Crash Cymbal 2 – 12 inch
- Ride Cymbal – 14 inch
The RealHead mylar drums on the basic set and the FMH mesh on the mesh kit are dual zone. You can assign whatever sounds you want to the second zone. Normally you would make it something like a rimshot sound.
The ride cymbal is triple zone – bell, face, and edge. Again you can assign various sounds to each area. Perhaps a cowbell would sound nice coming from one of them.
The ride and one of the crash cymbals have choke triggers on their undersides, so you can control the length of the crash (or ride sound).
You get a pedal for the continuous hi-hat, but you do not get a pedal for the kick drum pad. You get to pick a pedal you like to add to this kit.
Here’s another option. You can split the kick input with a Y-cable and connect a second kick pad. You can just imagine the possibilities.
The kit comes with a drum key so you can adjust the drum heads to give you the type of response and rebound that you want. This is especially useful with the mesh kit.
Other items you get are the frame, or rack, that you attach most of the other pieces to, a pair of drumsticks (you may want to get your own separately anyway), the sound module “brain” (more on that later), a cable snake for keeping things tidy, the power supply, and the normal manuals and user guides so you can make sense of it all.
Check out this video that gives you a short demo and explains the specifications of the Alesis Studio.
What Are the Features of the Sound Module?
The DM10 sound module, which is the same for the basic and the mesh kit, gives you over 1000 sounds to play with.
The samples of acoustic sounds that these come from are implemented with what Alesis calls Dynamic Articulation. What this means is that, when you hit a drum or cymbal with different velocities, you should hear slightly different sounds. The intent is to accurately mimic what happens when you hit an acoustic set with varying amounts of force. The sounds won’t be drastically different, but if you listen closely, you should be able to discern slight changes in tone.
The sound module lets you play with what is a fairly standard feature of many sets – reverb. You can make it sound like you’re playing in a bigger space than you really are.
If the built-in sounds aren’t enough for you, you can import more via the USB connection from a computer.
If you want to get fancy, you can use the DM10 Studio to trigger a MIDI interface. This lets you use software drum modules such as BFD, Toontrack, Reason, or any program you prefer.
Equally fancy and possibly even more useful are the six faders (sliders) that you can see in the picture above. You can use them to control the volume levels of the main parts of your kit. You’ll be able to get just the right mix of drums, cymbals, and whatever else you have assign to a main trigger.
At practice time, you can play along with an MP3 player or the sound module’s internal sequencer (recorder).
Watch the official Alesis Studio video below.
Conclusions about the Alesis Studio Kit
The Alesis Studio, especially the Studio Mesh edition, should be a kit you could take on stage or into the studio, as the name suggests. However, you may end up being one of the many who have had problems.
If you look elsewhere for reviews online, you will find them mixed. Still, this kit gets an overall positive rating.
Common problems seem to stem from three main areas. Alesis support for this kit is apparently not the best. (Reviewers don’t often get specific here.)
Quality control needs work. Sometimes the wrong pieces are included or necessary pieces are missing in the initial shipment.
Pieces that are included don’t always work or work for very long.
On the other hand, many owners have had few to no problems at all with the Studio. Hundreds who took the time to post their experiences continue to enjoy the Studio for a good, long time.
If you are willing to take the chance, hoping to be in this last group, give the Alesis Studio set a try. If you think a different Alesis set might suit you better, check this article.