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Many drummers consider Roland electronic drum sets to be the best available. The Alesis Strike Pro seriously challenges that line of thinking.
I intend to show you in this Alesis Strike Pro review why some have thought this way since the Strike Pro was released in 2016.
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Which Drums Do You Get with the Alesis Strike Pro?
Many electronic drum kits have drum pads that are much smaller than corresponding drum heads on an acoustic set. Alesis wants you to know that you get traditional drum sizes and a real acoustic drum feel with this set.
“It [the Strike Pro kit] combines the feel and familiarity of acoustic drums combined with the versatility and capability of the best electronic drums.”
You get dual-hoop drum pads that all have mesh heads. Mesh is the current standard for high quality pads and are considered better than mylar or other rubber materials for a realistic acoustic feel.
This Alesis drumset also has sensitivity adjustment knobs, so you can set them to your style and strength of play.
These are more than just pads. These drums are actually Alesis’ premium wood shells, so there is a significant depth to each one. This helps them not only sound like an acoustic set but look like one too.
You get 6 drums in the following sizes in the top of the line model.
- 14 inch snare
- 4 toms – 8, 10, 12, and 14 inch
- 14 inch kick drum
Note that a bass drum pedal is not included. You get to customize the set with a pedal of your own choosing.
Which Cymbals Do You Get with the Alesis?
Alesis has made their Strike Pro cymbals with a larger than usual bell to make them more playable than the average electronic cymbal. They have constructed them with a nice blend of feel (again, like an acoustic set), control, and bounce. If you have experience with an acoustic kit, you might even forget that you’re playing an electronic set when playing the Strike Pro.
The 3 crash cymbals are chokeable. The ride cymbal has 3 zones for advanced drummers. Note that there is no hi-hat stand.
You get 5 cymbals in this kit as listed below.
- 16 inch ride
- 3 14 inch crashes
- 12 inch hi-hat
What Are the Features of the Strike Pro Sound Module?
The brains of the kit, the Strike Pro Sound Module is an amazing piece of electronics. It’s like no other module available (as of this writing). The feature list goes on and on.
The module has a 4.3 inch color LED display to assist you in making selections and changes easily. This display is a vast improvement over those found in very many other kits.
Here are the main features of the sound unit.
Programmed into the module are 100 drum kits to satisfy your every drumming need. But should those not be enough or you can’t find just that right sound amongst the 1600 provided, you can sample your own and edit them to your heart’s content.
To save your samples, you place the 8 GB SD card included with the set into its slot and use the appropriate buttons to keep your work safe. You can use a card with a capacity of up to 64 GB, but you have to purchase such cards separately.
You use the SD card not only to save samples but also for saving your own kit setups and for other global settings you change.
You use the cursors (4 directional arrows) to flip through the various menus and lists in the display. The Data Dial lets you scroll through options, and the Function Buttons, labeled F1 to F6, let you choose the tabs along the bottom of the display.
When you power on the module, you see the Kit menu by default. You can hit the Kit button to return to this menu at any time.
There are three knobs for controlling volume. The Main volume knob handles the level for the Main Out port on the back of the module. You use the Aux In knob to adjust the level of the Aux In port, also on the rear of the module, as well as the recording level when you are sampling.
Note that the Main Out level is separate from the individual voice levels and from the overall kit. There are 12 sliders that you can set to affect the volumes of each sound in the kit.
The Headphone volume knob, as you would expect, controls just the level of headphones that you can connect to the ¼ inch Headphone Out jack.
So you can see that you have a great amount of control over the various volume levels of your kit.
The Note Chase feature lets you automatically select a trigger (drum or cymbal) simply by hitting it. This lets you quickly make changes to that sound – selecting a new instrument, editing its voice, and so on.
Mixer and Sample buttons put you into the corresponding modes where you can dig into the details of the system.
With the Kit FX button, you can set the reverb and several other effects for your current kit. Similarly, you’ll press the Voice and Triggers buttons to play around with the instrument sounds and the sensitivity and feel of the pads (both drums and cymbals).
You may never need to make such adjustments, but it’s good to know that you have the control of all parts of the system should you want to make changes.
The Metro area of the module lets you control the metronome. You can turn it on and off and set the tempo for your practice sessions.
Use the 5 transport buttons (above the sliders) to control the playback of your samples. You have the traditional rewind (double left arrows), fast forward (double right arrows), play (single right arrow), stop (square), and record (circle) buttons.
Watch this video from the NAMM 2016 show. This isn’t a sound demo. It’s more of an explanation of what you get in the Strike Pro kit and what it can do.
I hinted at a couple of the inputs and outputs earlier. Here is a list of all the jacks found on the sound module.
- Power – Connects the 12 volt power adapter (included)
- Trigger inputs – Attach the ¼ inch cables to the drums and cymbals via the cable snake
- Aux In – An ⅛ inch TRS connection to your computer, tablet, or smartphone for playing along with songs or recording when in Sample mode
- Main Out – A ¼ inch output to speakers or other audio interface
- Direct Audio Outs – More ¼ inch outputs in mono that can go to an external mixer
- MIDI In and Out jacks – Connect to any other MIDI capable instrument such as a synth, drum machine, and so on
- USB Port – Connect the included USB cable to your computer to transmit MIDI data to and from computer software programs
What Do Others Think of the Strike Pro?
Since, as of this writing, the Alesis Strike Pro is fairly new, there aren’t a whole lot of comments in places like Amazon. That may have changed by the time you read this.
On one of the drumming forums, some users have reported a few problems. One owner reported them to Alesis and told of the experience as follows.
“[The problems are] weak headphone volume, hi hats being difficult and the tom4 ghost trigger. I specifically asked if others had reported this issue and was told they were getting calls. I was told they are releasing FW update to address all of these, but had no ETA. I was told sooner than later.”
So by the time you read this or get your own Strike Pro, these will probably no longer be something to be concerned about.
With the Strike Pro, you are getting a truly amazing drum kit. You will pay for it, but this is a case where you get what you pay for is a good thing.
If you have decided that the Strike Pro just isn’t for you, check out the other offerings from Alesis in this article. I think you’ll find something there that fits your needs.