A few years ago, I desperately wanted to get on with drumming, but I knew that if I bought a regular drum set, I’d annoy my family and my neighbors.
What I should have done was buy an electronic drum kit. Modern versions both solve the noise problem and offer a host of additional benefits too.
The following is an Alesis Strike Pro review, one of the best electronic drum sets on the market. We're going to dive into the features it offers and see how it compares to others on the market.
Presenting The Alesis Strike Pro
The Alesis Stike Pro drum kit is an 11-piece electronic set that provides pretty much every feature that you could want, all at a relatively affordable price point. Just like its nearest competitor, the Roland V-Drums, it comes with multiple toms, a bass pedal, hi-hat, snare, and plenty of fully-adjustable cymbals.
Thus, if you want to take your drumming to the next level, but don’t want to ruin your relationship with your neighbors, try the Strike Pro. It does everything in its power to take your skills to the next level while letting you save on the cost of a fully-fledged acoustic.
- Adjustable mesh heads
- Practically every type of drum and cymbal you need
- Onboard sampling capability
- Extremely good looking
- Hi-hat can make a noise when opening and closing
- 4.3-inch full-color LCD screen displaying outputs can be too small for some
- Higher price point than comparable products from other manufacturers
Features & Benefits
So what is it that makes this product so unique? What gives me the confidence to say that the Alesis Strike Pro will take your drumming to the next level?
Ultra-Responsive Mesh Heads On Kick, Toms, And Snare
When playing an electronic drum kit, you want it to have tactile characteristics that are on a par with an acoustic. Unfortunately, this isn’t always what you get. Some electronic drum sets, especially entry-level varieties, feel dull, flat, and lifeless, wrecking the experience.
Not so with the Strike Pro. Alesis has put enormous effort into designing mesh heads that respond incredibly realistically to your inputs, helping you get a feel for a regular set, even if you’ve never played one.
On the matter of “feel,” Alesis also makes all of the drums in its Strike Pro set using premium wood shells. So if you do usually play acoustic, you’ll feel right at home.
The Strike Pro comes with the Strike Performance Module, a unit featuring a 4.3-inch screen, providing you with quick readouts. The Module offers USB/MIDI connectivity, allowing you to hook up your favorite audio software. And it also lets you edit your sounds, all stored on the local SD card.
Standard Acoustic Drum Sizes
Shifting from electronic to acoustic and then back to electronic drumming shouldn’t feel radically different. That’s the Alesis philosophy anyway. Thus all of the drums in the Strike Pro are the same size as those you’d find on a regular drum kit, even though there’s no technological reason why they couldn’t be smaller.
I rather like this approach. When I sit at my drum kit, I want it to feel familiar. Even if I had never played acoustic in my life, I would prefer to sit in front of an electronic drum kit that prepared me for it, when the time eventually came.
The Alesis, therefore, is a win-win. It gives you the traditional drum sizes that you crave, as well as the versatility of the best electronic drum kits.
Before Alesis began experimenting with tactile feedback from electronic cymbals, the overall experience was poor. You’d smash the cymbal, but it’d make no difference if you silenced it or not. The sound would just continue playing through the speaker.
Alesis, however, now offers world-leading cymbal haptic technology. The bounce, feel, and control you get is second-to-none.
One of the great things about electronic drum sets, in general, is that they let you adjust the sound, element by element. Alesis has always been a leader in this area but takes it to a new level with the Strike Pro.
The Strike Pro offers more than 1,600 multi-sampled sounds from over 100 brand new drum kits through the Strike Performance Module. It means you can experiment in a way that never could with a traditional kit. All sounds are professional studio-quality, making them ideal for integration with your recording software.
Electronic drum sets, like the Alesis Strike Pro, also come with coach functions that help enhance your skills. These tools can fast-track your progress, enabling you to become more professional, more rapidly.
Sturdy Chrome Rack
When you’re rocking out to your favorite tracks, you want a drum set that doesn’t squirm. You should be able to hit the thing as hard as you like (within reason), and the kit should stand its ground. You don't want it moving around while you’re trying to play.
Here, the Strike Pro excels yet again. The company has invested in quality adjustable chrome stands that hold the cymbals and toms in place, giving drummers supreme confidence. (I like the fact that I can let myself get carried away on the Strike Pro, and forget that its an electronic set). It doesn’t seem to matter how hard you hit these drums; they remain steadfastly and firmly in place.
It Looks Incredible
While looks are partially subjective, there’s no denying that this is one of the better-looking kits out there. From the small cut-outs on the cymbal to the beautiful (and unnecessary) wood drum casing, this kit has looks to die for.
It’s worth pointing out that other kits on the market also look good, like the Roland TD-30K. But remember, it’s twice the price of the Strike Pro.
High Sound Quality
When it comes to electronic drum sets, the Alesis Strike Pro is something of a winner. The company embeds all of its drums with multiple sensors and contact points underneath the mesh head. This tech allows them to accurately mimic real drums, both in terms of sound and feel.
Arguably, though, Alesis takes things way beyond the limitations of a traditional acoustic. With the Strike Pro, you can experiment with sounds you couldn’t normally access, but do so in a way that feels wholly natural.
Adjust Drum Sensitivity On The Fly
Acoustic drums come with adjustment knobs that allow you to alter the sensitivity (even in the middle of a gig). Up until now, though, you couldn’t do the same on electronic drums. What would have been the point? Electronic drum sets didn’t suffer from sensitivity issues.
That all changed with the introduction of mesh head technology. Now, all of a sudden, feedback on electronic kits matters.
Alesis, therefore, is pioneering a feedback adjustment technology. A knob on the side of each drum lets you change the responsiveness on the fly.
Don’t like how your drums feel? Just grab your key, twist the knob, tighten up the drum, and away you go. It only takes a few seconds.
The reason this is a nice feature is that it lets you change the sensitivity depending on your environment. If you’re playing in a loud setting and want max output, you can increase the sensitivity. If you want a quieter feel, you can reduce it. It’s just like a real set.
Triple-Zone Ride Cymbals
Alesis, along with Roland, pioneered the development of multi-zone ride cymbals. The idea was to recreate the sound characteristics of regular acoustic cymbals when you strike them in different ways. Triple-zone cymbals produce audibly-distinct tones whether you play them at the edge or nearer the middle.
Until now, manufacturers demarked these in zones, forcing drummers to choose precisely where they struck.
What's smart about the Alesis' new tech is that the cymbal looks the same all over. Yet, it’ll play a different sound depending on where you strike it. The Strike Pro comes with both tripe and dual-zone rides and crashes.
All these features are great for when you want to recreate the specific sound that you get from striking cymbals in different locations.
The Alesis Strike Pro is a good product, but I don’t want you to take my word for it. That’s why I’ve scoured the internet for some reviews to give you a flavor of what other drummers think.
In general, the reviews are positive, although they do reveal how Alesis cuts some corners to reduce the price of its kits versus the competition.
Of course, the Alesis Strike Pro isn’t the only electronic drum kit worth your consideration. There are many others. Here are the top three alternatives.
The TD-17KVX has Bluetooth connectivity and comes with HP-170 headphones,
The Roland TD-17KVX is a similarly-featured drum kit that comes with many of the same features as the Alesis Strike Pro. However, there are some features that it has that the Alesis doesn’t.
- The TD-17KVX has Bluetooth connectivity, but the Strike Pro does not
- The Strike Pro uses genuine wooden drum casings, but the TD-17KVX does not
- The TD-17KVX comes with HP-170 headphones, but the Strike Pro does not supply headphones
- The Strike Pro offers multi-zone cymbals, but the TD-17KVX does not
The Command Mesh Kit is an entry-level version of the Strike Pro from Alesis. It comes with the same premium chrome rack as the Strike Pro, the onboard recorder, and the USB/MIDI connectivity. However, there are substantial differences:
- The Strike Pro offers 1,600 sounds, while the Command comes with 671
- The Strike Pro offers onboard sampling, while the Command Mesh does not
- The Strike Pro mimics standard acoustic drum sizes, while the Command Mesh does not
- The Command Mesh comes with 120 play-along tracks, while the Strike Pro does not
- The Strike Pro comes with a 12-inch hi-hat, the Command Mesh does not
The DTX582 is Yamaha’s flagship drum set, featuring tripe-zone technology on both snare and cymbals. The kit includes engaging sounds and play-along. It also has a range of onboard training functions that allow you to progress your skills.
It is not, however, a copycat product of the Alesis. Here’s how it differs from the Strike Pro:
- The Strike Pro offers acoustic-sized drums and cymbals; the DTX582 does not
- The Strike Pro uses wooden drum casing; the DTX582 doesn’t
- The DTX 582 has 37 play-along tracks; the Strike Pro has none
Conclusion: What Did We Find Out?
The Alesis Strike Pro solves several problems for people who are on the fence about buying electronic drum kits.
For one, it feels just like an acoustic. The drums are the same size, the tactile feedback is spot-on, and it even comes with wooden drum casing, just for effect.
I hope that the whole industry moves in this direction. It doesn’t make sense for electronic drum kit manufacturers to continue to make small, tinny drum sets that never quite live up to the magic of the real thing. Yes, it’s true, people want convenience, but they also want something that helps them rock out.
Don't underestimate the importance of the physical size of a drum kit. The Strike Pro taught me that I really do want my electronic drum set to be the same size as an acoustic. It makes an enormous difference in the way that I play.
The strike pro also offers drummers a more socially-acceptable way to practice their craft. The Strike Pro is as quiet and as civilized as you want it to be. And even if you get carried away (which is likely), the neighbors need never know.
The Strike Pro, however, doesn’t solve every problem. The lack of modulation for the hi-hat is a cause for concern for some users, and so too. Others have had issues with quality control, which is something that Alesis needs to address.
Overall, though, this kit is a big step in the right direction. Could we be on the verge of genuinely no-compromise electronic drum sets? Possibly.
Click here to check out the product.
Things to consider before buying an electronic drum kit
Electronic drum kits solve a host of problems. Not only do they help you avoid irritating the neighbors, they also protect your hearing. What’s more, they integrate seamlessly with audio recording equipment. That’s why you want one.
Electronic drum kits are also great for people who want to experiment with multiple different sounds. As we discussed above, the Alesis Strike Pro comes with more than 1,600 multi-sampled recordings, with other manufacturers also offering hundreds of their own.
Here are some of the advantages of buying an electronic:
- Reduced noise. Standard drum kits are loud. Very loud. The average drum kit generates sounds of greater than 100 decibels, a level that can damage your hearing and irritate your neighbors. While you can mitigate noise issues with earmuffs and soundproofing, these methods rarely wholly deal with the noise issue. Your neighbors are still liable to complain and your hearing to suffer. Electronic varieties, however, entirely do away with these problems. With an electronic kit, you can adjust the sound to any level you like. You can even pipe sounds through to your headphones, allowing you to drum in silence effectively.
- Practice anywhere. Traveling with a regular drum kit is nearly impossible, thanks to the fact that you can’t fold up base drums and put them away neatly in a bag. With electronic kits, however, it’s different. Because they are mostly just sensors, they don’t have to be large. What’s more, many manufacturers supply handy travel cases, making drums easy to transport.
- Install in small spaces. A professional acoustic drum kit takes up a large amount of space, making it unsuitable for many small, modern homes. Manufacturers, however, design electronic sets to be both portable and occupy a small footprint – much smaller than their traditional counterparts.
- It helps with recording. Electronic drum sets help with recording. They make it much easier for you to hook your drum kit up to a recording device, record the sounds produced, and then edit after. The same is not true of a regular drum kit.
- Built-in tools. Finally, electronic drum sets come with built-in tools, like metronomes, that help you improve your skills.
Your Electronic Drum Set Is Only As Good As The Paired Audio Source
Let’s say for the sake of argument that you’ve bought a premium electronic drum kit (and spent a lot of money for the privilege). You get home, hook it up to your speakers, only to find that the sound that it creates is disappointing.
Remember, though, the electronic drum kit itself doesn’t make any noise (or at least that’s the intention). Instead, it takes your drumming input, turns it into a digital signal, and then sends it to a speaker to produce the sound.
The quality of the speaker, therefore, is what matters. Connecting your high-end electronic drum kit to your laptop audio will produce disappointing results, no matter how much money you spend. Here’s a link to a video that explains this in more detail.