Alesis is no stranger to electronic drums.
Their kits have become very popular in the last few years due to their affordability.
The DM10 MKII is the latest iteration of drums in the DM series from Alesis.
The amount of confusion regarding the series is natural, considering there are seven different variations of the DM10.
Today I’ll be focusing on the DM10 MKII Pro and not the Studio version, despite their many differences.
Alesis DM10 MKII Pro Review
Let’s talk about the main distinctions between the two kit options.
The Pro and Studio are excellent mid-range e kits
Both electronic drum sets are mid-range when compared to low-end kits like the Alesis Nitro Mesh or high-end kits like the Roland TD-25KV.
The Pro kit offers an additional floor tom pad, larger-sized pads, a stand-mounted snare, and a newer drum module.
In my judgment, the Pro version offers much more to be desired and is the better value kit.
Perfect for practice
The Pro and the Studio are perfect solutions for drummers needing a practice kit. They aren’t costly and produce less noise than a set with rubber pads.
Compared to the Studio, the DM10 MKII Pro is a large kit (though, both measure to around 6′ x 6′ due to the hardware frame).
The pads on the Pro version are much larger than other electric kits from Alesis, making it one of few they sell that feels like an acoustic drum set.
Both iterations offer mesh heads rather than rubber, which is excellent, as mesh heads are considered the top of the line. Most electronic drum manufacturers are going in this direction.
The pads on the DM10 MKII Pro have an excellent response and feel.
Despite the kit having mesh heads, it’s important to note that the drums are pretty loud. If you have neighbors in an apartment complex, they may be able to hear you playing through the walls.
All the pads are velocity sensitive
The pads react differently in volume depending on how hard you hit. Tapping the snare drum will result in a quiet sound while hitting full-force will give a loud and full hit.
Most electronic drum sets today are velocity sensitive, but the ones that stand out are ones that use multiple samples per velocity layer.
Unfortunately, the DM10 MKII Pro does not have this ability.
If that seems confusing allow me to explain:
Multi-velocity samples? Not on the DM10 MKII
Imagine playing a quiet note on the snare drum. Each time you hit at that level, the module is going to randomly pick a different sample from a group of similar volume samples.
Multi-velocity samples enhance the realism of a virtual instrument and eliminate the machine gun-nature many electronic kits suffer from.
I was first introduced to the concept of multi-velocity samples when I began using Trigger2 from Steven Slate Drums.
Despite the module itself not having multiple sample layers, you can use virtual instruments and a digital audio workstation to achieve this.
It’s a little complicated, but I tend to do it anyway for a more realistic experience.
Alesis offers a one year manufacturer’s warranty with the purchase, but if that’s not sufficient, you can pick up an extended warranty from wherever you pick up the kit.
What comes in the box of the Alesis DM10 MKII Pro?
The MKII comes with two 10″ dual-zone mounted toms, two 12″ dual-zone floor toms, a 12″ dual-zone snare pad, two 14″ dual-zone crashes, a 16″ triple-zone ride, a 12″ hi-hat, the DM10 MKII module, and 8″ bass drum pad, and a four-post chrome rack.
Tom and snare pads
I like the fact that Alesis is offering bigger pad sizes for both the toms and snare.
We generally don’t see pads of this size in this price range. Alesis has made large drums more accessible to young and budding drummers.
Dual zone pads included
Both the snare and tom pads are dual zone, meaning you can get two different sounds depending on where you strike the pad.
The rim or hoop will play one sound, and the mesh head will play another.
Dual-zone drums are great for drummers who want to go deep on programming kits with all sorts of different sounds. They also add realism to the playing experience.
The pads look excellent from a design standpoint as well, looking strikingly similar to the PD-85.
Depending on your feel and taste, you can use a drum key to change each pad’s tension, just like a regular drum.
Remain mindful that the higher the tension, the more stick bounce you will have when playing.
The cymbal pads
While not the greatest, the cymbal pads on the DM10 MKII Pro are passable. I’m not big on the whole “half pad” design we see here.
I’m glad Alesis added a triple-zone ride, giving you the ability to play the edge, bow, and bell.
The two crashes are dual-zone, and all three of the cymbals feature the ability to be choked.
If you like the realism of a stand-mounted hi-hat, you’ll need to buy the ProX hi-hat. While the pad isn’t expensive, this is one of the biggest cons facing the MKII Pro.
I much prefer a separate stand for the hi-hat with electronic kits.
The kick pad
Just like the other pads on the MKII Pro, the kick drum pad also sports a mesh head.
It’s a large tower design featuring an 8″ pad and is large enough to handle a double bass drum pedal for all the heavier drummers out there.
Just a quick note: the DM10 MKII Pro does not come with a kick pedal or drum throne, so be sure to pick these up if you don’t already own them.
The drum module
Alesis has packed a lot of great features into the newest DM10 drum module.
The module comes with 50 preloaded drum sets and 30 user kits. These presets are derived from 700 drum sounds packed into the module.
For those who wish to dive into the sound, you can change many parameters within the unit such as reverb, compression, pitch, and more.
The included sounds included in the module are a bit of a disappointment to my ears. Alesis has yet to blow me away with great sounding samples.
Take a listen to the video below. YouTube creator Related 2 Drums created a video showcasing every factory kit sample.
Being this can be used as a practice kit, I don’t see any significant issue here.
The USB port on the rear allows you to import custom WAV samples.
In addition to the preloaded drum sets, Alesis has provided 100 play-along tracks for practicing.
And you’re not just limited to the songs Alesis gives you. The module has a 3.5mm audio input port so you can plug your phone or laptop in (provided Apple hasn’t taken away your headphone jack yet).
For those looking to use virtual drum samples (like GetGood Drums) to enhance their sound, there is a USB connection on the back of the unit.
The hardware rack
Electronic drum manufacturers tend to be stingy when it comes to hardware racks. Alesis has done an excellent job crafting a solid chrome rack that looks awesome.
The rack features integrated boom cymbal arms, which is impressive, as we mostly see straight stands on this level of drums.
The snare drum pad is also not mounted to the chrome rack, which is a massive plus in my book.
I’d much rather have the snare drum in a stand, rather than mounted and fixed to a rack.
Overall thoughts on the DM10 MKII Pro
The price point is exceptional, considering the size of the pads and the new drum module.
It feels great to play and reminds me of my acoustic drum set.
At this point, it’s more of a debate whether or not to save up some more money for the Strike Pro, which to me is a far superior kit in looks, features, and quality.
The DM10 MKII from Alesis is a decent electronic drum kit with mesh pads, but doesn’t satisfy my needs. The sounds aren’t the greatest and for the price, I’d expect the hi-hat to be on its own stand. The DM10 MKII could be a great kit for beginners, but I’d recommend something more affordable like the Surge Mesh or the Nitro.
Images used courtesy of Alesis.com