If you’re reading this right now, you most likely already know that the Alesis Nitro is one of the cheapest electronic drum sets available.
The company has made a remarkable impact on the electronic drumming world, creating many lines of different kits for all budgets and skill levels of drummers.
Alesis Nitro Mesh Review at a Glance
Alesis is no stranger when it comes to making affordable electronic instruments. The Nitro Mesh is a perfect introductory kit for beginners and intermediate players.
The options a new drummer has for e kits today are staggering, especially being that they are so affordable.
I remember the first kit I bought, my Yamaha DTX, being so expensive. I just needed a kit to play in my college apartment. That was almost ten years ago and my have things changed.
That being said, the lower-end of kits on the market is flooded with different options, mostly from Alesis.
There’s the Nitro, Surge, Command, Crimson, Burst, Forge, DM10, and others. How can you choose when they all look so similar?
We will help you figure that one out. Today we’ll be breaking down the Alesis Nitro Mesh (Sweetwater) kit, giving the pros and cons of all features.
From first glance, the Alesis Nitro looks to be an impressive kit.
You get the Nitro module, four tunable drum pads, a small kick pad, three cymbal pads, a hi-hat controller pedal, and a kick pedal.
One thing to note is that this is a cheaper electronic kit. It’s not going to have all the advanced features that a top-of-the-line kit may have.
The added benefit, however, is that you won’t have to pay thousands of dollars for your kit.
There aren’t too many differences between this kit and the Alesis Surge Mesh. The Surge includes a bigger kick pad, a bigger snare drum, and dual-zone tom pads. This might not be a big deal if you’re just using this kit for practice.
Regarding size of the box, it fit easily into the back of my Honda Civic. You don’t have to be afraid if you’re picking it up from the music store.
The all-black design looks awesome. The build quality isn’t terrible either. One would expect the kit to be made with poor materials, but Alesis has done a great job making quality affordable.
One thing to note: the Nitro Mesh is an upgrade of the original Nitro kit. The older kit featured rubber pads exclusively.
They seem to be phasing out the original model, as I can’t find it for sale anywhere anymore.
- Mesh heads
- Great price
- Awesome for a beginner
- Decent drum module
- Pads are relatively small
- Sounds aren’t the greatest
- Kick pad is small
Notable features of the Nitro Mesh
The Nitro Mesh shares a common design and look to other drum kits in Alesis’s catalog. Let’s take a look at some of the best features.
Eight playable surfaces to drum your heart out
The Nitro kit features your standard five-piece drum setup, complete with four drums, a kick pad, and three cymbals.
The included snare drum is in fact a dual-zone pad, allowing you to get a different sound from both the mesh pad and the outer rim.
Unfortunately, the tom drums are only single zoned.
Included with the kit are three cymbal pads: a ride cymbal, hi-hat, and a crash that is chokable. All three cymbals are 10″ in diameter.
Mesh drum heads that are tunable
A huge upgrade for this kit is obviously the heads. The original Nitro shipped with regular rubber pads, which are less than ideal in today’s market. I for one am happy these relics will finally be put to death!
The Nitro Mesh ships with, as the name implies, mesh drum pads. I’m sure you’ve seen or felt them before. They are generally reserved for higher-end kits from brands like Roland.
What are mesh heads?
Simply put, mesh drum heads are a type of playing surface for kits, both electronic and acoustic, that are made from strands of nylon woven together at a 90 degree angle.
The heads are designed to be extremely quiet and are surprisingly durable.
Bouncy drum heads
Mesh drum heads are superior to rubber pads in that they feel better to play on, in my opinion. However, they do place a false sense of realism on your playing.
Mesh drum heads act as a trampoline does.
When switching back to an acoustic kit, you may have a harder time playing than normal.
The noise of the pads
First off, despite what I said earlier about electronic drum kits being quiet, the truth is, they may still be loud. E drums may in fact be significantly quieter than real drums, but they can pose a problem still.
I recall being in my first apartment and having my next door neighbor quite upset with me playing my kit after a certain time.
Rubber pads are going to be much louder than mesh pads. That doesn’t mean that mesh heads will be the winner of the quietest playing surface. Yamaha makes an electronic drum kit with Textured Cellular Silicone that is far quieter than mesh drum heads. Take a listen to the noise comparison below.
With all this being said, if noise a concern, you may want to check out one of Yamaha’s DTX kits with TCS.
Overall thoughts on sound
The Alesis Nitro Mesh is a very entry-level kit. The sounds you get included are not the greatest. In fact, I think they sound pretty poor.
But as I’ve mentioned before, it is a great entry-level kit that serves a need for many beginning drummers or those needing a reliable drum kit to practice quietly with.
The size of the kit
The Alesis Nitro is a small kit.
The height of the kit alone can be a big problem if you’re tall, say over 5 foot 10 inches. That being said, how high you sit on your throne can also have an impact here.
If you’re having an issue with drum heights, you should be able to find a DIY solution to raise the entire rack up off the floor.
Pads are very close together
Being that the kit is so small, you will have to get used to playing with a tighter, more compact setup. When you return to your acoustic kit, you may find the setup to vary drastically from what you’ve been used to.
Setting the Kit Up
The instruction manual provided for the Alesis Nitro isn’t the most intuitive, so be prepared to spend a little time setting up your kit.
You should be able to get up and running in a half-hour to an hour if you’re a seasoned drummer. If you’re a parent of a little drummer, setup time may be a bit more.
Don’t just take my word for it. Be sure to read some owner’s reviews at Amazon before you decide to purchase.
Alternatives to the Alesis Nitro Mesh
If the Nitro Mesh seems too inexpensive and cheap, here’s a few options we’d recommend instead.
Alesis Nitro vs. Turbo?
Another option you may be considering is the Alesis Turbo Mesh. While similar, it doesn’t have as many features as the Nitro. In particular, the Turbo doesn’t feature a kick tower.
Instead, you get a kick pedal – one that’s not as realistic as using a kick tower. The module is also a bit more limited on the Turbo. Some food for thought.
So, if you’re thinking of picking up the Nitro, or any other electronic kit, I highly suggest shopping with Sweetwater or Guitar Center, and not Amazon. Their customer service is far better and you’ll often times find better deals or bundles.
Plus, you’ll be supporting awesome music retailers and not Jeff Bezos, who grew his net worth $24bn in the midst of the 2020 pandemic. Food for thought.
Alesis Nitro Mesh Drum Kit
I can’t get enough of Alesis these days. They have done a remarkable job bringing electronic drums to a wider range demographic. Those who could never afford an electronic drum set now may have a chance. Drumming in an apartment isn’t as tough as it used to be. The Nitro Mesh is super affordable and is perfect for beginners and pros who need a quiet kit to practice on.
No custom samples
Do you own an electronic drum kit? What do you think of the Alesis Nitro Mesh? We would love to hear your feedback! Thanks for reading.
Images courtesy of Alesis.com