Here are my thoughts on some to the things I have bought

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Here are my thoughts on some to the things I have bought

Postby joelfernandes » Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:59 pm

Over the last couple of months I have purchased quite a few items to feed my drum (and GAS) habit, I keep meaning to give a review of each of them, my impression and if they are worth you getting too so I decided to put them all together, I hope this is of use to somebody -

Alesis Nitro Mesh

Great value for money, I have had it for 6 months now and no issues with it. People online moaned that Alesis are cheap and nasty and that they are constantly breaking, sure if you were gigging with it or going really hard on it then I'm sure it would have issues but I could not have started playing drums without this kit as I was not going to spend 700 on a Roland or Yamaha kit.

Pro's - cheap, lots of pads for the price, mesh pads

Con's - on board sounds are not great, i feel that the kit should be able to adjust a couple of inches higher, the snare never felt high enough for me, I'm 5'11 so not that tall.

Convert cheap Snare Drum

I had a Thomann/Millennium steel 13 inch snare drum from a previous GAS attack, probably cost about 60 euro, so i put a mesh head and a side trigger (see below) on that and it made a world of difference going from an 8 inch snare to a 13 inch snare, highly recommend doing a conversion, I will say though that I probably should have gone slightly smaller, 13 is a little large relative to the rest of the Alesis kit, 11 or 12 inch may have been better, and i have thought about getting another, cheap, smaller snare, maybe a shallower one as mind is like 13x6 something like that, but I couldn't justify it as I don't think it would have made that much difference after the fact.

Pro- cheap way to get much larger drum and get whatever shells etc.. that you want

Cons - you have to buy all the parts and put them all together, requires manual labour :)

Jobeky Side trigger

These are excellent for the price and it worked with the Alesis nitro drum brain without any issues, even the rim trigger worked fine with just a little bit of tweaking. The only issue is that the triggering does get a little weak on the far edge of the drum, I can turn up the sensitivity and reduce the threshold etc... but there is a definite drop off in trigger performance as you get to the opposite edge. The trade-off is that there is no centre hot spot, over time I have learned to use the width of the drum head as a way of playing more dynamically, ghost notes I play at the opposite edge and accents I play close to the trigger. If I had to do this again, I might have gone for a centre trigger just to even out the response, but I would imagine that would have had its own issues and they are that little bit more expensive too.

Pro - cheap and easy install

Cons - triggering/sensitivity can be problematic the further you get from the trigger.

Drum-tec real feel mesh head

Very disappointed with this for the money that I spent, this was about 60euro for a single 13 inch mesh head and I have to say I was excited to get this and when I put it on the drum it felt almost no different to the head that had been on there, a cheap 2 ply 15 euro z-ed head that I got from amazon. Tuned slack or tuned tight it did not feel any better. It may be one of those things where people were talking about small percentage differences in how close this felt to playing an acoustic drum (I have not played acoustic drums) however I can not recommend spending 3 or 4 times the price of other mesh heads and feeling no appreciable difference, not even improvement, it just felt the same to me. Maybe it is a different story on smaller drums.

Pro - durable 3 ply head

Con - too expensive compared to competitors

Alesis Pro-x hi-hat

Disappointed with these too. There were reports on line of them working with the Alesis Nitro, I understand they are in no way guaranteed to work as they are for the DM10 series, however people reported that they worked. I got them as they were the cheapest entry into upgrading my hi-hat experience - they did not work with my nitro, plus the 'clop - clop - clop' sound of them banging off each other was very off putting. The top hat worked fine but the pedal controller did not work. The top hat comes with a clutch and the nut you screw the clutch into has a rotation stopper however it still tends to spin around on the hi-hat stand for some reason, I need to see if I can get it to stop doing that.

Pro - cheapest entry into more realistic hi-hats, also a cheap way to get a top hat with clutch and rotation stopper

Cons - does not work with Nitro, noisy.

Thomann Hi-Hat remote

This is the cheapest remote I could find, it was quite still when it arrived, I oiled it a bit and worked it through and it was very smooth after that, however I abandoned it pretty quickly as the amount of space to mount hardware is too small, the rod is only 6 inches, for acoustic hats that may be enough but for an electronic setup it is too small, the pro-x hats and the drum-tec universal are all too tall when you slide on the controller, the top hat and then the clutch there is no room at the top for any adjustment, the rod is just barely high enough to tighten the clutch. I ended up keeping this though as the price was worth it alone for the chunky sturdy clamp that came with it.

Pro - very low cost, works smoothly once oiled, comes with a hefty clamp

Con - hardware mounting space is too small for electronic setup, cable is too long and not easily replaced.

Drum-tec universal hi-hat controller

This is a Roland vh-10 style controller, it was 60 euro, universal obviously means Roland as it did not work on the nitro out of the box. I knew I was getting the Megadrum though so I held on to it. Only started using it last night but it works a charm full smooth range of CC values coming out of the controller, so far very happy with this, using the pro-x top hi-hat, as it came with a clutch, however the is a small bulge on the underside of the hat where the jack connects, I had to pop a felt washer under the hat so that it could move its full travel.

Pro - works great with Megadrum, CC response over full travel of the plunger

Cons - does not work with my Nitro, quite a tall piece of kit, no problem for normal hi-hat stand but an issue is using remote hi-hat

addictive drums 2

Very happy with addictive drums, I tried EZdrummer, BFD and a couple others that had available demos. Superior drummer had no demo and I was not willing to drop 300 euro for something that may not work. EZdrummer is supposedly the same engine but that had issues with cymbal chokes on the Alesis nitro (I'm sure that is something that could be resolved in the full version but I could not get it working on the demo) and then black Friday happened and the only one to drop their prices was addictive drums and it went down to 80 euro so I snapped that up and I have been very happy with it. When I got the Megadrum it did take some time to get the full articulation of the hi-hat, it is not very well detailed how to set it up. I found the answer with the assistance of some good folks on Reddit.

Pro - great sound, great price.

Con - documentation could be better.

Mega drum

Only just starting to use this, for setting up cymbals, tom and kick it all goes fine, hi-hat setup is a little trickier but if I can figure it out then so can you, for the snare it was trickier as it is a dual zone trigger and trying to dial in the settings for the crosstalk/sensitivity etc.. however I am getting there. There is a guide on the forum that tells you what all the settings for each of the pad types does and this is a very important document to read otherwise you will be scratching your head as to what DynTime etc.. does.

The amount of inputs you get for the price is amazing and the amount of different manufacturers kit that is supports is outstanding. It was built and shipped to me within a week. Addictive drums has a Megadrum map and you can download the addictive drums Megadrum config from the Megadrum forum, Dmitri who makes the Megadrum worked with XLN so it should be an easier setup. This is a work in progress and i am still dialling in the settings on the snare and the hi-hat so that it is just right is going to take time.

Pro - so many options and configuration ability, addictive drum maps, so many manufacturers supported

Con - so many options and configuration ability, learning curve

All this is my opinion and I am not affiliated with any if the manufacturers mentioned here, just wanted to put some info out there that couldn't find when I was making choices.

Keep Drumming
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Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:55 pm

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