Alesis has been changing the face of electronic percussion over the last 18 months. Their new lines of innovative and affordable products have been winning the hearts of consumers worldwide. The 2016 NAMM show in Anaheim California saw Alesis release five new E-Kit lines: Strike, Command, Crimson, Forge and Nitro. The Command, Forge and Nitro E-Kits are the first to hit Australian shores, and they’ve been highly anticipated by E-Kit enthusiasts.
The Alesis 8-Piece Command E-Kit I played last week lived up to the hype, delivering great value and sound. First off, this is a great looking unit. Along with the 8” mesh kick and a 10” dual-zone mesh snare drum, there are also two 9” dual-zone rack toms and an 11” dual-zone floor tom. The set also features a 10” ride cymbal, a 10” hi-hat with pedal and a 10” crash with choke. It comes mounted onto a premium chrome 4 post rack and has a kick drum pedal included – two great features that you don’t always find at this price point.
I loved the style of the module. It looks sleek, simple and the display and buttons were easy to use. The Command advanced module packs a punch featuring 70 drum kits, 50 of which are preset and 20 for the user to play with. The module comes with over 600 sounds and 60 play along tracks covering a wide variety of musical styles. The quality of the preset sounds and the play along tracks is great. It felt like the team at Alesis had spent as much time on the inside as they had on the outside of this unit.
I liked the responsiveness of the pads, the hi-hat was articulate and the snare and toms felt good to play. The rubber pads on the Command were better than I had anticipated. After I had had a good hit I checked out the advanced capabilities of the Command Module. It has three great features that I really enjoyed. The USB- MIDI output was cool and allowed me to trigger virtual instruments. I had a lot of fun doing a real time recording with the play along tracks in the module. The recording sounded good. The drums blended well with the backing track and there was no nasty delay. The stand out feature for me is the Command’s ability to load your own .wav samples. You can do this via USB and assign sounds to any pads for live playing. You can also load play along tracks in the .wav format. I have recollections of trying to do that a few years back on a module that cost four times as much with no success, so this is something I found particularly impressive. You can also record in real time (5 tracks internally and up to 99 tracks via USB memory stick).
For me, the Alesis Command represents great value for money. It’s packed with features that are useful and relevant to musicians and artists alike. It looks great and I would be happy to play it on stage as a primary kit or as an addition to my acoustic drums.
For more details, head to elfa.com.au.
Hits and Misses
Rack is solid and looks great
Module is easy to use
Pads feel good