Alesis have 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: the 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 Forge E-Kit I reviewed lived up to the hype delivering great value and sound. First off, this is a great looking unit. I loved the style of the module. It looks sleek, simple and the display and buttons were easy to use. It also 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 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.
It’s always a good sign when you get lost in your playing and feel free to express your creative ideas. It also helped that they came mounted on a great looking and solid 4 post mounting rack. The kit also comes with a solid pedal; two great additions for a kit at this price point.
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 Forge were better than I had anticipated. For those of you with your heart set on Mesh, the Alesis Crimson kit comes equipped with a mesh snare and kick pad for an extra $300.00. After I had a good play I checked out the more advanced capabilities of the Forge. 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 Forge’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.
For me the Alesis Forge 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
Breadth of sound
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