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Alesis DM6 USB Electronic Drum setThe Alesis DM6 electronic drum set highlights the best of Alesis' 20 years of experience in professional electronic percussion instruments. This electronic drum kit features a completely redesigned sound module with 108 quality drum, cymbal, and percussion sounds. Its drum pads feel great and its hardware and rack system are built to last. Unmistakable Alesis Feel Like all Alesis drum sets, the DM6 features realistic, natural-feeling playing surfaces. To reduce vibration feedback, natural rubber drum and cymbal surfaces were selected for the DM6's drum pads. This 5-piece kit gets you started on a dual-zone snare pad for 2-sound compatibility. You can dial in a snare drum sound in the center and a rim click, rim shot, or something totally different like a cowbell on the rim. The Alesis DM6 electronic drum kit also comes with 3 tom pads, an upright kick drum pad, hi-hat, crash, and ride cymbal pads. It even comes with an Alesis bass drum pedal and the kick pad is compatible with most single and double bass pedals. Outstanding Sound The DM6 module features an internal collection of topnotch drum, cymbal, and percussion sounds. You can edit and save your drum kits for custom sounds. You get 10 presets and 5 custom slots. In addition to the sounds, there's a USB output that sends the notes you play out as MIDI signal. This enables you to use the DM6 as a trigger-to-MIDI interface with drum-module software such as BFD, Toontrack, or Reason for a limitless collection of sounds. The Alesis DM6 has headphone and amplifier outputs so you can play quietly in phones or connect up and rock out. You can also connect your iPod or CD player and mix it in with the DM6's stereo input jack. Practice Tools The DM6 module has a metronome, an essential tool for keeping steady time whether you're practicing alone or with a band. The DM6 also has a built-in sequencer with 40 preset music tracks for play along—great practice tool! Rugged Hardware A drum set is only as strong as its weakest link. The DM6 Kit mounts on a heavy-duty aluminum rack. The standard 1-1/2" tubing enables you to add on with Alesis and other brands' clamps and mounts. The electric drum kit also comes with a full set of mounting hardware and cables, as well as rugged kick drum and hi-hat pedals.
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I just received and set up my Alesis DM6 yesterday. After playing only Roland electronic kits previously, I have to say that the Alesis isn't as good as one of those. However, for the price, you can't ask for much more. I'm very pleased with it.
The drum heads feel really good when you hit them, and the cymbals are easy to get used to. (A lot nicer than stationary rubber pads that don't give at all!) Although it's really easy to get a bell sound from the ride cymbal, as opposed to just a light hit. You really can't put too much velocity into your hit, or else you'll hear the bell. This will take some getting used to, as it's not related at all to where you hit the cymbal, but rather velocity.
I am not a fan of the hi-hat pedal, but I may just need to tweak it a little bit. It doesn't seem to register open hats too easily when I try to work them into to my playing every now and then (just lifting on the pedal once per measure, or so). There are some adjustments that can be made, so I'm hoping that helps.
I was hoping for more variety in voices for the various pads, but was a little disappointed there. Overall, it's pretty good, but, again, not the Roland brain that I had been used to.
You'll find that a lot of reviews talk about a firmware update being needed from the Alesis website to help the snare hits to register better. I've noticed this problem already, and plan to update my firmware soon. Sometimes I hit my snare softer, and I still get a loud sound from it, showing me that the velocity setting must be a little off. I'm hoping the firmware update will fix this.
If you're thinking about getting this kit, because you can't afford a Roland, I'd recommend it. Just know that you are getting a simple practice kit, and nothing too fancy. If you want a stage kit or something with great recording possibilities, save up a little more and get a Roland. It's a more inexpensive kit, because you only get what you pay for. Don't expect too much, but don't assume it's a piece of garbage either.
I hope this helps you in your decision making.
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