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Alesis DM6 Drum Kit Inc Sticks, Stool and Headphones Reviews
Never having drummed in my life, but thinking I knew about it from playing bass for many years I wanted an entry level kit that would allow me to expand in the future if I decided that drumming was for me.
The DM6 controller cannot be expanded on but can always be replaced. There are some features missing like dual zone toms, multiple zone cymbals and cymbal choking, but nothing that can\'t be replaced.
The build of the entire set is sturdy, and best of all all black. It looks great, is light enough to carry around the house, and only took about 20 minutes to put together using the little wrench that comes in the box.
Wiring it up is a snap as all the leads come in a single unit with a multiway connector going into the back of the DM6\'s brain, and all leads are clearly marked as to which drum, cymbal or pedal they connect to. It couldn\'t be simpler to setup.
It\'s actually a lot smaller than I thought it would be, measuring about 110cm wide by 80cm deep, and fits easily into my home office/studio.
Pads and Cymbals:
The cymbals are black plastic covered one third by rubber, which is very bouncy and perfect for pulling off some nice tricks on the cymbals. They are also very sensitive with a good range of velocities available even for a beginner like me. The stands look like standard cymbal holders, are well made and chromed.
The toms are nice and bouncy and sensitive, feeling really good for tribal type rhythms.
The kick is solid, with a pedal that is bolted on, but could be replaced by a standard single or double ( as I will be doing ) kick pedal. Velocity range on the kick seems a bit small, reducing your expression a bit, plus you really have to make sure you release your foot as the kick itself is VERY bouncy, resulting in double hits if you\'re not careful. That probably the fact I\'m a complete beginner though.
The hi-hat pedal is VERY sensitive and needs to be held down pretty tight to keep the hihats closed. On the upside, very little movement is required to open them.
The major let down on the kit is the dual zone snare. It\'s not very bouncy and very insensitive. The kit comes with a set of drumsticks as well as the set that came from Dolphin. The Dolphin sticks just don\'t seem heavy enough to reliably trigger the snare unless you really whack it and to begin with I keep missing beats. Expression range is very good though, but you\'ll find that you\'re hitting it pretty hard.
One thing to note at this point, is that the kit is not that quiet, especially the snare. I had problems with the kick and it\'s pedal moving around, with the little adjustable pin-like feet chewing up my lovely floorboards, until I went to the sports store and bought a load of yoga/gym matting tiles. Now the noise is reduced downstairs and the pedal stays in place.
The sounds that come with the kit are ok, quite varied, but will need some tweaking to get a good balance of volume due to the previously mentioned snare issue.
The headphone socket combined with the line-in means I can practice away to my tunes without disturbing anyone, and the reason why I spent over 4 hours playing away as soon as I opened the box without even realizing it,
As a Midi Controller:
I don\'t really use the built in sounds at all, but I use it as a controller through my Mac book Pro for Toontrack EzDrummer, Superior Drums etc. Midi response seems to be way better on the snare and I ramp up the volume a bit evening out the overall volume of the kit.
There is pretty much no latency going via the USD/Midi connection and recording midi drum tracks is perfect.
The stool and sticks that came as part of the package are great. The sticks a little light for the snare, but good backups. The headphones could do with having a better high frequency response as the sound is pretty muddy. I ended up giving them away and keeping my old phones, but it\'s more likely the problem is due to my damaged hearing rather than the phones themselves as no one else seems to mind them.
This is a fantastic kit for a beginner/casual player especially as a midi trigger. I\'m absolutely hooked on drumming now. Once you get used to the snare, it\'s a pleasure to play and I can\'t keep my hands off it. I\'d rather good for a kit like this than the entry level roland due to the fact I can replace bits and pieces if I want to improve things. I\'ll probably replace the snare with a roland one if I\'m still this crazy about playing in a couple of months. Apart from that, I can\'t fault this kit at all.
I would have given this 10 stars if it weren\'t for snare problem. The kit is well made, sturdy, looks great, sounds good and plays like a dream. As a midi trigger it\'s accurate with virtually no latency. It\'s missing some of the features of top of the range kits, but it also has some features and a finish worthy of many of it\'s more expensive competitors. I can\'t recommend this highly enough.