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Alesis DM5 18-bit Drum Module
Overall Rating
Submitted: June 13th, 2007
by David Minton
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Sound Quality
The touch and feel of any drum module is half drum trigger and half the module. I built great mesh head triggers and the response from the DM5 is great. WITH TWEEKING the cross talk is minimal and the dynamic range is the best I've tried. My band does rock, disco, country and light jazz and my DM5 is good for all of it. The effects on the DM5 are all built into the sounds, I would like to have reverb built in, but adding it post is no problem if you understand the connection between EQ and reverb for live performance. I'm sure you studio guys have a different opinion of this, but I am a live stage proffessional with 40 years of drumming.
Reliability/Durability
A lot of people complain about the DM5's reliability. I almost sold mine until I re-read the manual and started soving problems instead of complaining. Every instrument has issues and here are some tips for the DM5. 1) when you turn it on, rotate the selection wheel back and forth before you touch any pads or triggers. I don't know why, it is a program bug, but that solves most reliability issues. 2) do not plug straight into the wall. It is a computer and you should be using a floor model power supply strip. Get a good one that filters the electric signal. 3) the manual says it is designed to be backed up by a midi storage device. I was lucky enough to find an old Alesis DATA DISK unit on ebay. It backs up all my hours of tweeking to a floppy disk. Once, on stage, my bass drum beater came out and I unplugged the pedal to put it back in. I forgot to turn off the DM5 and reconnected it-wipng out my programming in the process. I turned on the DATA DISK and had all my kits back in 15 seconds.
Price/Value
General Comments
I have owned 11 different brands of electronic drums going back to the Simmons and Tama kits from the 80's. I try out everything new set I see in the stores. The Rolands are nice but way over priced and carry a lot stuff I do not need. I am the happiest with my DM5. I am a working musician not a rich guy with a home studio. For the price of a DM5, you cannot even come close to the goodies you get with any other brand. It makes me my living and I am going to buy a new DM5 soon. This is a fine instument that needs to be learned just any fine instument. If you want instant gratification, you will never be a good musician.
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