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Alesis DM5 18-bit Drum Module
Overall Rating
Submitted: October 20th, 2008
by f22gunner
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Sound Quality
Again since Alesis is known for midi-sounding sounds the quality of sounds are so-so. There are maybe 20 sounds for each category )i.e. snare, bass, toms, cymbals). But this is very dissapointing because many of the sounds are industrial, or techno, or rap etc. There are maybe 4 sounds of each category that actually attempt to mimic a realy drumset and since you can't edit the sounds except for volume and pitch and the set doesn't change the sound when you play harder or softer you fell more like its a toy. A realistic module would probably have around 5 sounds all grouped together for just one particular voice so that as you transition from player softer to harder, it maintains the realistic sound instead of just getting louder. There is 1 hi-hat sound that's realistic, 2 ride sounds, and 3 crash sounds that are realistic. One of the big problems with this set is the "real" drum heads and "real" looking cymbals you play on. True they are real drumheads, but they're smaller about 8" and sound like plastic when you play them unless the volume on your speakers is loud enough so you don't notice, which is pretty high. The fact that the ride and the crash cymbals are metal (sort of) does make them sound more realistic becuase you get the high frequency pitches of the stick hitting the metal that a pad wouldn't do. HOWEVER, on the hi-hat, there's just simply no way of getting around the fact that when you hit the hi-hat you will get the high hat sound through the speakers but you will also get an overbearing stick click sound from hitting the metal. The produces an effect that makes it seem lie you are playing to a click track when playing rock grooves. If all you wanted to do was play as hard and lound as you could for every note, this set would sound ok but since there's no transition between loud playing sounds to soft playing sounds, I wouldn't not recommend this set for anyone not a headbanger.
No problems so far here, and all of my other Alesis stuff is holding up well too.
General Comments
This is set is like a toy piano you would give to a 3 year old and sounds like one. It's definately not worth the money becuase even though it looks cool with the metal cymbals and real drumheads you could get a much better quality product for just a little more from Roland. For quality sounds and transition go with roland V-drums. I've been playing for 10 years on both real and electronic sets. I've tried Alesis, roland, and yamaha. I also play guitar and keyboard and have played yamaha, alesis, roland, and kurzweil keyboard for 15 years. I love the looks of this set but hate the sound quality. You should have seen the way everyone looked at me when I first started playing this set in rehearsal. They're were like what is that loud clicking noise coming from the hi-hat. For this set to be good it needs the following. 1. 10 times the amount of sounds (don't be fooled by the voices. It may have 1000 voices but if they're all based off the same 40 sounds they're going to sound the same ( and Alesis is king of this, my alesis keyboard boasts 700 voices but it only has about 64 sounds) 2. A hi-hat pedal that is pressure sensitive so if i close it gently you barely hear a little sizzle and if I close it hard you hear a loud pop 3. A piece of foam rubber on the hi-hat so it doesn't sound like a stick click every time i hit it. 4. Parameters to adjust like attack, decay, release, susdecay, delay, ambience, etc. 5. More sensitive triggers so that if i play softly on the snare it actually outputs a sound. 6. Atleast 3 times the polyphony so when I play a quick buzz shot on the snare it actually sounds like a buzz instead of a few random strokes
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