DM-10 Gears Up For The Studio

As electronic drum sets become more common in recordings, isn't it about time they were designed with studio parameters in mind? That said, the hot-looking six-piece DM-10 Studio e-kit from Alesis should have you session cats drooling.

DMPAD CYMBALS

Right off the bat it’s the DM-10 Studio’s new sleek black DMPad cymbals that will catch your eye. While the DM-10 Pro’s Surge cymbals have long been an effective cymbal substitute, their alloy surface could be a bit loud in some situations. The DMPad Cymbals — with their superior dampening qualities of the rubber — are a better choice for the studio.

The kit includes a DMPad Hi-Hat Cymbal, two DMPad Crash Cymbals, and a triple-zone DMPad Ride Cymbal. DMPad Cymbals provide a rubberized playing surface for a great balance between natural cymbal feel and low stick-on-pad sound.

The Ride and one Crash cymbal feature large choke triggers on the undersides for accurate cymbal control. The DMPad Ride also features multi-zone triggering on the bell, face and edge. The DMPad Hi-Hat Cymbal and RealHat Pedal give you continuously variable control from wide open to tightly closed.

REALHEAD DRUM PADS

The DM10 Studio Kit features Alesis’ acoustic-feeling RealHead pads in 10" and 8" sizes. The dual-zone pads feature real mylar drumheads and real triple-flanged counterhoops so you can get the tension you want – no need to change your feel. If you prefer two-ply, coated, whatever, the heads can be swapped out for those from any manufacturer.

The snare and tom pads are dual zone, enabling you to perform rimshots, rim clicks or assign other sounds such as wind chimes, cymbals, gongs and cowbells on the tom rims. RealHead snare and tom pads mount on standard 10.5mm L-rods with low-slip, knurled mounting surfaces. You can use virtually any single or double kick pedal with the RealHead Kick Pad, or split the DM10's kick input with a Y-cable and connect an optional second kick pad for the pedal feel you prefer.

SOUND MODULE

To the list of improvements add the DM10’s new sound module, the company’s first complete revamp of the module in 10 years. First off, the new module has an appealing new look and better interface with more visible info display. More importantly, the improved module contains true drum, cymbal and percussion sounds, built from real samples of classic studio drums and prized cymbals. Drummers will find some of the most in-demand acoustic drum sounds from legendary drum brands, a huge arsenal of top producers' go-to snare drums, real American, Canadian, Chinese, and Turkish cymbals, and a choice selection of classic drum machine and electronic percussion sounds that have fueled the biggest hit records.

Discerning ears will notice that each sound is actually a series of different samples; multiple dynamic-level samples and articulations are all built in so as you play harder and softer, the drum or cymbal changes its timbre, not just its volume. This engineered realism is known as Dynamic Articulation™, an Alesis exclusive. You can play with or without reverb for different room sounds and enjoy a wide variety of rimshots, rim clicks and different stick-placement sounds on the cymbals. For example, a hi-hat’s sound depends on a number of factors: how open or closed the pedal is, how hard it is struck, and other variables resulting in 40 different sounds – plus foot chick and heel splash.

You can also use the DM10 as a trigger-to-MIDI interface for performing and tracking with software drum modules such as BFD, Toontrack and Reason, among others. For practice, you can play along with the tracks in the DM10’s internal sequencer, mix in an iPod or other MP3 player and play along. The DM10 module has 12 trigger inputs, perfect for creating custom configurations. The DM10’s top-panel mixer gives you easy access to creating custom mixes.

STEALTHRACK

The DM10 Studio Kit comes with an ergonomically curved, black aluminum StealthRack. The StealthRack is fully adjustable and large enough to easily accommodate adding on additional pads, yet takes up a fraction of the space of an acoustic kit so it's perfect for studios and rehearsal spaces. It employs standard 1 1/2" tubing for compatibility with virtually all drum manufacturers’ rack hardware.