By Andy Doerschuk Published January 31, 2011
Let’s venture back to the early 2000s, shall we? As the e-drum market gravitated toward more expensive and elaborate turnkey systems, Alesis entered the playing field and changed the game with electronic kits that explored the bottom of the price range without sacrificing quality sounds and hardware. The company’s R&D team recognized a key factor – most drummers used their electronic setups as high-falootin’ practice kits. Many didn’t care about the bells and whistles – they just wanted to shred at home with headphones on.
Which brings us to Alesis’ 2011 crop of kits, which include DM8 USB Kit and DM8 Pro Kit. Both build on the success of the top-of-the-line DM10. They share the DM10’s essential architecture, including playback of 750 genuine recordings of real drums and cymbals and advanced Dynamic Articulation multi-samples, dozens of play-along tracks, and a metronome. DM8 kits feature professional audio and trigger inputs and outputs, and MIDI and USB MIDI for expansive flexibility and connection to a wide range of devices.
The 5-piece DM8 USB Kit (suggested retail: $899) comes with a full set of rubber pads: a dual-zone snare pad, three tom pads, and a kick pad that accommodates single and double pedals. Cymbals include a hi-hat with control pedal, crash with choke, and a triple-zone ride. It all mounts on a preassembled, four-post DMRack complete with clamps with large wingscrews and mini-boom cymbal arms.
For a more realistic feel, the DM8 Pro Kit (pictured above, suggested retail: $999) features Alesis’ RealHead drum pads – a 12" snare; 8", 10", and 12" toms; and an 8" kick pad that accommodates single and double pedals. The DMPad cymbals comprise a 12" hi-hat with RealHat control pedal, 14" crash with choke, and a 16" triple-zone ride. The DM8 Pro’s rugged StageRack features a sturdy four-post design, clamps with large wingscrews, and boom cymbal arms.
Now here’s the delicious part: You can expect to pay a street price of around $699 for the DM8 USB Kit and $799 for the DM8 Pro Kit. That’s just plain hard to beat (depending on how you define the word “beat”).