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Rating and Reviews: Alesis DM8 USB Kit Drums

Easily and affordably record and upload your drumming sessions with a simple USB plug-and-play interface and a selection of quality sound effects.

User Ratings
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"Great sounding and looking kit, with really bad QC." submitted September 4, 2011

By a customer from comcast.net
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: active musician
Music Style: Rock, Blues
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Sound: The DM8 brain has some nice sounds, but also a lot of novelty stuff I probably won't ever use. The verbs are way overdone on most presets, but the depth of editing is pretty good. After some tweaking for my personal tastes, there are a lot of usable patches. I am mostly just sending the midi data to a DAW and then using better software samples for recording. For live performance, the DM8 sounds are perfectly adequate (after tweaking). Feature: This kit comes very complete for most drummers. The frame and hardware are pretty good quality and it feels very solid. I may add another cymbal and drum pad, but that is definitely not necessary, just a personal preference. I was a little disappointed that the hi-hat needs to be struck with the stick to be triggered rather than just using the pedal in the acoustic way, but I should have thought that through better. I may upgrade to one of the actual two-piece hi-hats and use the Alesis pad for a chinese crash. Ease of Use: Very easy to set up and get going. The module is pretty intuitive, except for some of the deeper editing functions. Tons of open user presets available. The factory presets could be better organized though, so I nicked it a point for that. Instead of grouping them together like "ethnic" "jazz" "rock", they are seemingly in random sequence as you scroll through with the wheel. Quality: I was really happy with the kit and invested a lot of time to tweak the sounds to get them where I wanted. Then I started to really play it for several nights in a row. The first thing that happened was that one of the tom pads came off. I moved it from the slanted top rack position to the horizontal floor tom position, but it still came off the base during playing. The second thing to happen was that the dual-zone crash started playing both sounds no matter if I hit the bow or the bell. I adjusted the cross talk and sensitivity which helped for a while, but then the bell was just triggering all on its own and wouldn't stop until I unplugged it. Then I re-calibrated the module to the factory settings and it would just go off on its own without even hitting it. Value: I am giving this rating based on the playing experience, not the QC issue I had. If the next kit has the same problems, I will revisit this and lower the rating significantly. Compared to other non-Roland kits out there, the DM8 is a very good value. IMHO Roland is way overpriced. Manufacturer Support: Alesis has a forum, but not much participation from the DM-series owners. Maybe that's a good thing because most people go to a forum to complain about something. I called zzounds to see if they could get Alesis to just replace the two bad triggers, but the only recourse was to break it all down again, figure out the puzzle box of how to get everything back in to the original packaging and ship it back for replacement. The Wow Factor: The kit is very pro-looking. The rack is top notch, the hardware too. The DM-series cymbal pads are very cool looking, full circles with a glossy black plastic non-impact area. They are gimbaled too, so they have a nice natural sway to them when you strike them. The overall look is very sexy compared to some of the toy-like kits out there. Overall: I have to knock this done several notches for the hassle factor of having to return it. Multiple pad failures is not a good sign. I still hope that the next one I get is not a "Monday" kit. If not, then it may be time to embrace the dark side of Roland gear.
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"Fun kit" submitted July 10, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
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Musical Background: Begginer
Music Style: Alternative
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Sound: Well first off all, it depends on the headphones. I used skull candy buds at first and they have deep bass, but not too clear. I got some JVC RX700 headphones and it made the sounds a lot clearer with decent bass. As far as the stock sounds go, they aren't too bad. I wish there were more and maybe some better sounding. Seems hard to find good tom sounds. Crash also needs to be louder. In the end, the sounds can be tweaked for pitch, volume, etc so it might just take some fine tuning. Feature: Came with basically everything you need besides headphones (even came with drum sticks). As I mentioned, there is a ton of tweaking you can do to the system. Maybe some more sounds. Ease of Use: Read the manual! At first I was constantly getting a small sound from the kick when not in use. It wasn't until I read the manual that I found out the threshold needed to go up 2 points. No more problem. IMO it should ship on 6 instead of 2 because that was all that it needed. I haven't figured out a way to save this setting and the manual says it restarts when you restart the module. Remember to calibrate the hi-hat. I read reviews where people say it didn't work out of the box. Mine didn't either and I was disappointed, but once I calibrated it no more problem. Pretty easy to set up, doesn't really take any instructions. Rack comes mostly assembled except two legs. Quality: It seems to be decently well made, but not the best. I have beaten it pretty hard and it has stood up to it. No loose parts of blemishes. I've recently had a problem where the bell on the ride will start ringing, I think I have it under control with the sensitivity settings. Still shouldn't be doing that in my opinion though. Value: I would say it is good for the money. Decent quality. I like how the snare head not only looks different from the toms, but feels different from the toms also. Probably would not use for a show though. Has the option to upgrade to their real feel heads and their surge cymbals which are basically real cymbals that and coated to stay quite. The Wow Factor: Looks better than other kits around this price for sure. I like the glossy finish to the cymbals where the rubber is not. Like I said I like how the snare is a different color than the toms. Overall: I would love an acoustic set, but not at the moment. I played on my DM8 and then played on my friend's acoustic set and it was pretty easy to transition to an acoustic set. Besides the kick being a little loud, it is pretty quite which is nice.
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