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Rating and Reviews: Alesis RealHead Drum Pad

The real mylar head and counterhoop design give this pad a very natural feel while the dual zone technology allows you to adjust the sound on the tom pads.

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"Quality of Alesis RealHead Dual Triggered Drum Pad." submitted February 5, 2014

By Don Watters in SALEM, OR
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Musical Background: I have been playing Drums for over thirty years Professionally.
Music Style: I can play most types of music but am currently in two bands, one country swing band, and one top-forty country band.
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Overall: I have been looking for something to replace my Roto-Toms on my Gibraltar Rack, These pads look great , they feel great when playing. The only thing to take into consideration is I am using a DM4 brain. The cord that comes with pad have a male 1/4 stereo on both ends, so you might want to order a # HOS-STP202 ,Stereo 1/4 TRS to two Mono 1/4 TS because the DM4 and DM5 need two individual input plugs to trigger each pad.
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"such a great deal" submitted August 25, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
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Value
Musical Background: drummer
Music Style: yes
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Sound: you can actualy perform a buzz roll and still hear all the strokes Feature: gladly it comes with mounting brackets for low and behold they have there own size and shape that can't be used with any other brand Ease of Use: not to sure about the secondary trigger or rimshot haven't recorded much with the new pads but this is questionable Quality: all is great when sitting in the studio exactly what they were bought to do Value: yes The Wow Factor: no Overall: mine tell it dies
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"RealHead pads do not feel like real heads." submitted August 9, 2011

By a customer from cosmolee.com
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Musical Background: Student
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Overall: I've played all of these pads. They are the same ones that came with the DM8 Pro kit which I own. The Alesis sets use what they call "RealHead" pads. These are controllers that use actual drum head skins as part of their pads. Implied in their usage is the possibility that the heads will feel more authentic compared to substitutes such as rubber, mesh, etc, because they use the real thing. Unfortunately, this possibility is unrealized. The Alesis pads do not feel like real drum heads at all, and the pads are hobbled by their design. The bass drum pad feels as if your beater is striking a board. The other pads lack the soft bounce that you feel with real drums. The worrisome aspect of the Alesis pads is the potential for damage they could cause your hands. The impact sensor of the pad is a metal plate underneath the drum head. The only thing between this plate and the drum head is a thin layer of foam. When you strike the drum head with decent force using a stick, the foam bottoms out, and you are essentially rebounding off the metal. This results in feeling the unpleasant physical impact of hitting a hard object. This could harm your hands over extended usage. My teacher noticed this about the Alesis pads immediately when I showed one to him. An actual drum head has a soft rebound response to your strikes. The Alesis pads have a hard rebound response to your stronger strikes. It doesn't require wailing unreasonably hard on the pads in order to feel this, only forceful strikes that are not out of the norm. I found this to be the case with the larger pads - the 12" snare and tom - not so much the smaller toms. Having the foam positioned in direct contact with the drum skin has the unfortunate effect of dampening the response of the pad. It feels like playing on a rubber pad. You do not get the bounce of a real drum head. Although Alesis trumpets the pads as being constructed with rims like real drums, no amount of tightening the heads will give you the bounce response of a real drum head. I tightened them until the frames started to warp from the tension, but couldn't get anything near authentic response. Doing a vertical stick bounce - where you hold a drum stick vertically above the pad about the elevation of the length of a drum stick, and let it drop - gives you an indication of comparative response. There's little rebound from the stick bounce off of the Alesis pad head. You might get 3 inches of bounce - nothing near a real drum head bounce. On an actual snare the stick will bounce more than twice that. I would describe the difference as a "dead bounce" versus a "live bounce". The strike sensor, which has a denser foam covering, only extends partially under an inner circle of the pad. The outer circle surrounding that sensor has a ring of less dense foam. This means that the response, and audible feedback from stick impact on the inner pad is different from the response on the outer pad. It lacks consistency of feel across the pad. The pads are noisy. This makes sense, since the pads use real drum skins. It would be a worthwhile trade-off to have the noise of real heads if the pads had authentic feel. But they don't, so you're left with the worst of both worlds. For me, the Alesis pads are a disappointment. I really wanted to like them - the concept of using actual drum heads for pads is very appealing. Some very expensive electronic kits do this. There really is nothing like the feel of an actual drum head. Alesis seemingly offers the feature at a very attractive price. However, it has executed the concept in a way that undermines the hypothetical realness. Sadly, Alesis' "RealHeads" do not have the feel of real heads.
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