Author Topic: Hello From North New Jersey  (Read 631 times)

Offline ShaggyRS6

Hello From North New Jersey
« on: April 02, 2018, 01:16:45 PM »
Hi everyone,
My name is Lee and I am originally from Kent, in the UK.  I moved to the US 5 years ago for work and I now live in Bergen County in New Jersey. I am 46 years old, married with a 21 year old son.
I used to play the drums way back in 2008, but due to financial reasons I had to sell my Roland TD9 VDrums kit. I was about a year in before I had to give it up. I have always had a love of music and I have musicality. This year I committed to myself that I would do something about that love and have started to learn the bass and electric guitars, and I have also started trying my hand at music production with the help of a Maschine MK3. I have always wanted to get back into drumming and so I finally bit the bullet and got myself an Alesis Strike Pro kit.  I set it up on Friday and I am very much looking forward to learning to play once again.
I like most music except for Jazz. I like country a lot, pop and rock too! I go through phases of what I mainly listen too and right now, along with country, I am listening to a lot of Nirvana and the Foo Fighters.

I do have a few questions regarding how to route play along songs via the module and to my amp and also how i go from the module to something like Abelton.  But I will leave that for another post!

Offline VandalX

Re: Hello From North New Jersey
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2018, 03:51:20 PM »
Hi Lee. Welcome to the world of Alesis. I had looked into a Strike Pro as well, but couldn't swing the cost between it and the kit I settled on, a DM10 MKII Pro. However, most of the mechanical things that aren't module specific are similar. For instance, getting your sounds from the module into a DAW, or using a VST (in stand-alone mode or via a plug-in to the DAW). There are people on here who are VASTLY more experienced than I am with regards to these things, but I thought I'd chime in and say hi and offer my newbie advice. Being a newbie (in the e-drum world) as well, perhaps you'll appreciate the struggles I've gone through to make a more enjoyable experience.

That said, there are some critical elements to playing an Alesis kit that can't be overlooked. If you search my profile for my previous posts, you can read about the issues I've faced from the get go. There are some build quality concerns that bear repeating and acknowledgment. Mainly, the trigger systems. They have some flaws that will fail under certain conditions. For me, those conditions include hitting the pads. With sticks. There are countless other products that, when new, cannot be hit with sticks and hope to survive. Eggs, glass figurines, hamsters. And as it turns out, my DM10 MKII Pro. It was folly to think that I could buy a drum kit and hit them with sticks for an extended period of time and not create issues for myself.

Apparently, the trigger systems that fail have been well documented on the Alesis customer forum, and they extend to all the mesh head pads, regardless of model. This is a horrible oversight by Alesis, and a constant source of "snipe hunting" by their customers for a solution. I felt like I was in the minority and perhaps was just unlucky, but it seems to be a perennial and not-uncommon problem. The model I have isn't a big seller, so I initially thought I had just chosen the wrong kit, but the pads are all generally the same insofar as the trigger/transducer mounts.

I don't want to bum you out with bad news, as these kits are tremendously fun to play and a good price point. But it's worth keeping in mind that eventually some warranty claims will be made if you have pads beginning to fail. They're mechanical/electrical systems that are subjected to specific, targeted impacts. Alesis has done nothing to address this defect, except to offer replacement pads if under warranty or you can buy new ones if out of warranty.

I won't go into what my struggles have been any further, and if you're interested just look up my pervious posts. The upside is that if you have any small electronic repair skills, fixing them isn't that difficult.

Now, as to making it all work with a DAW/VST. Depending what you're running, the bare minimum equipment you'd want is an external USB audio interface. I recently picked up a Behringer UMC404HD ($99), as recommended by some of our more senior members. It works beautifully. Four inputs, midi, USB, Midas preamps. Solid construction (a rarity for Behringer). I run a Macbook Pro, and setup was effortless. No drivers, no drop outs, no latency. Clean sound. I run it through Reaper (online download and free to evaluate, but inexpensive if you decide to purchase). I also picked up a copy of Addictive Drums 2 ($130), and added a few expansion packs so I could get specific drums sounds that my module was clearly incapable of. I'm pretty sure I'm missing out on some of the stuff my module can do, but I bypassed that all by going to a VST. I've been really happy with the result.

If you already have Ableton, I'm sure someone here has advice about how to port the module to your software, but the underpinnings are all about the same. Reaper just seemed to know what I wanted to do and it did it. I assume that follows for other software. Unless it's Audacity.

In any case, I didn't mean to ramble. Have fun with your new kit, and keep in mind that the problems I have experienced might not plague you and your kit, but I wanted to make you aware of the possibility. Alesis products are a good value if you take into consideration how much it would cost to go with a Roland that has similar features. The downside is having to fix the things that will break, and these issues don't seem to be affecting those in the Roland/Yamaha user groups. You will learn a lot about how e-drums work, however!

Alesis DM 10 MKII Pro (with Tama Iron Cobra double). Pearl Export acoustic. Fostex VF160EX Digital multitrack (16). Fostex monitors. Roland TR-626 drum machine. Roland Juno 106 Poly synth. Aria Knight Warrior. Peavy Fury. Digitech GNX3000. Digitech RP360. Tascam Porta 05 four track. MacBook Air.