To be clear and honest, Alesis is one of the top brands when it comes to electronic drum sets as far as 2018 is concerned. The company boasts quite a number of years in the industry and has proven to drum professionals and beginners that they can be relied upon when it comes to quality drum sets. One of their earlier electronic drum set versions, the Alesis DM6, which has been on the market for a couple of years now remains not only stylish but great for sound quality and convenience too. Well, personally, I can only say so much at this point.
Below, we review the Alesis DM6 electronic drum set comprehensively, looking at various reasons that would make you want to buy or not buy this timeless product.
Alesis DM6 USB Review
In The Box:
The Alesis DM6 USB kit five-piece electronic drum set comes in a single box package, which comprises of a total of 8 drum pads, a kick pad, a dual-zone snare pad, 3 tom pads (single-zone), and 3 cymbal pads. It also comes with an easy to assemble stand for the equipment Mounting hardware), a pair of drumsticks, a bass pedal with one drum key. In the box, a 110V AC adapter is also included. The only crucial accessories that aren’t included in the box are the throne and the headphones, which you can buy separately.
Design and Build:
The DM6 USB is a 5- piece drum set with cymbals. One of the particular strengths of the DM6 is its awesomely stylish design that features a 5-piece arrangement with 3 cymbals included. Overall, this drum set hardware is solid and stable to last while still being lightweight and easy to transport. The frame tubing is thick and the clamps hold the drum kit pieces firmly into position.
The drum triggers are rubber headed and feature a shell molded plastic design except for the snare drums. The snare is dual-triggered and instead of the rubber head being mounted within the playing surface the snare features a playing surface with a plastic shell mounted on top. I know what you’re probably wondering; any reason for this? Of course yes, it is designed so to allow the rim to trigger a different sound since this drum kit uses a dual-trigger snare. This also gives out appropriate-sounding rim shots. The drum kit is also equipped with a trigger feature for the ride and crash cymbal as well as a hi-hat trigger that is foot pedal controlled. The kick drum has an upright trigger that enables easy standard operation.
Some like to call it the bran of a drum set. The DM6 USB’s sound module comes with 15 programmable drum sets, which include 10 preset kits and 5 user slots. It features a total of 108 peculiar drum sounds, which is a great for experienced and practicing as well as professional drummers. Even more interestingly, the kit features an onboard metronome with 40 onboard play-along patterns for the drummer to enjoy playing along to.
The drum set uses standard 0.25-inch jacks to connect the pads that join together into a loom that connects to the drum module. This makes the DM6 quite a neat drum set. In other words, you won’t have to deal with multiple cables and jacks all over. The output ports include a stereo line-out and a headphone line out. The kit also allows you to introduce external audio from say an MP3 player through a mix input port. There is also a USB MIDI connection, making it ideal for using with other devices such as DAWs, computers, and iPads using an Apple USB Adaptor.
Assembly & Storage
There is a huge plus in owning the DM6 when it comes to storage and assembly. Assembly is fairly easy and the product can be folded up to conserve space. When set up, it only takes up 20 sq.ft of your space, which means is way much space-conserving that most units in the market. Disassembly also requires you to loosen the nuts and fold the drum set up when keeping it away. However, I strongly suggest that you disassemble the product a few times as you can to avoid the associated higher rate of wear and tear.
Alesis DM6 Sounds & Operation
The Alesis DM6 USB is one of the easiest electronic drum sets to operate, thanks to its user-friendly module. This is one of the features that make it a great option for beginners in drumming. The Alesis drum module is clearly labeled to allow easy control and adjustment of parameters such as volume or recording. You can adjust sounds for individual drum pads with an easy push of a button.
The 108 individual sounds that Alesis like to refer as Voices, comprises of a wide range of sounds in various versions, including tom, cymbal, kick, and snare sounds of cowbells, timbales, congas, and many other types of instruments as well as DJ sounds and sound effects. Drummers who’ve used this kit find the 10 preset kits that include Pop, Rock, Jazz, and DJ, among others amazing others. You can only say that this easy to operate drum set sounds great, even though it might not be the best around. Plus you can connect it to your computer and even sync it with your music production software? Play along to your iPad MP3? Ain’t that pretty awesome?
Using the DM6 with Your Computer
As mentioned above, the fact that you can use it with a computer via the USB input port at the rear side of the module makes the DM6 USB a pretty amazing drum set. With the help of good recording software like Reaper, Ableton, Garageband, Addictive Drums, and many others, you can flawlessly record your music with this kit with no sweat. In other words, you can also use it as a MIDI controller, triggering any sound in your software library with the hit a pad on the drum. Can it be any cooler if you can make the sound of a piano or an acoustic drum set from the DM6, and electronic drum kit? Me neither, I didn’t think so!
Using the Alesis DM6 in Practice Sessions
Let me take you a notchback for a recap of what we’ve found out from this Alesis dm6 review. This far; we’ve seen that the DM6 can be a great drum set for beginners, thanks to its easy-to-use module and user interface. We’ve also seen that it can be ideal for recording and production, especially for beginners in the game. Now back to the present, the DM6 is also an amazing piece of equipment for practicing drummers. It may not possess the highly impressive practice functions and features seen in drum sets such as the Roland TD11 and the Yamaha DTX 450K, but it sure as the moon has a justified reason; it’s incredibly low pricing.
Make Practice Sessions More Fun with Xbox/PS
Plus you can integrate your practice with your favorite music, thanks to the USB-in and audio-in features. You will love this kit if you’re a fan of rock. More interestingly, you only need an extra cable and a MIDI adaptor to make your practice sessions more fun by connecting this kit with PlayStation or Xbox and playing interesting music games such as Rock Band 4. However, you may need to buy Rock Band 4 drum cymbals and a rock band drum pedal if you want it to produce the exact experience. Also, ensure that your rock band 4 firmware is up to date to get the best experience. For Xbox 1, you can get expansion rock band 4 cymbals and the rockband drum peddles for less than $30 here.
How Does It Sound?
You’re probably quite eager to know how the DM6 sounds and how it compares to competition on the electronic drum set market. To be fair and honest, Alesis DM6 is not the best sounding electronic drum kit out there. It doesn’t sound like an acoustic drum set, like many professional drummers would be most fascinated by. But overall, its sounds great for practice sessions and can be a perfect pick to begin your drumming with. For a product that will give you the experience of an acoustic drum set, the DM10 can be an amazing alternative. Otherwise, the DM6 gives out sounds that are free from excess noise. However, the cymbals lack a choke function, so you might want to consider this when hitting your practice strokes.
Alesis DM6 Expansion
Out of preference, quite a number of users have considered expanding the kit by adding a tom or cymbal to the DM6 setup. If you’re one of them, you may want to get Alesis’ expansion cable snake, which comes with two additional trigger inputs. This allows you to add a cymbal and a tom drum at the same time, making it a 7-piece electronic drum set like the Alesis burst kit. For double bass, the Alesis DM6’s kick pad comes with a 3-inch wide kick pad that can accommodate your double bass pedal, so you won’t need adding anything extra down there.
One of the market’s cheapest electronic drum set that is useful
Simple drum module
Accommodates double bass pedal
Reputable drum kit from a reputable company
Sounds and performs great for practice
Can be used with a myriad of input devices
Sound range is a bit limited
Lacks some advanced features
Clearly, as we can tell from this Alesis DM6 review, electronic drum sets have come from far, and are most definitely still evolving. Electronic drum sets than are better and more advanced that the DM6 may be available on the market and so do worse and even terrible ones. It really depends on what you’re looking for in a drum set. However, the DM6’s quality, convenient design, and usability surpass its pricing by far. If you’re a beginner in drumming or you’re looking for a great drum set to use in your practice session, Alesis DM6 is the cheapest useful drum set you will come across. You can even find a cheaper used craigslist dm6 USB, thanks to the fact that it has been on the market for quite a while.
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