Saturday, September 1, 2012

Alesis DM8 pro - first impressions

I recieved the kit yesterday, and it took less than an hour to assemble (I studied the contents beforehand). It was an easy set-up, no tools needed, and the rack itself was preassembled. I didn't have to mess with the clamps individually, which was a huge timesaver. They were all oriented correctly, and I would have fiddled with the thing for hours if I had a pile of unassembled stuff!

The sounds, as I predicted, were stunning, and the kits were well-voiced. With 100 preset kit sounds, there were maybe 10 kits I may never use as entire kits (maybe individual sounds as accents, perhaps). This is a HUGE percentage of useful patches, as many ekits are pretty loaded with useless patches. With 750 undividual sounds, I'm really anxious to explore the potentials of the DM8 Pro.

My only setback (and so far I might just need to get into the manual further to rectify my problem) is with the hi-hat pedal controller. This is such an essential element of the kit that if it were anything else I'd overlook a shortcoming. I can't accurately (and consistently) open and close the cymbal action on the hat. This is more than my lack of finesse on the instrument, it indiscriminately stays closed as I try to open it as an articulative tool. I need to explore further before I return the pedal, or complete the ebay feedback process, which is still pending my complete satisfaction. The communication with the seller before delivery was spotty.

At first I had no idea if I would have the room, considering my studio is my bedroom as well. Turns out it's fairly compact, and everything's postioned tightly in the familiar pattern of a five-piece kit with two cymbal arms. If I can program a tom pad as a second cymbal I'll feel like the versatility this kit provides will be perfectly adaptable to my playing style and configuration preferences. That and the hi-hat pedal problems are my only real concerns. Everything else works flawlessly.

The pads are hard rubber, the older sets had provisions to swap out mylar heads for mesh heads. Personally I'm glad of this, I'm not really a tweakhead. If presented with the potential for improvement I'll usually try the adjustment but this time I'm glad to save the money and trouble. The action is accurate and responsive, and the touch-sensitive feature is nice for a bit of dynamics overall.

So far, this is a go. If I can't adjust the hi-hat, that would be a big letdown. Sad to say, I may just eat the entire purchase and build an acoustic hi-hat (with mic for recording) if it gets too difficult. Repacking this kit would be a total nightmare! If I could return the pedal alone I'd be set. The sounds included are just too damn good.

More later, after the recording process progresses. Keep your tubes hot and your antenna up! See you next time!

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