The Alesis Strike Pro is a professional electronic drum set that comes with four tom pads, a snare pad, kick pad, threecrash cymbals, ride cymbal and a hi-hat controller.
More on the quality of those later, but in this Alesis Strike Pro review, lets first dive in to the real gem of this set and probably the reason why so many people have bought this and many more considering and comparing to Roland flagships – The Alesis Strike Module.
I am a proud owner of this drum kit for a couple of years now, it ain’t perfect, but for the money, you cannot possibly find more value anywhere and that was the reason why I bought this.
The module is truly something to brag about to fellow electronic drummers, there aren’t many drum modules with such capabilities like the Strike module and we’ll talk about the strong points later on.
So what do you get after you’ve parted with approximately £2000 Pounds? ($1800)
You get a couple of very, and I mean very heavy boxes. You may want to unpack them if you’re getting the kit upstairs to avoid back injury or get someone else to help you carry them.
Inside the boxes, you’ll find everything you need to set everything up, besides bass pedal and hi-hat stand as those are not included. Wasn’t a huge deal for me personally as I use my own double pedal and my DW5000 hi-hat stand and if they did include those, I’m pretty sure they would be of much lower quality than what I got, which isn’t ideal if you’re not a total beginner.
If you do want to have those when you buy the kit, look around Amazon or Sweetwater deals, they sometimes have bundles where the kick pedal and hi-hat will be included in the sale.
As we move on with the Alesis Strike Pro kit review, the contents in the box are as follows:
- 14″ kick drum pad (1)
- 14″ dual-zone snare drum pad (1)
- 8″, 10″, 12″, 14″ dual-zone tom pads (4)
- 16″ triple-zone ride cymbal pad (1)
- 14″ dual-zone crash cymbal pads (2)
- 12″ hi-hat cymbal pads (1)
- Chrome rack (1)
- Strike drum module (1)
- Pair of drum sticks (1)
- Cable snake and wraps (1)
- Drum key (1)
- Power supply (1)
- Assembly guide (1)
General Features of the Kit
- Drum module equipped with a 4.3″ full-color LCD screen
- 110 kits and over 1,600 multi-sampled instruments
- 8GB SD card
- Dual-hoop pads with wooden shells
- 4-Post chrome rack
- Software editor
- On-board sampling capability
- USB/MIDI output for use with VST instruments
The Look and the Quality of The Kit
This is one of the things that got me when I saw a picture of the ad from Alesis of their new electronic kit. Right there and then I knew I had to get my hands on it somehow when it’s released.
I have owned Alesis DM10 before and to be honest they were’t all that great. The pads were fairly small and the kit felt flimsy and unstable, I sometimes would hit a cymbal and couple of toms would trigger around it, a phenomenon called cross-triggering which can be fixed by adjusting threshold, but then you lose some of the dynamics if you overdo it and with the quality of DM10, that certainly was the case. It didn’t look too good either…
This kit eliminates those concerns, it looks fantastic in my opinion and you don’t fancy red color – there is a website that does custom wraps for your Alesis Strike shells!
The quality is improved from their last flagship (DM10) and out of the box I didn’t have any issues with cross-triggering at all, as the chrome rack is very sturdy with solid clamps to keep your toms stable.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the very best, Roland flagships like TD50 or TD30 have better quality rack and clamps, but the price difference is just a deal-breaker for me personally. And their modules don’t offer some of the features that this module has. This brings me to the next thing we absolutely have to talk about – The Strike Module itself.
The Alesis Strike Module
Let me start by just saying – the module is insanely good. As I’ve mentioned before, this is the main reason why I chose this kit over it’s competitors like Roland TD27.
It looks absolutely gorgeous! It’s also easy to get used to and easy to tweak to your liking. It works with most pads with little tweaks, only Yamaha pads may need some DYI adjustments for it to work properly, but everything else is nearly plugged and play.
With the latest software upgrade, which is 1.5 as of making this review, you get 136 preset kits to choose from and you can copy, paste, tweak, change every pad to your liking by choosing from a huge 1600 multi-sampled instruments (probably more now, since the updates).
These are all multi sampled kits.
What does that mean? I hear you ask.
In ”layman’s” terms, it means your samples will sound much closer to a real acoustic kit, due to this technology. This is what makes a kit sound realistic and not sound like a machine gun.
Most cheaper kits don’t have this and therefore they sound robotic and you can clearly tell that you’re hearing poorly programmed or cheap electronic drums.
Enough about that, the module is great out of the box, very responsive etc.
But that’s not even the best thing about it!
What if you’re not satisfied with the quality of the samples and you want your kit to sound the same as all those people with millions of views on Youtube?
Well, you can! The Module has unique function where you can use any professional VST software, like Superior Drummer 3, GetGoodDrums or Ezdrummer 2.
” But can I use any VST already on my cheap old Yamaha DTX500 kit already with a midi cable to my laptop/mac? ”
Yes, that’s what I did when I used to own that particular kit, used as an example here, and it worked fine.
But it had a huge downside – I had to have a laptop and carry it to gigs. I also had to use a bunch of cables connecting it to drum module and headphone cable extender for headphones to reach my ears on stage.
I’m sure you can see how that’s inconvenient, not to mention the problems it create using it live or at home.
With Strike Module, you completely eliminate the need for any laptop, extra cables and small, but noticeable latency when using midi via VST on a computer. Yes, you heard me right, you can load professional VST samples from your software DIRECTLY onto the module SD!
This was and still is a game-changer for me as a creator and as a drummer. I’ve struggled with this so much in the past and this Module just totally made my life that much easier.
I went with Ezdrummer 2 samples as those are pretty much already mixed and don’t require any mixing. I won’t get into specifics on how to do it using the Strike editor, but there’s a very good channel on Youtube that will guide you through the process, it took me a couple of hours the first time to import one preset from VST, then once I knew how to do it, It took me 30mins to make different ones. At The Source Studios
Trust me it’s worth it, the software needed to do it cost me only £25 British pounds and just like that, I can now record drum covers with professional, mixed, high-end samples from my Strike Module!
I also played around with merging the stock samples from the module with VST samples from Ezdrummer 2, where I got some presets to sound unique, creating my own ”sound”, the possibilities are endless with this, I had this module for 2 years and I still haven’t figured out all of its capabilities.
It’s amazing, it really is, no matter if you’re a beginner or an advanced player. Ok, sorry about nerding out about the module, but it does say ”in depth”.
Now lets talk about the pads and cymbals, spoiler alert – they’re not that great compared to the module, but hey, you can’t expect everything to be perfect considering the low price you pay for what you get.
How i Play
The Drum Pads and Cymbals
The pads look awesome. They are big, unlike the pads from most other electronic drum manufacturers. You got –
- 14″ kick drum pad (1)
- 14″ dual-zone snare drum pad (1)
- 10″, 8″, 12″, 14″ dual-zone tom pads (4)
- 16″ triple-zone ride cymbal pad (1)
- 14″ dual-zone crash cymbal pads (3)
- 12″ hi-hat cymbal pads (1)
They do feel good, I have played Roland mesh heads pads and Yamaha silicone pads and Alesis pads on Strike kit feel just as good and you probably won’t be disappointed with that aspect of it.
However, that’s where the ”good” ends.
The pads have a notorious nature of breaking, for some users it’s months, others after a year or so, they will start noticing issue with one or few pads. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but I’ve had this experience myself.
After few months, one of my high toms started to have issues triggering while playing faster fills on it, turns out the plastic plate with piezo inside had snapped in half. Ouch. Few other pads and cymbals started displaying same symptoms down the line after that and currently absolutely every pad and cymbal had to be either replaced or repaired.
Now, I do play heavy music and I do hit somewhat hard. Not as hard as I would hit an acoustic kit though. If you play light you might avoid this issue altogether, but it must be mentioned.
A Drum set is made to be smacked, no matter what style of music you play and I wouldn’t expect my toms and cymbals breaking after just a few months on usage.
That being said, I’ve read a lot of users reporting this on Facebook groups and Alesis seems to be pretty understanding about this and it usually it gets solved by replacing the pads and cymbals, even if you’re out of warranty sometimes.
I’m pretty good with electronic stuff, so I’ve repaired them myself, it’s not that hard, but does require some soldering experience. I don’t expect normal everyday users to touch anything inside, if you got problems, contact Alesis directly.
It’s also important to note that I got gen1 pads with my kit and gen2 pads are better and will last longer, if you’re buying the Strike version, make sure you ask the seller which gen pads does it have.
So in conclusion, the pads and cymbals look nice, but are nowhere near as sturdy and reliable as something from Roland or even Yamaha is. You must consider this before you buy.
The hi-hat was an issue right out of the box. I had to look on Facebook groups to find different settings that I could use to make it more responsive and that did somewhat work, but it still could be much much better.
A lot of users ditch the hi-hat altogether and get Roland hi-hats which seem to work perfectly straight away.
Sounds bad, doesn’t it. But don’t stop reading and don’t go and spend your hard-earned savings on an expensive Roland flagship kit just yet!
There is a somewhat saving grace here and that is Alesis Strike Pro SE.
The new upgraded version of the kit fixes a lot of issues and generally seems to have better quality parts inside, which shouldn’t break. I wish I had one for review to tell you more in depth what the differences are, but this review is for Strike Pro, not the Special Edition version.
From what I’ve read on users who have bought the SE edition, there are way fewer issues compared to its predecessor. It’s not perfect, there is a lot to improve here and there, but if you got a choice of the two, please for the love of god, choose the Special Edition version.
It will save you a lot of time and money. Not to mention the 20” bass drum which looks HOT! The price difference is really small and it just makes no sense to choose the older version over SE version right now.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to update Alesis Strike Pro?
There are a few steps to follow while updating your Alesis Strike Pro.
- First, press and hold the RECORD button on the Strike module
- Power on the module while still holding the RECORD button
- The module will immediately change into a firmware update mode
- Connect the module to your PC using a USB cable. Your computer will take a few seconds to detect the device.
- Then, click the ‘SCAN FOR DEVICE’ button
- After detecting the Strike module, click the UPDATE FIRMWARE button. The update begins immediately.
- Don’t reset or disconnect your module until a prompt to do so appears Once all the process is complete, you move on to the second part of the update. Here, you update the kits, samples, and instruments.
- First, switch off the Strike module power
- Then, on it, as you always do normally
- SCAN FOR DEVICES and the UPDATE SOUNDS
- Allow it time to update and install the devices fully
- To confirm the update, press the UTILITY button, followed by the F5-OS.
Is Alesis Strike Pro worth it?
Can I use a double kick pedal with Alesis Strike?
Does the kit come with a kick pedal, hi-hat stand, and throne?
How to reset Alesis Strike module?
2. Press and hold the Stop and Enter buttons while powering up the module. “Resetting Factory Defaults…” will be displayed on the module.
3. Wait 5 seconds, then let go of the buttons.
4. That’s it! Your Module has now been restored to the factory default settings!
Is the Strike kit expandable?
4 toms – 4 additional cymbals/toms (you can do the same with cymbals)
How to record sample from SD card on Alexis Strike Pro?
The module itself doesn’t have writable memory, that’s why you get 8GB SD card, which can be expanded up to 64GB and will hold all your custom samples, songs and recordings.
How to check and update firmware Strike Pro?
If you want to check which version your module is running, turn it on and the very first screen will show your version.
How do I know if my new Alesis Strike kit has version 1.3 installed?
How do I copy a preset to a user in Alesis Pro set?
Name it or leave it as it is and using the arrow keys choose ”save” again on the screen this time. Now you got that preset in your ”user” tab.
How do I secure the bass drum pad on an Alesis Strike Pro kit?
How do I add more cymbals to an Alesis pro module together?
Connected them to a single tom input on the back of your kit module and you got 2 inputs 2 pads/cymbals. Downside is that they can only be single zone as you’re essentially splitting a 2 zone tom pad into 2 single zone pads.
How to stabilize the bass drum trigger on a Pro kit
How many outputs does the Strike Pro has?
How to set up your Strike Pro
2. Start by connecting the rack bars and adding clamps to it. With the help of manual provided in the box.
3. Mount toms on their clamps
4. Mount cymbals using the boom arms provided
5. Mount the 2 hi hat pieces, on your stand, make sure to follow the steps on the instruction paper carefully for this one
6. Mount 14” Snare drum on your snare stand, you can tell it’s a snare if it doesn’t have a holder on the side of it.
7. Mount the module on the shortest chrome pole using a clamp (same as mounting a tom)
8. Connect the cable snake to every input on the back of the module, make sure there are no cables that are being pulled. (use coloured bands at the end of cable to tell which input is which)
9. Connect other cable ends using coloured rubber bands to tell what goes where, make sure the cables look tidy and neat, use the bands provided to keep the cables on the rack as much as possible.
10. Connect your bass drum pedal normally, just like you would to any acoustic bass. Important note – Don’t use the felt beaters! Turn them around and use plastic side. Felt beaters will ruin your mesh heads really fast and you’ll have a hole in there, which is not fun.
11. Adjust the height to your liking, take your time with this, the more relaxed you feel, the better!
12. Turn on the module and you’re ready to go!
Conclusion to Alesis Strike Pro Review
The Alesis Strike Pro is definitely not something that will be perfect straight out from the box without any tweaks
If you don’t mind sitting down for an hour or two and searching Facebook groups to dial the hi-hat and figuring out the sample importing option, you will have a very solid kit that will surpass other kits that cost twice as much or even more (Pointing at you Roland).
Also, if you’re a hard hitter, you’ll be better off buying Roland, they do break too, in time, but you’ll have a much better chance.
If you’re not afraid of some DYI, a good option would be to get just the Strike Module and buy custom pads or even make them yourself if you’re hardcore like that. Jobekey offers some quality pads and cymbals, I’d probably go for that.
I’m sure Alesis will continue to improve like they’ve done in the past, can’t wait to see what they come up with for their next flagship kit!
For advanced players, you probably won’t be disappointed, I sure wasn’t. I got obsessed with this kit and I spent a lot of hours tweaking and bending it to my will. Even after issues with broken toms and cymbals, I’d still go for the Alesis Strike Pro SE if I had the money.
Comparison with another drum sets you can read in this article: Best Electronic Drum Sets