Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit Upgrades a Favorite

Mesh heads elevate Alesis' popular entry-level electronic drum set

The original Alesis Nitro Kit proved to be incredibly popular, hitting the right balance between features and price while offering electronic drum performance that surpassed its affordability. Now, Nitro is back with mesh heads for a more realistic drumming experience.

Alesis bills the Nitro Mesh Kit as "a complete 8-piece electronic drum kit centered around next-generation Alesis mesh head drum technology." In traditional drum set terminology, those eight pieces correspond to a 5-piece kit (snare drum, bass drum, three toms) plus three cymbals (crash, ride, hi-hat). Mesh heads are featured on the 8" dual-zone snare drum pad and the three 8" tom pads. On top of the drum pads and sound module, the Nitro Mesh Kit includes a 4-post aluminum rack, hi-hat foot control pedal, kick drum pedal, all cabling, power supply, drum key, and drum sticks.

Mesh heads used to be reserved for only the most high-end electronic drum sets, and maybe you'd see a configuration or two with a mesh snare pad further down in the range. While mesh heads are much more common these days, most affordable, entry-level kits are still typically equipped with rubber pads. They'll get the job done, but plain rubber pads have never really been the first choice for a nuanced feel or response.

That's where the Nitro Mesh Kit is different. By outfitting the Nitro with a mesh snare and toms, Alesis is giving drummers who are just getting started the opportunity to play on something that approaches the feel of the real thing. Or, if you're an accomplished drummer who needs a practice set you can stick in a corner and play without disturbing your neighbors or the rest of the house, the more natural response of the Nitro Mesh Kit's pads will be easier to adjust to between sessions on your acoustic drum set.

Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit - Monolithic
Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit - Closeup

The easy-to-use Nitro module is carried over from the original Nitro Kit. It contains 385 drum and percussion sounds arranged in 24 preset kits and 16 customizable user kits (40 total), providing plenty of variety regardless of your favorite musical style. Built-in play-along songs let you mute the pre-recorded drum part entirely, allowing you to play your own beats and fills. In Learning Mode, a Beat (snare drum only), Rhythm (full kit), or Pattern (full kit plus musical accompaniment) will repeat so you can practice it, with optional scoring to test your accuracy and improvement. Every Learning Mode practice is automatically recorded, and you can also record yourself performing solo or playing along to one of the built-in songs.

Adding more value to the Nitro Mesh Kit, the module also includes a few unexpected but welcome features for a kit of this level. Dedicated 1/4" TRS output jacks let you connect to a mixer, powered speaker, or amplifier for recording, rehearsal, or live performance. Five-pin MIDI In and Out jacks allow you to connect the Nitro module to a MIDI-equipped drum machine, sequencer, or sound module. And you can expand the Nitro Mesh Kit to a 10-piece configuration with four toms and four cymbals using the extra Tom 4 and Crash 2 trigger pad inputs. All this is in addition to standard connectivity like a headphone jack for private practice, USB port for connecting to a computer, and stereo aux input for plugging in a music player or smartphone and jamming along with your favorite tunes.

With the addition of mesh pads, Alesis has taken the already-successful Nitro Kit and made it even more desirable. Considering the value that Alesis has packed into this kit, it won't be surprising to see drummers of all levels Ð or any musicians dabbling in drums Ð wanting to pick one up.