Are you wondering if the Alesis Strike Pro drum kit is right for you?
You’ve come to the right place!
In this YMI review you will learn:
- The Key Features Of The Alesis Strike Pro
- How The Kit Is Constructed
- How The Kit Sounds
- How To Tell If It’s The Right Kit For You
And Much More!
The Overall Verdict
The Alesis Strike Pro electronic drum set is Alesis’ flagship top of the range kit.
Alesis is generally known for making quality affordable electronic percussion instruments, so with this Strike Pro kit they’ve really pulled out all the stops and turned the dial up to eleven.
With large snare and tom triggers housed in real wooden drum shells, realistic multi-zone cymbals, and over 100 preset kits...this kit really is making a statement.
However, the price is much lower than equivalent spec’d drum sets from more established brands such as Roland or Yamaha.
So, is the strike pro just a budget imitation of better kits?
Or is it the bargain of the century?
In this in-depth review, I’m going to have a look at all the features of this kit, from the build quality, the sounds, the playability...and much more!
All to help you decide whether it’s worth your hard-earned cash.
- Real wood shells
- Great look
- Excellent sound module
- Large trigger pads and cymbals
- Good connectivity
- Not the best sounds
- Trigger pads prone to faults
The Sound Module
The most important part of any electronic drum kit is the drum module (also called sound module or brain).
The brain is the unit that all the individual drum and cymbals pads plug in to.
It houses all the pre-recorded (sampled) drum and percussion sounds, as well as being the hub for connecting to computers and other external devices.
The Strike Pro Sound module boasts an impressive list of features:
- 110 Preset drum kit
- 1600 Multi-sampled instruments
- On board Sampling capability
- USB MIDI output (and standard MIDI I/O)
- Color lcd screen
- Individual Faders
- SD Card Storage (8GB SD card Included)
Firstly let’s discuss the design and layout of the module itself.
Overall I really like the feel and build quality of the Strike pro sound module. Alesis haven’t gone overboard with the design, it’s a simple rectangular box that has a certain retro aesthetic that I find very pleasing.
The metal ‘spin wheel’ used to select kits and access the settings feels solid and easy to use. Alesis have really thought about which buttons should be easily accessible on the unit, so navigation and editing couldn’t be simpler.
The power supply is functional yet discreet too.
I love the inclusion of individual faders for each part of the drum kit as well as backing tracks.
It makes changing the overall mix/balance of your kit incredibly easy...which is invaluable if you’re on a gig (one of the limitations of a conventional acoustic set).
The color led screen is also a nice change from a lot of the basic, almost Gameboy looking graphics of other drum modules.
Unlike most other kits in this price range which use a combined single cable snake, the Strike Pro uses individual inputs and cables for each trigger pad.
I actually prefer this to the single cable, as if one of the cables becomes faulty it costs about $10 to fix...unlike a whole cable snake which can be in the region of $60+.
The Strike Pro also has separate outputs for all the individual components of the kit.
This is an absolute godsend if you intend to record directly out of the unit or if you want to send individual kit elements to a sound engineer.
It gives you complete control and is an unusual but welcome feature in this price range.
The module also comes with a massive library of preset drum kits (over 100) which is about double the Roland Td17 module, it’s the closest rival.
Now some of the sounds on the Alesis kits can be a bit questionable, so more doesn’t always mean better...but more on that later.
The Strike Pro also has all the other standard features you’d expect at this price point, including headphone output and an Aux In for plugging in other devices via a ⅛” stereo jack cable (such as iPhones, iPads, Mp3 players, etc).
Unlike a lot of other modules, the Strike Pro comes with an SD card slot, and an 8GB sd card included.
This means you have a lot of extra card storage for your own custom user kits and makes transferring new sounds very easy.
Another excellent feature of the Alesis Strike Pro is the inclusion of the powerful new Strike Software editor for use on your PC or Mac.
You simply connect the module to your computer via USB, and you can edit kits and layer WAV samples to create your own bespoke custom presets...very cool.
Overall I’m very impressed with the Strike Pro module, its simple yet functional design and impressive list of features make it a worthy competitor to anything in the same price range by Roland or Yamaha.
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The main thing that sets this kit apart from others in the same price bracket (such as the Roland td17-KVX) is that the size of the pads is much closer to that of a real electronic drum set.
The Alesis Strike Pro boasts a full size 14” snare pad, as well as four toms at 8”, 10”, 12” and 14” and a 14” bass drum.
The kit has large dual-hoop pads, just like a real acoustic kit.
It’s nice to have a real drum shell for the kick drum pad, as most electronic kits have a small solid playing area that feels unforgiving and can move around.
It also allows the bass drum pedal to react in a more natural way that feels closer to striking a real kick drum.
The kick pad also supports a double kick pedal and the dual-zone snare drum pad also sits on a real snare drum stand, which adds to the overall acoustic feel of this drum set.
All the pads are dual-zone (except the kick), meaning that you can trigger rimshots on the snare as well as assign various percussion instruments to the rim of the toms (such as cowbells, congas, or tabla).
The drum pads themselves have real wooden drum shells with a very eye-catching sparkle finish, which also gives the kit a much more natural acoustic drum set look (perfect drums for gigging).
It’s the perfect blend of feel and stage aesthetics.
All the drums come with mesh drum heads that feel good under your drum sticks and don’t seem like they’ll wear out anytime soon (a massive improvement over rubber pads).
However, the same can’t necessarily be said about the pads themselves. They don’t feel excessively cheap or nasty but compared to a Roland tom pad, there’s a marked difference in the rugged and hardy design we’re so used to with Roland triggers.
Also looking online at customer reviews, there seem to be some consistency issues with trigger pads failing...which may be a quality control issue as Alesis tries to make this kit as affordable as possible.
The cymbal trigger pads on the Strike Pro Kit follow the same pattern as the toms and snare.
They are much larger than your standard e-kit cymbals, with an incredibly generous three (yes three!) 14” crash cymbals and a large 16” ride cymbal.
All the crashes are dual-zone and the ride is a triple-zone pad, allowing for bow, edge and bell sounds.
The cymbals are all choke-able too. This enlarged cymbal sizing really makes the playing experience much more realistic, and the feel of the cymbals is good.
The hi-hat cymbals are two cymbals that sit on a real hi-hat stand, which is an excellent addition and makes for a much more realistic feel.
However, again compared to the incredible track record of other brands, the overall durability of these pads doesn’t seem to be the best.
With a Roland for example, you can get a 10-year-old CY-13R ride pad and be pretty certain it’ll work the same as the day it was bought...the same can’t necessarily be said about the Alesis.
So be prepared to be doing some maintenance, or swapping out pads in the future if you’re a hard hitter.
Overall the hardware on the Alesis Strike Pro kit is very good. The premium 4-post chrome rack has an elegant, yet understated design, that does exactly what it should.
The interlocking clamps for the crossbars and cymbal mounts ensure that there’s no slippage whatsoever which is great.
The cymbal arms and mounts all feel sold and are easily adjustable.
I think if you were looking to gig this kit, setting up and packing down is pretty straightforward and the rubbed nature of the components means that they are durable enough to withstand being thrown into your car at the end of the night!
It really does match the capability of the best electronic drums out there in this regard.
The feel and playing of this kit in my view is fantastic. One thing I’ve always struggled with when playing other electronic kits is the size of the pads.
Roland kits are of a very high-quality but unless you’re spending over $3000, the toms are pretty much limited to 12” and under. This is not the case with the Alesis.
The Strike kit has a full-size snare drum that just feels right at home, and the graduated sizes of the toms (which also range from 8” to a generous 14”) feel great to play as you rip around your four toms pretending to be Neil Peart.
The mesh heads feel forgiving and give a really nice rebound.
All the drums are tunable (including the kick) so you can get them to where you feel comfortable with just the use of a standard drum key (I tend to tune them lower to try and emulate an acoustic kit).
A really unique feature of this kit is the sensitivity adjustment knobs that are mounted on the shells of the drums themselves.
This gives a simple and quick way to adjust the sensitivity for different playing environments...incredibly useful during a gig!
The large realistic swinging cymbal pads are also a joy to play.
They have a really nice feel when struck and instantly immerse you into a realistic acoustic kit environment.
The inclusion of an oversized 16” 3-zone ride is fantastic, allowing for much more expression, coupled with a soft forgiving feel akin to a real brass cymbal.
Obviously the downside with all these oversized pads is that the kit will take up considerably more space than other e-kits. If you’re in an apartment or smaller bedroom then this kit may be a bit of a squeeze!
Overall the drumming experience on the Alesis Strike Pro is great.
It reminds me a little of the 2Box Drumit 5 electronic kit, which also has that enlarged ‘acoustic’ kit feel.
There are times with this kit that I closed my eyes and could completely imagine I was sitting behind an acoustic set.
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Have you ever been to a restaurant and the menu is HUGE, but the food isn’t great...whereas when you pop into your local Italian and they only have four things on the menu, all of which are sublime.
This is what it feels like with the Strike drum kit.
Underneath the sea of options and kit variations, I would say there are only a handful of truly usable and expressive drum kits.
It almost feels like they added all the extra kits to look good on the spec sheet. For me often less is more when it comes to kit options.
Now don’t get me wrong, the kits that do sound good, sound great.
The snares sound punchy and full, toms are well rounded and expressive, the kick drums sound beefy and cymbals are pleasingly lively without being harsh.
The sounds don’t quite compare to the quality of the equivalent Roland Td17 but are really not far off.
However, I can’t help thinking if they just whittled down the number of kits and focused on making a smaller menu of better sounding kits, we’d be left with an even more expressive and enjoyable experience.
BUT the Strike performance module does have built-in controls for compression, EQ, and reverb.
This means the sounds included in the brain are highly customizable. Obviously, this takes a little more effort from a discerning drummer, but it means that you can craft some really punchy and usable custom kits.
Not everyone will want to delve this deeply however.
The inclusion of USB MIDI connectivity, however, does mean you can bypass the inbuilt sounds all together in favor of a drum VST sound library such as Superior Drummer 3, as well as using it to record drum tracks in your favorite music production software (DAW).
With realistic playing experience of the larger pads on the Strike Pro, coupled with a decent VST, and you’ll have yourself a very nice e-drum set up indeed.
(USB is also used for firmware updates, which is recommended to ensure hi-hat functionality.)
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The Alesis Strike Pro has some really great things going for it. The sound module is excellent, it’s very intuitive to use and you can tell they’ve really thought about all the different ways a drummer might use the kit.
The trigger pads have great functionality and feel excellent to play due to their large, almost standard acoustic drum sizes.
The inclusion of a triple-zone ride cymbal and real wood shell drums are an excellent addition, as well as the inventive sensitivity knobs attached to each drum.
The adjustable mesh heads also feel very realistic and forgiving which adds to overall playing experience.
Overall the features are great, but the quality control and general build quality of the components seem to be a bit hit and miss.
However, for a kit that is considerably cheaper than equivalent spec kits from other companies, there’s bound to be some cost-cutting going on somewhere.
Unlike a Roland which will tend to hold its value pretty well, expect the Strike Pro to diminish pretty quickly.
The Alesis Strike Pro is an affordable entry into the world of high-end electronic drum kits.
It might not do everything quite as well as a tried and tested Roland or Yamaha, but it does excel at being a highly playable and versatile drum kit.
If you’re looking for a new drum set that is capable yet affordable, then the Alesis Strike Pro is well worth a try.