At around $450, is it too good to be true, though? Today we’ll do a full review of the Alesis Nitro Mesh electronic drum kit and break down whether it’s really worth spending your hard-earned cash on it.
The Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit is an excellent value budget electronic drum kit that packs many features and customization.
There are lots of things to love about this eight-piece drum set, such as its extensive library of 40 kits, its ability to customize the sounds as well as broad connectivity. That said, it does have some limitations, which we’ll address below.
The Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit is an eight-piece electronic drum kit with five drums and three cymbals.
There Nitro has an 8” dual-zone snare and three 8” single-zone toms, all of which have mesh heads. The bass drum has a pedal with a beater and a pad, so you get a feel similar to a real bass drum.
The snare is the only part of the kit that is dual-zone so you can get a second sound off using the snare rim but you don’t have that luxury with any of the other pads.
The cymbals are three 10” pads. As these are single zone, you can forget about laying down any cool ride/bell patterns.
You can choke the crash cymbal, though (not the other cymbals), so that’s a nice inclusion.
The hi-hat has the same build and function as the cymbals, although, of course, you can use the hi-hat foot controller to change the sound.
The hi-hat and the foot controller are not connected physically, so the feel is not as responsive as a real hi-hat stand.
The hi-hat has a continuous variable controller, so you can perform open, half-open, and closed sounds, as well as chick and splash sounds using your foot without striking the hi-hat. This is a handy inclusion, as some budget kits only have open and closed sounds.
Sound quality (8/10)
The Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit sounds pretty good for the price. The stock sounds get the job done, but you definitely won’t confuse them with a super premium kit or anything.
If you’ve played an entry-level electronic drum kit before, you’ll know what to expect regarding sound quality.
Alesis has provided lots of room for customization though. There are 40 stock kits, and you can edit these to change up the individual drum sounds within the kit. Alternatively, you can build custom kits from scratch using the 385 onboard samples.
There’s a good selection of different kit types, covering a range of sounds such as modern, retro, percussion, electronic, and novelty kits with unusual samples.
You can squeeze some more sonic juice out of the stock sounds by editing the parts via the drum module. You can adjust variables such as pitch, reverb, EQ, and sensitivity to dial in some sounds that you vibe with.
You may be surprised with how much you can improve the sounds with some tweaking, although this takes patience.
There’s also a metronome and 60 play-along songs included which you can practice with. The songs are cheesy synthesized music, though.
Build quality (7/10)
The Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit setup features an aluminum stand, which is a nice inclusion.
The clamps and wingnuts on the stand – and much of the rest of the kit – are made of hard plastic though. So you’ll need to be careful with the kit to avoid breaking the parts.
The mesh drum heads are quiet and have good staying power.
Overall the durability is about what you’d expect from the price range. If durability is a major concern, you would want to go up the price range, as no drum kit under $500 will be super reliable and rugged.
Alesis has provided a fair selection of accessories for the Nitro Mesh Kit, although not everything is included.
You get a kick pedal, drumsticks, power supply, cables, and cable wraps.
There’s no throne, amp or headphones included, though. Drum thrones are pretty cheap, especially if you pick them up secondhand.
However, getting a drum amplifier or headphones (or both) can be a bit of an outlay if you don’t have these lying around already.
Keep in mind that consumer speakers and headphones (as opposed to pro audio products) may not work or sound quite right if you use them with an electronic drum kit, so don’t count on being able to use whatever you have at home.
Comfort and adjustability (7/10)
One of the main things that set apart electronic drum kits is how adjustable the kit parts are, as this has a major impact on comfort and ease of use.
The Alesis Nitro Mesh electronic drum kit hi-hat controller and bass drum tower are free-standing and can easily move around.
Adjusting the rest of the kit is not so easy. You can adjust the angle, swivel, and height of the remaining kit parts. However, the parts are not independent.
On some electronic kits, if you want to move the hi-hat or snare drum, you can just grab that part and put it exactly where you want it. This is not possible with the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit.
This is because the kit parts are locked to the stand. So you have to jostle them around on the stand, and how far you can move them is limited by the other kit parts which get in the way and the limitations of the stand, which is pretty basic.
To be fair, this kind of setup is totally standard for this price range. It’s just something to be aware of, though, because repositioning the parts on an all-in-one stand solution like this can get very tiresome.
Alesis has provided plenty of options for connectivity with the Nitro Mesh electronic drum kit, particularly for how affordable the kit is.
You get a 1/8” headphones output, 2 x 1/4″ (left, right) outputs for your PA, drum amp, or recording console, a 1/8” aux in for jamming to tracks using an external device, MIDI In/Out, and USB Type B.
The USB Type B and MIDI in/out are both capable of exchanging MIDI data with computers or devices.
So you have the option of recording with the onboard drum samples or recording the MIDI data and adding drums samples of your choice through plugins.
The latter choice opens up the possibility of recording with pro-level drum samples, as drum plugins have come a long way in recent years.
The bass drum pad is fine for single-pedal playing but it gets a bit cozy if you want to upgrade to a double kick pedal.
As a result, playing with a double kick pedal is a bit dicey, and it can sound inconsistent since there’s not really enough room to cater for two beaters.
You can get around this by programming the hi-hat foot controller as a second bass drum, but as it doesn’t have a beater, it’s not going to have the seamless feel of a proper double kick setup.
You can upgrade the kit with an extra tom and crash cymbal to expand it to a 10-piece kit, as Alesis provided inputs for these extra parts (labeled tom 4 and crash 2).
Is the Alesis Nitro Mesh good for beginners?
The Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit is great for beginners! At around $450 (plus the cost of a few accessories), you get a full-featured electronic eight-piece drum kit with a library of 40 kits to play with.
The build quality and feature set are good for the price, and the overall package is more than enough to get a beginner off to the races.
There are some limitations with the kit though (most notably the single zone cymbals) so as a player becomes more serious they will very likely want to upgrade.
Does the Alesis Nitro Mesh have speakers?
The Alesis Nitro Mesh electronic drum kit does not have speakers. To hear the onboard kit sounds, you’ll need to get a drum amp or headphones connected to the jacks on the kit’s drum module.
The module has a 1/8″ headphone out and dual 1/4” output jacks for this purpose.
Is the Alesis Nitro better than Turbo Mesh Kit?
The Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit is a better quality kit than the Alesis Turbo Mesh Kit. The Nitro Mesh is around $450, while the Turbo Mesh is under $350, and some features were cut to keep the price down on the latter kit.
The Nitro Mesh Kit has a kick tower with a beater pedal, while the Turbo Mesh Kit does not, so the playing feel isn’t as realistic.
The Nitro has 40 kits and 385 sounds, while the Turbo only has 10 kits and 120 sounds.
The Nitro Mesh has an advanced drum module and you’re able to customize the kit setups and how the samples sound. The Turbo Mesh module, however is very basic and does not have this level of customization.
The Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit is a good choice for a beginner adult drummer or serious young player, while the Alesis Turbo Mesh Kit is more designed to be a cheap option for a child’s first drum kit.
Alesis has really hit it out of the park with the Nitro Mesh electronic drum kit! The Nitro offers great value, good sound for the money, a solid selection of features, and loads of customization options.
You do have to buy some of the accessories yourself, and there are some other downsides such as the single zone cymbals and the inability to reliably use a double kick pedal.
But at around $450 expecting too much more than what’s on offer with the Nitro is unrealistic so overall it’s a great budget starter drum kit!