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Thread: Beginner - Alesis Nitro Mesh - My Affordable expansion project

  1. #1
    MattyKoff Guest

    Default Beginner - Alesis Nitro Mesh - My Affordable expansion project

    TL;DR Making a list of spending over time and what I'm doing with my kit at the bottom

    This is my first new thread on Drumchat and it's probably going to get a little wordy. I've been learning drums for about a month so far. I played guitar for along time and later in life found a strong love for Bass guitar.. I got a wild hair up my hind quarters to give drumming a go upon the revelation of how much it might be able to do for my bass playing and overall musical knowledge and ability. I didn't even realize I'd actually be buying a kit until I came across the Nitro.

    So, the Nitro was an impulse buy, and I soon realized I'd need a throne.. probably nice to have a practice pad for when I'm not sitting at the kit but still have freedom for developing stick control, and I improve I sit down at the kit or beat on the pad. I don't plan on playing drums in a band setting any time soon if ever but - the E-kit is proving to be a versatile device for home use. I'm building up quite the wish list. I'd like to either make my own or buy a larger dual zone snare and use the current dual zone pad for a 4th tom later on, and I'm about to jump on a hi-hat controller upgrade that I was already looking at other modules to accomodate, until I landed on something that will work with the nitro and for the most part achieve what I want.

    Long story short there, being a beginner and having a limited budget - I've got a nice little wishlist of items I'm going to acquire over the next several months to the year to expand the nitro piece by piece. I have to say, I'm kind of impressed with what I'm finding. I think this nitro kit is going to get as tricked out as it possibly can and I'm honestly quite surprised by what it's capable of. Maybe one day I'll replace the drum module, but for my purposes as a beginner and even for likely several years I think this thing has everything I need.

    Anyway, enough backstory - My first expansion project kit involves a piece of hardware I purchased many years ago that is now discontinued, although there are newer versions of the product.

    I have Zoom RT-223 that was honestly just too much work for my needs. To be frank - learning to play drums feels like a less daunting task than making this machine do everything I wanted it to by itself. Awesome machine just, not my cup of tea. First I had to replace a soldered cr 2032 battery inside the zoom because it was old and dead, but now that I've done so, I've tested the midi input on the zoom with my Alesis Nitro Kit.

    I did run a snag, when the zoom is operating as a midi device, you can only change midi kits via program change commands that neither the zoom or alesis feature without a PC or another device. So - for the moment it only adds one kit to my aresenal.

    Might be some settings to adjust this, but just playing the one kit, the zoom doesn't quite have the dynamic range of the Alesis Nitro module, but, it does respond to lighter and harder hits, variable hi-hat pedal works wonderfully.

    So my snag- Apparently I need a Midi mouse and midi merger to cycle drum kits and send both midi signals to the zoom - which I'll probably scout for used to save a buck, or maybe an alternative to the midi mouse if I can find one that allows for shifting through 3 banks for each of the 69 kit programs on the zoom rt-223. I'm stoked to take it off the shelf and clean off the dust. Thing has some booming kick drum sounds that just felt missing from the Nitro. You are limited to single zone cymbals, a total of two dual zone pads which, the 2nd is optional/not included.

    Anyway - Here's the list outlining how I think I'm going to add to this kit as I'm developing my skills with it.

    The Impulse Buy that only made me more hungry -

    Alesis Nitro Mesh - sticks are lightweight but smooth, not many imperfections
    practice pad - (optional, but its nice when sitting in another room watching tv, as well as easier to develop on than an 8" snare with high-ish rim)

    Old discontinued Zoom RT-223/makeshift module purchased so long ago its cost doesn't matter anymore - $15 worth of parts to replace a dead button cell battery but if i were buying.

    - back issues - shelled out for an Ahead Spinal Glide after a few weeks to recover from the wallet dent

    What I don't have yet - But plan to at the moment - subject to change.

    Tech 21 Midi Mouse -

    Midi merger 2 in 2 out or 2 in 1 out

    - Hi hat upgrade - Next week or the week after I'm going to pick up a high hat stand. The Nitro is still probably going to be somewhat limited in this regard, but this should make it easier to play the half open sounds and feel a bit more realistic than the stock hi-hat controller foot pedal.

    - DIY snare drum, find a cheap shell put a mesh head on it, some piezos, or maybe look into a goedrum snare. This is probably going to be one of my last upgrades. I do want a nicer looking snare, as well as a larger playing surface, and I'm looking forward to a 4th tom using the current snare pad, BUT - I have plenty to work with as it stands. Getting the zoom i already had laying around that offers some sounds that the nitro doesn't working is step number one. A new snare might come during year two.

    - 4th cymbal - not a huge deal.. probably the least desired item but I'm sure I'll make it work.

    Beyond that - there's really not much more aside from replacing the drum module, which is just too expensive for myself and my needs for some time to come. And if I ever do that I can start upgrading all the single zone pads and cymbals to dual and triple zone triggers. But - Living on a budget this looks like a doable route for a home drumming setup that offers midi flexibility, and the option of not driving my neighbors batty like an acoustic set might, with the only maintenance being potentially replacing the mesh heads. Maybe one day I'll get an octopad for further expansion or a better drum module or something.. but I'm nowhere near there yet, and between the Nitro module, the zoom, and the potential for midi controlled VST's, I feel like I've got a bit of ground covered.

    I hope somebody out there enjoys my thought process on how I'm going to trick out an electronic drum kit, mostly with parts.
    Last edited by MattyKoff; 05-18-2019 at 09:24 PM.

  2. #2
    MattyKoff Guest

    Default Re: Beginner - Alesis Nitro Mesh - My Affordable expansion project

    May 28, 2019
    ISC NEW YORK NY(USPS), 11430

    My goedrum hi-hat controller for the nitro is in the US. think maybe next week I might go pick up a Tama Iron Cobra hi hat stand. Need to figure out a way to keep the alesis hi-hat pad from spinning when i get it all set up - If i ever choose a better drum module in the future I'll probably replace the pad. Although, I could add another pad and make use of the current clamp/cymbal hardware that came with my kit for an additional crash. P.S. If this thread is better suited to the E-drum forum, please feel free to move this thread if possible. Being a noob to these forums I didn't see the dedicated e-drum section when I posted this in my excitement to share an outline of my journey into electronic drumming.

    Working on left foot independence using the pedal that came with the kit I sometimes trigger the foot splash accidentally, which is probably all me but I'm thinking this is going to be easier to manage, and also give me a more realistic feel, despite whatever limitations the drum module might offer in this regard.
    Last edited by MattyKoff; 05-28-2019 at 11:15 AM.

  3. #3
    MattyKoff Guest

    Default Re: Beginner - Alesis Nitro Mesh - My Affordable expansion project

    So I got a Tama Iron Cobra Series 205 hi-hat stand, and unfortunately the goedrum hi-hat controller has a couple issues. Not registering all my chiks, and sometimes it either completely ignores or gets stuck in the half open sound. Thankfully the goedrum guys are responding to my messages so I'm confident they'll get me sorted. I'm hoping it's something simple I can open the device up and fix, because even though the stock pedal at least functions properly, the hi hat stand feels so much better to play due to the spring tension and the visible representation of open and close. Heel splashes are at least triggering. Will update as I talk more with goedrum. The 1/8" to 1/4" TRS adapter they sent me with the hi-hat controller fell apart but that's not a big deal. They offered to replace it but I told them there was no need as I went and bought a higher quality one with a lifetime warranty. And they're working with me to get the hi-hat controller functioning properly.

    On another note - I bought my midi merger and midi mouse tonight. Within the week I should be able to play my zoom rt-223 with the alesis nitro kit. The Alesis sounds are layered better and sound/play more realisticly but the zoom does give me quite a few sounds and kits to play with that the nitro just doesn't have anything close to. So it's going to be fun none the less. Nothing spectacular but adds a lot imo.

    Aside from maybe getting or building a larger and better snare pad and making the current one a 4th tom, and adding a 4th cymbal, this is about as far as I can go with the Alesis Nitro with what I have and without VST. I'm eyeballing the 2box drummit 3, or a td-17, but that kind of purchase will be at least a couple years down the road. I'd love a Pearl Mimic pro but that's just way far out of my price range. I think the Nitro should give me at least a couple years worth of developing my ability. But I do see myself upgrading the module later on and adding playing surfaces/pads and utiliizing both brains down the road as I get more confident playing drums. I'm already eye-balling modules that allow for dual and triple zone cymbals and pads.

    Will update on whether or not I can get the hi-hat controller working how it should, and may upload some video of the nitro controlling the zoom along side the new toy from goedrum. Not that I'll be showing off too much, as I still have a lot of work developing technique ahead of me, just to show what I've accomplished without breaking the bank over the last couple of months. Maybe inspire some hope in a future beginner that he doesn't have to go broke to pracitce on an e-kit at home.
    Last edited by MattyKoff; 06-04-2019 at 04:52 AM.

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