The Command Mesh is a new take on an older drum systems. This is the upgrade over the previous Command drum kit. The mesh version came out in January 2018. The goal was to bring the mesh heads to lower cost kits. The end result is a nice, portable practice kit. It won’t completely break the bank, but it does pack a lot of great features into a $750 drum kit.
The drum rack is chrome and pretty sturdy. It is very lightweight and has a small footprint. Boom arms on all of the cymbals are a nice feature that is usually only found on higher end drum kits. Many owners report that it will stand up to a beating.
The Kick Drum:
I never feel like I’m actually playing the drums unless my kick pedal is hitting something. I was pleasantly surprised to find a real kick drum on the Command Mesh. It has a an 8 inch mesh pad that will accommodate a double bass pedal. The drum set does include the kick pedal.
Dual Zone Snare
The snare is one of the most used drums in any set. It is important to be happy with the snare. Alesis recognizes this and equips the Command Mesh kit with a big 10 inch dual-zone snare. It responds well to all of the rolls and ghost notes you can throw at it. And, because it is dual zone you can work the rim. You won’t find positional sensing at this price point, but the snare is a good choice.
3 Dual-Zone Toms
All of the toms are dual zone as well. This is a nice feature. I don’t find myself often needing a rim shot on my tom drums. However, it does give you another programmable trigger. You can change the sounds on your rims to be a splash crash, or any of the 671 sounds it comes with. I think it is a pretty nice feature.
The Cymbals are a Weakness
The cymbals are where users usually lodge the most complaints. There isn’t anything earth shattering about the cymbals for the Command Mesh Drum Set. You will find these same cymbals on some of their other kits such as their entry level Nitro Mesh. For a $350 kit, I find the cymbals to be adequate. I was hoping for more on this one. The hi hat garners most of the complaints with sensitivity and trigger issues. This is a common theme with Alesis electronic drum sets. Likely you will need to spend some time calibrating to get it to work right. Others have noticed that the choke feature on the cymbals stops working after a few months. I can understand not having a 3 zone ride at this price point, but I have a hard time forgiving quality issues.
The Alesis Command Drum Module:
The Command Mesh module was originally used on the Crimson kit, which was a more expensive electronic drum set. The module comes with 54 pre programmed kits, but also gives the user the ability to add 20 of their own customs kits. The user interface is pretty easy to use. It has a big readout and a dial that lets you just scroll through features.
Each drum can be programmed individually. You can adjust the volume, pan, and pitch of each drum. This lets you come up with your own sound for your drum kit. Overall there are 671 sounds that you can use for the customization.
One thing to note, you cannot hookup a 3 zone ride. While it uses the same drum module as the Crimson kit that does have a 3 zone ride, this feature has been disabled on the Command Mesh Kit.
Here is a summary of the drum module:
- Sounds: 671
- Kits: 54 Factory/20 User
- Custom Samples: Load your own via USB
- 120 built in songs
- USB Midi
- 5-pin Midi out
- 1/8” Stereo Aux input
- Two 1/4” Main outputs
- 1/4” stereo headphone output
- 2 Additional triggers
The sounds are just okay. As with most Alesis kits they try to give you a lot of bang for your buck. For the most part they do deliver. I do find the drum module to be a little old though. For a practice kit it gets the job done. I find some of the sounds to be a little fake. If you are just looking for a quiet alternative to your acoustic kit for practicing it has what you need.
Unpacking and Setup
I will say it is a relief to purchase a set that has everything needed to get started. It is pretty disappointing when you unbox and realize your kit didn’t come with a kick pedal. That’s a pretty important piece of equipment. You will need to supply your own drum thrown but I think that is to be expected. Another nice feature of the drum rack are the boom arms for the cymbals. This gives you much more flexibility on the placement.
All of your drums can be positioned horizontally to get them just where you like them. The overall height of the kit can be adjusted and you have room to move individual drums up and down about 5 inches or so. The snare is mounted on a bar that extends from the main leg. I have seen users use a separate snare stand to get it in a more comfortable position. This is an option.
Here is a video of unboxing and setup. As you can see there are many little boxes to open. Assembly isn’t difficult but with the number of pieces it will take a while. Plan on a good 45 minutes plus to get everything assembled. It is extremely lightweight so once you do have it together moving it is a breeze.
Alesis Command Mesh Playing Impressions
For practice I like the Command Mesh. It reacts pretty well unless you are having trouble with the hi hat. It keeps my playing chops up to snuff when I need to be quiet. If I need to let out some aggression after midnight, the neighbors aren’t going to hear me. The mesh pads feel more like my acoustic kit so it is a nice substitute. The boom arms
on the cymbals let me get them in place to mimic my acoustic set.
- a full 5 piece kit
- mesh heads
- boom arms for the cymbals
- looks cool
- comes with kick pedal
- cymbal quality
- hi-hat not on it’s own stand
- same pads found on other kits
- drum module feels a little dated
Final Words on the Alesis Command Mesh Kit
As with most Alesis electronic drum sets the Command Mesh Kit packs a lot into an inexpensive kit. For $750 you do get a lot of drum real estate. For a practice drum set it checks all of the right boxes. The only downside is some of the long term quality.
That being said, I cannot recommend it as the drum set to get in this price bracket though. For an extra $100-$200 you can step up to a much higher quality drum set that will last longer.