Whether for private practice or full-on live performance, electronic drum kits offer a number of benefits over their traditional counterparts. They don't take up most of the room in the band's van, players can call on many different percussion sounds, and they're pretty neighbor-friendly when not cabled up to a PA system. But they can be just as pricey as a non-digital setup. The latest eight piece e-drum kit from Alesis promises responsive play backed up by professional features for a budget-friendly ticket price.

The four post aluminum mounting rack of the Nitro electronic drum kit is home to an 8-inch dual-zone snare for the promise of "exceptionally great feel and natural response," three 8-inch toms, a kick drum pad with pedal, and 10-inch ride, crash (with choke) and hi-hat cymbals. At the heart of the system in the Nitro e-drum module, which includes 385 drum and cymbal sounds, 40 ready-to-play modern and classic kits and 60 built-in jam tracks.

There's also a sequencer and recorder to capture stick action, and a metronome to help keep time. Players can feed sounds into the system from an external music source via the included aux input, and USB/MIDI caters for connection to virtual instrument banks or software-based recording and production suites. Stereo line outputs can send the signal to a PA or powered amp, while a headphone out jack is available for private practice.

The Alesis Nitro is expected to start shipping from the beginning of December at the budget price of US$299, connection cables, sticks and power adapter included.

Product page: Nitro Drum Kit

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