Alesis Strike MultiPad: New 32GB 9-Pad Electronic Drum Pad

Alesis have just announced a brand new all-in-one electronic drum pad: The Alesis Strike MultiPad. This is a powerful full-featured electronic drum multipad, allowing drummers to add electronics to their live performances, record and edit samples, or build a fully functional mini electronic drum kit for gigs, parties, and practicing.

Alesis Strike MultiPad’s Key Features

  • Alesis give you nine velocity-sensitive drum pads on the unit, each with its own customizable RGB light (to help you see it on a dark stage).
  • There are five built-in effects processors (see the specs section below for the full list). Effects include three kit effects, one master effect, plus compressor and EQ controls.

    Alesis Strike MultiPad Effects Screen
    On-board effects options for the Alesis Strike MultiPad
  • Independent and mappable control knobs, allowing you to assign  your controls to the effects you want to access for live tweaking (plus dedicated headphone and master controls).
  • Two headphone outputs: One 3.5mm and one 6.35mm, so you don’t have to worry about carrying adapters for your headphones.
  • A built-in metronome that can be sent to either the headphones, the main output, or both.
  • A built-in looper letting you record and loop long and short performances, and create complex tracks to use when performing or practicing.
  • The Strike MultiPad features a large 4.3″ colour display, to help you navigate the features, record and edit sounds, and create loops.
  • Alesis have included both Pro Tools First and Ableton Live Lite, to open up the recording potential of the Strike MultiPad.

The Strike MultiPad: Looking Deeper

One of the coolest features is the powerful on-board sampling. You can record sounds directly to the Strike MultiPad, and then edit them directly on the unit to ensure they sound exactly as intended. Alesis have made it as easy as possible to get sounds into the MultiPad: You can record samples by plugging in your phone, via USB, microphone, or any other audio device. The recording input can be set to either mic or line-level and includes a gain control, to ensure your samples are captured properly. You can also load WAV file samples via USB.

With a lot of recording and sampling, you’ll need a lot of storage, and Alesis have put a huge amount of space on the unit for samples and backing tracks. The Strike MultiPad comes with 32GB of storage (which works out to be well over 24 hours of sounds). 6GB of space is dedicated to the built-in sounds – you get over 8,000 samples and loops to use right out of the box. The built-in sounds cover drums, percussion, and melodic instruments, along with loops to help inspire some creativity.

Alesis have made the Strike MultiPad very expandable, with plenty of inputs either for triggers or for creating a powerful mini electronic drum kit. Alesis give you 3 cymbal/drum pad inputs, a hi-hat pedal input, and 2 foot controls. The pad can be used as a brain for controlling a fully-featured electronic drum kit, for triggering samples on your acoustic kit, or for anything in between.

Interestingly, the unit can also be used as a basic audio interface – it has a 2-in and 2-out USB audio feature. There’s also the usual MIDI in, out, and thru. Put together, this means you can use the Alesis Strike MultiPad to record direct to your computer, or use it to trigger samples using drum software like EZDrummer or BFD. It’s nice to see Alesis have included some lite versions of Pro Tool and Ableton to help with this: Drummers will have everything they need to get recording right away.

Alesis Strike MultiPad Specs List

Alesis Strike MultiPad Audio features

  • The Strike MultiPad supports 16bit mono and stereo WAV files (with a sample rate of 44.1KHz).
  • 127 separate MIDI notes.
  • Audio output routing for pads, triggers, and footswitch (routing options include main+headphones, effects 1-3, aux+headphones, or headphones only).
  • Metronome with BPM control for beat playback.
  • Two layers of samples per pad, trigger, and footswitch.
  • Mono & poly sample playback options.
  • Volume, pan, fade in/out, velocity, and priority controls for each sample.
  • Sample editing: Trim start/end of sample, change tempo, zoom while editing, normalize sample, pitch adjust, reverse sample.
  • A “Panic” control instantly stops all sounds on the device (helpful if you trigger the wrong backing track live!).
  • Control mode function for pads to allow tap-tempo,  toggling effects, and loop control all by hitting a pad.
  • Retrigger, crosstalk, mask time, and scan time settings for all pads, and head/rim control for dual-zone pads.

Alesis Strike MultiPad Built-In Effects

  • Basic Hall / Ballad Hall
  • Echo / Delay
  • Chorus
  • Flanger
  • Phaser
  • Tremolo
  • Touch Wah
  • Pitch Change
  • LoFi
  • Amp modelling
  • Filters
  • Compressor
  • Equalizer

Alesis Strike MultiPad Inputs

  • (2) 1/4” (6.35 mm) TRS audio inputs
  • (1) 1/4” (6.35 mm) TS trigger input (for adding one single-zone drum pad or kick drum pad)
  • (2) 1/4” (6.35 mm) TRS trigger inputs (for adding two dual-zone drum pads, or four single-zone pads)
  • (1) 1/4” (6.35 mm) TRS HH pedal input
  • (2) 1/4” (6.35 mm) TRS footswitch inputs
  • (1) MIDI DIN Input

Alesis Strike MultiPad Outputs

  • (4) 1/4” (6.35 mm) TRS audio outputs (for FOH and/or on-stage mixes)
  • (1) 1/4” (6.35 mm) TRS headphone output
  • (1) 1/8” (3.5 mm) TRS headphone output
  • (1) MIDI DIN Output/Thru-port

Other

The Strike MultiPad is 13.75″ x 14″ x 3″ in size, and runs on 100-240V AC power (9V DC power adapter included).

See the Alesis Strike MultiPad’s full user guide here (pdf) for the full specs and details. We’d love to get our hands on one of these to run a full review of the Alesis Strike MultiPad. In the meantime, check out Alesis’ website here for more information. See our guide to electronic drum pads to check out Roland and Yamaha’s similar all-in-one pads.


New Article: Does A Drum’s Wood Actually Matter?

Does drum wood actually matter - an MDF snare drum

Could YOU tell the difference between a snare drum made from cheap MDF, compared to one made out of a beautiful expensive wood?

Does wood (or any drum material) actually matter?

These are questions Dutch custom drum builder Bart Westera has been thinking about, and he decided to take things a step further!

He built a snare drum from MDF, then asked drummers to play it, guess the wood, and tell him how much they actually liked the drum’s sound.

So how did it sound? Well, the answer is pretty surprising!

Read about it here!

 

Drum News Roundup – November 2018

In this month’s roundup we’ve got mid-drumming backflips, top drummers talking about their favourite drum sounds, getting unexpectedly hired by AC/DC, and a lot more!Sonic Youth Gretsch Drums


“Drummer wanted. If you don’t hit hard, don’t apply”

Former AC/DC drummer Simon Wright tells how he was hired by the band after a blind audition in 1983, right before a huge concert. Listen to the full interview below, where Wright talks about how he first attended an audition hosted by a drum tech. The drum tech called him back soon after, and Wright learned who the band was after seeing AC/DC printed on flight cases as he walked down the corridor to meet them for the first time.


Sabian have announced a beautiful limited edition David Garibaldi ride cymbal, to mark Tower of Power’s 50th anniversary, and the release of their 16th studio album. The 21″ double-hammered HH Ride is dubbed “The Soul Side” Ride, and features a buffed raw top and fully-lathed bottom. Only 250 of these cymbals will be made – read more at Sabian’s website.

Sabian David Garibaldi Soul Side Ride

 


Some huge names in drumming have united to beat (yes beat) hunger. There’s Stewart Copeland, Sheila E., and Kenny Aronoff, just to name a few. Check out all of the videos here, and (more importantly) donate to Hunger Relief International here. HRI is a worldwide organization that partners with local communities. Their aim is  to reduce the impact of hunger on the lives of malnourished children, and to enable families and communities to become self-sufficient.


Sonic Youth are currently selling off a lot of their old equipment. In the mix are some of Steve Shelley‘s lovely Gretsch drums, a Ludwig Speedking, some assorted hand drums, and other nice gear. See the auction on Reverb here.

Sonic Youth Gretsch Drums


Wanna see someone do a backflip between two drum kits while drumming? We do!

Check out MusicRadar’s interview with Aric Improta, drummer for Night Verses and The Fever 333. Aric covers the importance of showmanship, something a lot of drummers have put a big focus on before him (for example, Buddy Rich and Keith Moon).


Reverb has a great article featuring drum legends like Stewart Copeland, Cindy Blackman, and Patrick Carney talking about their favourite recorded drum sounds. Some more obvious choices are in there (like When The Levee Breaks), along with a lot of other great tracks (many you wouldn’t expect). Read the full article here, and listen to each of the tracks below for some drum sound inspiration.


Attack drumheads has undergone a change of ownership, becoming part of new wholesale company Cardinal Percussion. The new company has been launched by industry veterans Jim Bickley (former VP of Universal Percussion), Robbie McFarland (GM of Hubbard Music retail stores) and Mark Tirabassi (President of Mavi Inc.). Attack drumheads are used by some top names in the industry, including Eric Singer of Kiss. Read more at Cardinal Percussion’s website. We’d love to get our hands on some of the new heads to test out!


If you’ve got any other great news-worthy drum stories, feel free to let us know.

Brand New Article: The Ultimate Guide To Resonant Tom & Bass Drumheads!

Resonant Drumheads - The Ultimate Guide

We’ve just released a massive new article, covering everything you’ve every wanted to know about resonant drumheads for toms and bass drums.

You’ll find all of the essential stuff, including what resonant heads actually do, how they work, and why they’re important.

Beyond that though, the entire article is written to give you all the information you need to take full control of your drum sound:

You’ll find helpful tips, advice, and information on how to get the best out of your resonant drumheads.

We’ve got resonant head tuning tips, critical information on how to pair resonant heads with batter heads, details on when you should change them, and whether you actually need them.

If that’s not enough, we’ve also listed every single resonant tom drumhead option available from Aquarian, Evans, and Remo. All of them! We’ve got the more common options, and a few that you probably haven’t considered.

Find the best resonant heads for your sound now, in our huge guide to resonant tom and bass drumheads.

We haven’t forgotten resonant snare heads either – check out our resonant snare side drumhead guide here!

Drum News Roundup – October 3 2018

Here it is – the latest drum news from around the web!

Nate Smith Pocket Change Drum Album

There’s Chis Adler‘s broken-drumstick-in-the-eye story, a super groovy drums-only album by Nate Smith, TWO cool things for drummers in the United Kingdom to check out, a video dissecting a great drum groove by Ilan Rubin, and more.


First up, Lamb of God’s Chris Adler talks about his biggest nightmare on stage: breaking a drumstick mid-song, and having the sharp end bounce up and stick into his right eye.

Check out the interview on Music Radar… and yes, he finished the set, much to the horror of his drum tech.


Nate Smith has released the jaw-dropping Pocket Change album, featuring 11 songs of absolutely nothing but drums.

It’s groovy as hell, and it’s something you’re going to be playing on repeat (so prepare your headphones). Listen to it directly below via Bandcamp, or find it on any streaming service or online music store.


The London Drum Show kicks off next month, from November 10 to 11 at Olympia London. They’ve released their lineup, full of world-class drummers and some really cool events (like a tribute to Keith Moon!).

Here are just some of the legends playing at the event:

  • David ‘Pick’ Withers – drummer on legendary albums from Dire Straits.
  • JR Robinson – has anyone recorded more tracks, ever? Honestly, look at some of the songs he’s played on.
  • Gabor Dornyei – One of the most in-demand drummers, and a great educator.
  • Jonathon ‘The Animal’ Rodney – The touring master, and top music director.
  • Senri Kawaguchi – A YouTube sensation and a talented performing, recording, and touring drummer… All at 21 years old.
  • Ron Dunnett – Drum educator, designer, and builder at Dunnett Drums and George Way Drum Company.
  • A ton of other great drummers – check out the full lineup here.

 

Senri Kawaguchi


Next, some more cool stuff for UK drummers… Sky Arts has launched “The Art Of Drumming” TV series, featuring some of the biggest names in the industry.

If you’re in the UK, you can watch it online here. If not, well, you’ll have to wait? There are four one-hour-long episodes with a big focus on rock drumming. Here’s a short clip:


Roland recently announced a brand new electronic drum kit for beginners, the Roland TD-1DMKRoland TD-1DMK Electronic Drum KitThis electronic drum set contains 15 built-in preset kits, a huge range of skill building tools, and access to their Melodics training software.

The best feature, however, is the inclusion of mesh pads for all drums. This is a big step up from the standard rubber pads on many entry-level kits, making the Roland TD-1DMK stand out from the pack. The TD-1DMK is available for preorder; we’ll add an update once they’re released in stores.


Trixon DrumsReverb has an interesting piece on the rise and fall of Trixon drums. Known for their very weird drum shell shapes, Trixon folded in 1971 after moving from Germany to Ireland.

Read the article here, and check out some of the weird and wonderful drums they created across their 24-year life.


Next, check out this excellent video of Ilan Rubin dissecting The Crunge… He does an amazing job with this simple-yet-complex beat. Watch the video, then go and play it!


And finally, some drumming birthdays:

Buddy Rich would have celebrated his 101st birthday last week, on September 30! Here’s a piece we did to mark his 100th birthday last year.

Coming up on October 11 are the birthdays of two jazz drumming legends: Art Blakey and Billy Higgins.


If you’ve got any other great news-worthy drum stories, feel free to let us know.

Drum News Roundup – September 5 2018

If you’re interested in drumming news from around the web, here are some of the stand-out articles from past week! Featuring Dave Grohl, Andrew Tkaczyk, Joey Jordison, Terry Bozzio, Ringo Starr, and more.

Terry Bozzio - Drum Kit


Loudwire reports that Dave Grohl is playing drums on Tenacious D’s new album Post-Apocalypto, due to be released November this year. Along with the new album, a 6-part animated series (hand-drawn by Jack Black) will be released on Tenacious D’s YouTube channel.


Some inspiring stuff from The Ghost Inside drummer Andrew Tkaczyk in a recent interview with Digital Music News: After losing his left leg in a bus crash, he’s back playing double-bass drumming almost as well as before the accident. His father has crafted a device that allows him to play without his prosthesis, pushing down on the kick pedal with what is known as “The Hammer” (pictured below from a few months ago):

View this post on Instagram

This is something I’ve been excited to share for a very long time. My Dad is quite the handy-man, and came up with this great idea. Playing drums with a prosthetic leg just wasn’t working out. The timing was way too off. There was a latency. It was awkward and clunky. My Dad had a vision of designing me a device where I didn’t need to attach my prosthesis at all. This way there is no weight my limb has to lift which eliminates fatigue, and gives me a FAR better action when striking the pedal. With that said, I still have a long way to go before I get it 100% down, but it’s absolutely the right direction to go in terms of playing as close to my full potential as possible! My Mom coined the name for this device so we’ve been calling it “The Hammer” 🔨 Going to stream live here on Instagram within the next hour so come hang out!

A post shared by The Ghost Inside (@theghostinside) on


If you’re into vintage snare drums, Reverb has a great article by vintage drum expert Ned Ingberman. Ned covers his top 10 vintage snare drums, with some stunning photographs and in-depth explanations along the way. There are some jaw-dropping snare drums here, most of which are criminally expensive.


In an interview with Revolver Magazine, Joey Jordison covers the “6 albums that made me”, citing the influences that inspired him musically and help craft his drumming style. On the list are some classic heavy albums including Slayer’s Reign in Blood, Alive! by Kiss, Led Zeppelin’s self-titled album, Kill ‘Em All by Metallica, Houdini by the Melvins, and Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality.


Drum legend Terry Bozzio is interviewed in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, where he covers his current and past projects, how he got into drumming, and some of his favourite performances and musical collaborations.


Ringo Starr goes into detail on how he was introduced to drumming – while spending months in hospital as a sick teenager. Starr features on The Big Interview with Dan Rather (airing October 2nd). In a pre-release of the full interview, Starr talks of his problems with peritonitis and tuberculosis, which left him hospitalized for months. It was here that he discovered his passion for drumming, from a woman who would bring instruments into the hospital.


Today (September 5th) marks the birthday of Paiste Cymbals founder Michail Toomas Paiste, born on this day in 1877.

Finally, here’s a nice little fact: 60 years ago (on September 7th 1968) Led Zeppelin performed their first show at Gladsaxe Teen Clubs in Gladsaxe, Denmark, with John Bonham on drums.


If you’ve got any other great news-worthy drum stories, feel free to let us know.

Drummers In California – Got Skills?

Roderick Chambers is a singer in Orange County CA, and he’s looking to recruit a drummer for his new band. If you’ve got the skills to match the Instagram video below, then get in touch with him to audition for upcoming dates.

Roderick’s resume includes working with Timbaland, performing at NBA games, and being the artist in residence at the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel. His signature is technical control and genre versatility.

Check out this awesome video for a taste of what he’s looking for. Even if you don’t apply, there’s some inspirational stuff right here:

Make Your Voice Heard in DRUM! Magazine’s Drummies! Awards

Drummies 2018

DRUM! Magazine have just opened the voting for their annual Drummies! Awards. This is the biggest public poll in the drumming world, where you can have your say on everything drum-related.

Categories span different drums and kits, cymbals, hardware, pedals, beaters, drumheads, sticks, and educational sites. Speaking of educational sites, we’d be blown away if you voted for us! We’re proud to be a 100% free educational resource for the drumming world. It’s a very small operation here at DrumheadAuthority, and it’s a little hard to compete against the big players, but we hope you still find us just as useful (especially the drumhead selector). And if you don’t vote for us, that’s okay too…. Just make sure your opinion is heard (but seriously, vote for us :)).

Click here to vote!
The Educational Website section is 3rd from the bottom, and you don’t need to vote for every single category… Keep it to the stuff that matters to you.

This is the perfect way to help shape the drumming world – make sure your voice is heard, so there’ll be a little bit more of what you like out there.

The poll is open until September 1st, 2018 so don’t wait – vote now!

New Budget Alesis Nitro Mesh Electronic Drum Kit

After the announcement in June, Alesis have now released their updated all-mesh-head electronic drum kit, perfect for beginners or those wanting a great e-kit on a budget. For the price, this is an excellent way to get into electronic drums without sacrificing on feel (or looks).

Alesis Nitro Mesh Electronic Drum Kit Closeup

The Alesis Nitro Mesh’s big drawcard are the all-mesh snare and tom heads – this is something usually only found on higher-end electronic drums (on cheaper kits you’ll sometimes just get a mesh snare drum). Alesis have stepped things up by providing an 8″ dual-zone mesh snare, and three 8″ mesh toms. The dual-zone snare means you can trigger two different sounds on the one pad (for example a regular snare hit and a rimshot or rim click). The Alesis Nitro Mesh kit also features three 10″ cymbals (hi hats, a chokable crash, and ride), a hi hat pedal, kick drum pedal, and kick drum tower.

Alesis Nitro Module - Mesh Electronic Drum KitThe brain driving the Nitro Mesh kit is the Nitro drum module, which comes with 385 drum, cymbal, and percussion sounds, plus 60 play-along songs, a sequencer, and a metronome. You can record your performances directly onto the module, which is helpful for analyzing your playing and finding areas to improve. There are 40 built-in drum kits, spanning a nice range of music genres and drumming styles, and drummers can program their own customized kits. The Nitro module allows drummers to assign any sound to any drum or cymbal, to build full custom drum kits.

Importantly, the Nitro module also has USB/MIDI and MIDI in/out functionality, allowing drummers to plug into a computer (PC or Mac) to record and use virtual instruments. Connecting to drumming software (like EZDrummer) will give you an unlimited range of kits and sounds, and the ability to record anywhere with just a computer. MIDI in and out also allows connection to MIDI-enabled drum machines, other drum modules, or any other MIDI music gear.

Other must-have features include the CD/MP3 input, allowing you to play along with your own music, stereo outputs (for connecting to a PA/drum amp), and headphone output for silent practice. Everything is supported by a 4-post aluminium rack, and you’ll get everything you need to start playing in the box (drum sticks, drum key, cables, guides).

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to get into electronic drumming, the Alesis Nitro Mesh is an excellent choice. Mesh pads are quieter than standard rubber pads on other kits in this price range, and this kit both looks and sounds great. It’s perfect for apartment-drumming (and if you need to be extra-quiet, see these tips for reducing your drum volume). Yamaha have also recently announced an upgrade to their budget-friendly electronic drums with the DTX402 – it’s also worth checking out if you’re shopping for a quality electronic drum kit that won’t break the bank. It’s worth mentioning, however, that the Yamaha kit come with rubber and not mesh pads (although the rubber does feel nice and is fairly quiet). Click here to check the latest price of the Alesis Mesh Nitro kit (and to read more).

Sabian’s Custom Cymbal Shop: Create Your Own Custom Cymbals!

If you’ve built your own dream drum kit with Sonor’s brilliant SQ2 Drum Configurator, you’ll know how much fun it is to create your own fully custom drum gear!

Now Sabian have come to the party, with the brand new Sabian Custom Cymbal Shop. The Cymbal Shop website lets you build your own fully custom cymbals completely from scratch, and they’ve got a huge range of features to choose from. At the end you’ll get a price, and your custom cymbal will be delivered to your local drum store (if you pull the trigger and actually order it!).

Sabian Custom Cymbal Shop Lathing

You’ll start building your dream cymbals by choosing your custom cymbal type (there’s options for hi hats, rides, crashes, splashes, or china cymbals). From here, you can customize your cymbal’s size, profile, weight, hammering, bell size, bell treatment, and top and bottom lathing. You can also add enhancements to your cymbal (like holes, rivets, and sound control). Across each step you’ll see your custom cymbal take shape as you change the different features.

Sabian should really be commended for putting in a lot of effort to educate drummers throughout the cymbal customization process… Through each section you’ll see high-quality videos and written information on exactly how your choices will change your cymbal’s sound. Even if you’re not looking to build a custom cymbal, it’s well worth going through each step to learn about how a cymbal’s features can really affect the end result. I guarantee even professional drummers will learn something here. Here’s one of their videos on how crash hammering affects the cymbal’s tone, projection, and its ability to open up:

There are dozens of similar videos available. Each one shows different cymbal types, and how different techniques across the cymbal making process will change a cymbal’s sound. You can also find some of these videos on YouTube, however for the moment (at the time of writing), Sabian hasn’t built intuitive playlists for all of them. Go here to run through all of their hi hat videos in one YouTube playlist (we’ll add links to more playlists if they appear).

Sabian Custom Cymbal Shop Custom Artisan Crash

If you go ahead and buy one of these cymbals, we’d love to see photos of it when you pick up the finished product. If your custom cymbal creation is a little out of your price range, you can save your design via email… You know, for when you’ve got a little bit of extra cash in your wallet. Or maybe just to go back and dream.

Go to SabianCustomShop.com now to check it out, and build your own set of fully custom Sabian cymbals. If you can’t afford an elaborate custom Sabian creation, then see our huge guide on buying used cymbals: You can find some great bargains as long as you know how to avoid the duds!