Updated: January 25, 2020 by Richard Cole
Electronic drum kits are slowly becoming more and more powerful to a point where they will soon start rivaling their acoustic counterparts.
Ever since this technology first appeared, people were very skeptical about the capabilities of an electronic drum kit.
Back then, that type of reasoning was completely justified, however anyone with any sense of how technology develops could have foreseen where this new type of instrument would end up in the future.
These days electronic drum kits are pretty close to reaching that critical point. People love them because they represent a great solution to practicing drums in areas where noise is an issue, and they are cost effective. One of the most prominent companies in this industry is definitely Alesis.
Most drummers don’t consider them to be an elite manufacturer or electronic drum kits, but no one can say that Alesis isn’t the king of mid level segment of the market.
Today we are going to talk about the Alesis Hi Hat, namely the Pro X model. This controller brings a new level of expression into a field which desperately needs it.
Let’s see what this thing has to offer
The whole issue with electronic drum kits, and especially electronic cymbals, is replicating the dynamics of the real thing. An acoustic cymbal has timbre, frequency range, and allows you to play it on every single portion of its surface.
Replicating that type of effect with a digital device is pretty hard, which is why most manufacturers are having trouble with it. This is not to say that Alesis Hi Hat is the perfect solution, but it is certainly one of the better ones on the market. Before we go any further, we are going to take a brief look at the features this thing offers.
The core of the Alesis Hi Hat Pro X series is in two cymbal controllers which both have a single zone triggering system. This might come across as a bit crude, but that one trigger zone doesn’t sound all to bad when you consider the software that controls it. More on that later.
One of the best things about Alesis Hi Hat Pro X is the fact that it is compatible with standard hi hat hardware. This means you can take just about any hi hat stand and use it with these pads. That’s a neat feature for sure.
Alesis has designed this hi hat to work with their DM10 and DM8 drum kits. To connect the hi hat to the module, you will use two 1/4 inch TRS cables which come provided in the package.
In terms of performance, things are pretty great on all levels. Starting from the most basic things, just the fact that you can use any hi hat stands, really boosts the practical factor of Alesis Hi Hat Pro X. Maybe you have a pedal that you like and are accustomed to.
Now you can use it on an electronic kit thanks to the versatile nature of this hi hat. That one trigger zone design does an incredibly good job at replicating the dynamics of an acoustic hi hat. Combined with the samples that come in the DM10 and DM8 modules, Alesis Hi Hat Pro X really comes close to its acoustic counterpart. You can do open, half open and any other sounds you feel like, and this hi hat will keep up with you.
What we like
Alesis really did a great job at giving us a hi hat pad that has some substance. Playing the Alesis Hi Hat Pro X doesn’t feel plastic at all. It has that range and fidelity you would want in a hi hat of any kind. This close emulation puts into a category of its own.
What we don’t like
There isn’t really much we found that could be characterized as a flaw on this hi hat.
All things considered, Alesis Hi Hat Pro X is a pretty capable setup that brings you one step closer to complete acoustic drum emulation. When paired with an adequate drum module, you can get a lot of performance out of these two pads.
If you have an Alesis kit with DM10 or DM8 present, but don’t have this hi hat, you should consider upgrading.