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Played/Compared Alesis Strike Pro SE and Roland VAD306

Brian McConnon

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I was watching Justin's (65 Drums) comparison of the Alesis Strike Pro SE and the Roland TD27KV (

) as I specifically visited the Alesis and Roland booths at NAMM this year to play their new e-kits.

I compared the strike Pro with the VAD306 since they are the same price point ($2,499) and I am after a kit with bigger drums (not pads) and an acoustic kit look.


I pretty much had the same experience that he did:


Alesis Strike Pro SE:


felt like sitting behind an acoustic kit

real drum sizes

good sounds (better IMO, but that's subjective)

mesh heads felt great (upgraded from original strike pro)

updated HH (like Roland's now)

versatile rack

value - you get more for the money


limited editing

limited effects

rubber cymbals


Roland VAD306:


traditional hardware set-up

more editing options

more effects

USB audio interface


smaller drums

less drums

less cymbals

rubber cymbals

sounds (again, subjective, but to me they sound kind of "linear" or compressed)

bouncy mesh heads




After playing both, I prefer the Alesis kit. It felt better to play, the rack gave it a solid base, heads felt better, sounds are great. The Roland kit felt a little small and still "electronic". The sounds were less inspiring to me, although if you like to tweak, there are more options to edit and come up with your own kits. I've owned both Alesis drum machines and modules as well as Roland drum modules. They sound... different. Depends on what you like.


I will say that no matter the kit, I HATE RUBBER CYMBALS!!! If (ok, when) I buy a new e-kit, I'll be using my acoustic cymbals with it. I have a set of L80 low volume cymbals for practicing and a full set for recording/gigging.

My ideal kit would be the Alesis Strike Pro SE with my acoustic cymbals.

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I am not much of a drummer but I will add that you owe it to yourself to try the Korg Wavedrum Global.

I have one, I feel that it is one of the most important studio instruments I own.


You'll have to forgive it for being fairly thin. The drum head is real, your choice. No MIDI. Programming is versatile but incredibly bad in terms of layout. Those are the cons.


That said, the snare drum presets sound and play like a great snare drum and that is where you might want it. Very touch sensitive, it does not play samples. If you move from the center to the rim, it sounds like a real drum. If you scratch the head with your fingernails it will come out of the speakers. Push down on the head while playing, the pitch changes.


It does lots of other cool stuff, some of it profoundly weird but I always feel like I am really playing it. I always feel like I am just triggering samples with other electronic drums. Our drummer has a Roland E kit, a bit older but an expensive one. I like the sound of the kick and the lower toms. He uses real cymbals, high hat and snare drum.

He is scared of the Wavedrum because one day we turned it up too loud and the microphone went into feedback.

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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Cool! I've gotta try the Global Edition. I've used an older Wavedrum in the past and liked it. I don't see it replacing a kit, but a really good addition to it. Add it to the list! :cool:


The bottom line for me is I've got to find a way to get better recordings. I used to have space to mic up and record my acoustic kit with decent results, but I'm currently in a very small room and try and record a much direct as I can. I mainly do production music which can range from orchestral to pop/rock tracks and everything in between - music used in commercials, videos, tv/film productions, so versatility is key.

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FWIW, I run my Wavedrum into the front pair of inputs on my Presonus Quantum, set as DI's. That provides the gain needed and is very quiet.

I live in a multi-unit condo and can't have loud instruments like drums here. I CAN have loud sounding instruments and this is the best. I also have a Roland Handsonic, the first version with the ribbon controllers. It is a great unit, but does not compare - not even close.


I'll mention something it took me a while to learn. The Wavedrum is VERY touch sensitive. To comprehend all the dynamics and shifting of the sounds that are available, you almost need to play it with your fingers.

Sounds I'd never heard it make before were suddenly easy.


I didn't mention the rim either, it is another trigger. There are sets of ridges on each side, different spacing. Handy for "frog" and other percussion sounds. Also, sometimes when you apply pressure to the head, the pitch of the rim sounds changes rather than the pitch of the head sounds.


It is a complex and magnificent tool, one of my treasures. It would be hard to go back to not having one. Suggest you take headphones if you got to try one out, you may want to spend enough time checking the 200 presets that you might drive the staff insane!!!! Have fun! Kuru

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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