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Alesis Command X Mesh-Head Review

No one is going to argue that electronic drums offer you the same playing experience that you can get on an acoustic kit. However, they can offer you some big plusses that you may not have considered.

You can play any time of day or night by just plugging in headphones. You can play on dozens or even hundreds of different-sounding kits rather than just the same old acoustic one. And, for recording, electric drums take away all the issues of micing and mixing.


Sound interesting?

Alesis is one of the hottest electronic drum manufacturers right now, with a range of 11 different kits. One of them is the mid-range Command X kit that combines lots of functionality at an affordable price.

In this Alesis Command X Mesh-Head review, I’m going to take you all through the ins and outs of this kit to see if it’s the one for you.

All About Alesis

Alesis is an American company registered in Rhode Island. Although, their products, like pretty much everything these days, are made in China.

They make amplifiers, mixers, PA systems, keyboards, headphones, drum machines, and, of course, full electronic drum kits. Their products are known to be affordable and accessible to beginners and experienced players alike.

The Command X Mesh Head Kit – Overview

Alesis Command X Mesh-Head
Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

In case you haven’t had the chance to read this review of the Alesis Command kit, I’m going to go through all the details here as well. Why? Because the Command X is simply an “X-tra” special version of the regular Command kit.


This kit is comparable to a standard acoustic 5-piece drum set. It has five drum pads to replicate the kick, snare, and three toms of a regular 5-piece kit. In this case, the pads include a 10-inch snare and three 8-inch tom pads. Making this a versatile 5-piece electronic drum kit.

The kick pad is on a floor mount, also known as a tower. It’s also 8” in diameter, and this means that there’s plenty of room to hook up a double bass pedal to it if you want to.

The snare and three toms are all dual-zone pads. So, you can get two different sounds out of them by hitting either their faces or their rims.

Not only drums…

The kick pedal is included here, as is a control pedal for your hi-hats. This controller and the kick tower are completely independent of the rest of the kit. That means you can move them around and get into the perfect positioning you need to play properly.


The cymbals include a hi-hat, two crashes, and a ride. This is where the kit differs from the regular Command mesh kit. It has an extra crash, bringing the total number of pads you can bash on up to nine.

All of these cymbal pads are ten inches in diameter. So, while they’re not huge, they’re big enough to smash easily and confidently. The two crashes and the ride are all chokeable, which is a cool extra feature.


Except for the two pedals, the entire kit is mounted on a 4-legged chromed steel tube rack. The individual pads are held on with solid clamps. Additionally, the cymbal pads are all on boom arms, which allow you to adjust them easily and get the perfect positions for your cymbals.

You get a basic kick pedal along with the kick tower, which also has optional carpet spikes to help hold it in place. The only thing missing here is a throne, which you’re going to have to buy yourself. Otherwise, it’s one of the best all in one electronic drum kits you can buy.


The module that comes with this kit is the Command Module, the brain of your electronic drums. It comes pre-programmed with 600+ individual voices.

These are organized into 50 preset kits that range between rock, jazz, funk, and fusion kits to percussion kits, electronic sounds, and more. You also have space for 20 user kits that you can program yourself.

Of course, the kit comes complete with all the cables you need to connect the pads to the module. Plus cable wraps to keep everything organized. As a result, it’s one of the easiest to use electronic drum kits on the market.

Differences from the Command Kit

Aside from the extra chokeable crash cymbal pad and mounting hardware, as well as a few differences in the voices and kits in the module, there are two more differences to mention.

The look is also different from the regular Command kit. With the Command X, you get some flashy red highlights that stand out nicely against the black backgrounds of the pads. The price is also different. At around $900, you’ll pay $100 more for the Command X version.

Top Features of the Command X Mesh Head Kit

Now that we’ve had a look at this kit as a whole, it’s time to focus on some of the features that make this kit stand out. These are also the points that might make or break this deal for you. So, let’s zoom in and take a closer look.


The Command X kit is a mesh head kit like most Alesis electronic drums. These mesh heads are very nice to play on. If you’ve ever had a go on rubber pads, you’ll find mesh more comfortable and far less fatiguing. The response is similar to acoustic drum heads, with good bounce but also some cushioning.

Of course, you don’t need to tune these drums, since their sounds are controlled exclusively by the module. Instead, Alesis has left the lugs around the rims so that you can adjust them for the tension that’s perfect for you. So, you can set them and forget them, since they’ll stay the same for ages.

The cymbals aren’t as realistic to play on as the drums…

This is because they’re smaller and lighter than regular cymbals, so they’ll take some getting used to. They also don’t have zones, so their sounds are controlled by velocity only. This means that if you hit them lightly or heavily, you’ll get a different response than you would on any real cymbal.

The choke feature is decent and works relatively well. It is touch-sensitive, though. This means that once in a while, there is the danger of a stick triggering the choke instead of registering a cymbal hit.

You have to be a bit careful with your angles so that your sticks don’t come into sustained contact with the pads, or you could choke them.

The Rack

It makes it easy to move your pads around and get the positions you need. One tricky thing, though, is the tom positioning. While the snare pad can be height-adjusted, the tom heights are fixed.

Sure, you can adjust the angles. But, if you like your toms a lot lower or higher than the norm, you’ll have to get used to this new set-up.

Finally, the pedals…

The kick pedal is a factory pedal that works just fine. However, you can always upgrade it or move to a double if it doesn’t have the right feel for you. It’s basic and not adjustable at all (plate and beater angles are fixed), so some players will opt for something different.

The hi-hat pedal, on the other hand, hasn’t got the best feel. Because there’s no weight of the cymbals on it, you’ll probably find it odd and a bit tricky to get used to. However, it is responsive enough and does what it’s meant to do.


You get over 600+ sounds here, and most of them are pretty realistic. These sounds are editable as well, so you can get into something unique and make your user kits different from everyone else’s. All told, it’s one of the best sounding electronic drum kits out there.

But, if the pre-programmed sounds aren’t enough, you can also input your own. All you need to do is get your own voices into .wav file format and throw them onto a memory stick. Then, pop the stick into the module’s USB port, and you can load your sounds into the slots in the user kits.

One issue I found…

The danger of double-triggering. If you like your heads bouncy, these mesh heads will take you there. But, with a lot of bounce, the heads can double-trigger when you don’t intend them to.

This isn’t great for recording or live performances. Tensioning them up solves the problem, but it is a bug to think about.

More on the Module


The module holds a huge library of presets and also lets you import your own sounds to build custom kits. But that’s not all it does. It allows you to quickly and easily re-assign sounds to kits, and also edit them for effects.

Record right on the module…

It can store five tracks in its memory or up to 99 tracks using a USB drive. It comes with 60 play-along tracks in different styles to help you practice your chops.

Also, it has a built-in metronome you can use for practice and even recording. With a 1/8” (3.5mm) audio input, you can plug in a smartphone or other source to find tracks to play along with. In other words, one of the best practice electronic drum kits you will find.

Lots of connectivity…

Of course, you’re normally going to play this drum kit through headphones. However, it also has a pair of ¼” stereo OUT ports in case you want to connect to an electronic drum amp.

Additionally, it has 5-pin MIDI IN and OUT ports so you can connect to a DAW. Or use the kit to trigger other MIDI instruments. But, to make MIDI even easier, it has a USB-MIDI connection so you can connect right to your computer.

The small screen and scrolling wheel may not be the very best design for a module, especially when the world is so used to touch screen convenience. But, they work alright. At least the controls are all straightforward and easy to use.

Alesis Command X Mesh-Head Review – Pros and Cons


  • Mesh heads are realistic and have a good response.
  • Hardware is solid, and clamps keep everything in place well.
  • Module has tons of voices and is easy to use.
  • You can import your own sounds.
  • The kit has lots of connectivity (MIDI, USB-MIDI, ¼” audio).


  • Heads can double-trigger if tension is low.
  • Tom heights are not adjustable.
  • Cymbal pads don’t feel very realistic.

Looking for Some Awesome Electronic Drums?

We can help. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Electronic Drum Sets, the Best Electronic Drum Pads, the Best Cheap Beginner Electronic Drum Sets Under $500, the Best Electronic Drum Sets for Kids, and the Best Electronic Drum Amps you can buy in 2023.

Also, take a look at our detailed Alesis Surge Mesh Kit Review, our Alesis DM10 MKII Review, the Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Kit Review, the Roland TD-25KV Electronic Drum Set Review, and the Yamaha DTX562K Electronic Drum Set Review for more items currently on the market.

Alesis Command X Mesh-Head Review – Conclusion

The Alesis Command X kit is in Alesis’ upper mid-range. But, for the price of a quality beginner acoustic kit, you get a whole lot more here – a sturdy rack and nine pads to trigger over 600 sounds.

Being able to record right on the module is great. But, it’s also super-easy to send your signal out via USB-MIDI for editing and recording on a computer. The kit feels good to play and sounds like a whole bunch of real drum kits.


Overall, I’d recommend this kit for the established drummer who wants to move to electronic drums for their convenience and sound control.

Until next time, let the beat go on.

5/5 - (39 votes)

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About Joseph L. Hollen

Joseph is a session musician, writer, and filmmaker from south Florida. He has recorded a number of albums and made numerous short films, as well as contributing music to shorts and commercials. 

He doesn't get as much time to practice and play as he used to, but still manages (just about!) to fulfill all his session requests. According to Joseph, it just gets harder as you get older; you rely on what you learned decades ago and can play without thinking. Thankfully that's what most producers still want from him.

He is a devout gear heat and has been collecting musical instruments all his life. As his wife, Jill, keeps on saying, "You're very good at buying nice instruments, but terrible at selling them!".

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