Alesis Surge vs Command – Read This Before Purchasing

Alesis is a name slowly earning its place on the market, besides Yamaha and Roland.

With Alesis Surge vs Command, the two new electronic drum sets debuting into the entry to the middle level priced market, Alesis, once again, stamps its name into the mind of potential e-kit consumers.

Unless you’ve already got one in your mind, stroll through this guide with us to find out which one is better.

Alesis Surge vs Command - The Similarities

Coming out at the same time, Alesis Surge vs Command have surprisingly quite a lot of resemblances, which are kind of confusing to buyers at first glance.

Let's take a quick look at what are those similar features.

Build 

Out of the box, Alesis Command vs Surge offers an eight-piece set.

Both are mesh-pads and priced competitively. The Command and Surge follow the same standard: a trio of 8-inch tom pads, a 10-inch snare, an 8-inch bass drum, and 3 cymbal pads.

The pads

The snare and toms on Alesis Surge vs Command all have dual triggers.

This means you are free to assign specific sounds to the head and rim of each pad. Alone from these pads, you can create up to 8 unique sounds! Sure, this will be enough to satisfy your creativity.

The fun doesn't stop there. Each drum pad has 4 tunable lugs, meaning these pads can be tightened or loosened to fit your play style.

It also means the mesh heads are replaceable in case you need them.

We see this as a nice touch from Alesis since tuning lugs are not always available with mesh heads, like the Yamaha DTX 502 set we reviewed before.

alesis surge mesh kit vs command

Alesis Surge

The bass drum

Both Alesis Surge and Command feature similar bass drums, interestingly, coming with an upright kick tower.

What is more interesting is that the bass drum also features a mesh head.

The feeling is way superior to normal rubber heads you find at the same price. The pad is large enough to accommodate either a single or a double bass drum pedal.

Mesh responsiveness

We have been talking a lot about the mesh heads. So, what are the benefits of a mesh head over a rubber one?

The mesh can absorb and rebound better than normal rubber, reducing the impact noise. This makes practicing at home easier for newbie drummers since they won't be bothering anyone.

All the while, the trigger of these mesh heads on both Alesis Surge and Command are phenomenal.

It can't be compared to other same price range kits from opponent manufacturers.

You can confidently play without worrying about bad spread problems, which causes some areas on the surface more sensitive than others.

The cymbals

The three cymbals on the Alesis Command vs Surge kits are, unfortunately, just rubber.

They have the same diameter, 10 inches each. On either unit, you can adjust the height and angle as you like.

Also, the hi-hat cymbal is accompanied by a foot pedal with adjustable spikes for securing a place.

Alesis Surge vs Command only features a single trigger. But the ride and crash cymbal can be choked during play, which is understandable for the price point.

Alesis Surge Mesh Kit
Alesis Surge Mesh Kit - Eight-Piece Electronic Drum Kit with Mesh Heads, 40 Kits, 385 Sounds, 60 Play-Along Tracks, USB/MIDI Connectivity
Alesis Command Mesh Kit
Alesis Command Mesh Kit | Electronic Drum Kit with Mesh Heads, Chrome Rack & Command Drum Module with 70 Kits, 600+ sounds 60 Play Along Tracks, Custom Sample Loading and USB/MIDI Connectivity
Play Along Tracks
60
120
Sounds
385
671+
Pads
5 - Mesh
5 - Mesh
Sampling
Onboard Recording
Alesis Surge Mesh Kit
Alesis Surge Mesh Kit - Eight-Piece Electronic Drum Kit with Mesh Heads, 40 Kits, 385 Sounds, 60 Play-Along Tracks, USB/MIDI Connectivity
Play Along Tracks
60
Sounds
385
Pads
5 - Mesh
Sampling
Onboard Recording
Alesis Command Mesh Kit
Alesis Command Mesh Kit | Electronic Drum Kit with Mesh Heads, Chrome Rack & Command Drum Module with 70 Kits, 600+ sounds 60 Play Along Tracks, Custom Sample Loading and USB/MIDI Connectivity
Play Along Tracks
120
Sounds
671+
Pads
5 - Mesh
Sampling
Onboard Recording

Last update on 2021-04-11 at 04:13 UTC - 8/ Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Alesis Command vs Surge - The Differences

This is where you might want to pay attention to since what we’re about to disclose will help you choose between Alesis Surge vs Command and finally get to decide which e-drum kit is for you.

Without further ado, let's get straight to business.

Hardware

The Alesis Command kit provides a robust build, collapsible 4 post-chrome mounting rack.

The Alesis Surge, on the other hand, offers a bit more premium material on the rank. Regardless of that, both perform well securing the position of the drum set.

Drummers can feel free expressing themselves and go wild as these racks prevent any "travel" or unwanted movement.

Command Module

On the Alesis Command mesh kit, there are over 600 sounds with 70 drum kits, 50 factory pre-installed, and 20 slots for user preferences.

These kits cover a wide range of styles, from acoustic, electronic, to percussion, and many more await to be explored.

The produced sounds by this module are okay, not stunning, to be honest. However, you can customize right on board as you are playing.

With the huge knob control in the module's central, cycling through presets and adjusting sound is a piece of cake.

The Surge mesh kit, on the contrary, requires some button-mashing instead of an intuitive rotary control to get into adjusting functions.

Still, the layout of the buttons is quite straightforward. With a little bit of playing around, you will get the hang of it.

alesis surge mesh vs alesis command mesh

Alesis Command

Regarding the build-in library, this e-drum has a capacity of 40 kits, which 24 of them are factory-installed, and the rest are waiting for users to set up.

A total of 385 drum sounds are available for you to try out, not as impressive as the Command with 700 sounds, but acceptable.

Both models feature an LCD display. Yet, the navigation on the Command is more intuitive than the Surge.

You know which kit or sound from the name appears on the Command, but they are shown as numbers on the Surge.

It's kind of tricky to find the right sound you want without memorizing one by one.

Connection

Here lies another distinguishing point between Alesis Surge vs Command.

Even though both modules can be hooked up to a laptop or computer as a MIDI pad controller, only the Alesis Command has the ability to import samples.

With the USB connection, you have endless possibilities to import and attach different samples to the pad. But there are some cautions.

The flash drive must be formatted to DOS Fat-32, which can be done with no hassle. Additionally, import samples must be in WAV format, mono, not stereo.

Once you are done with technical stuff, stick the USB into the command module.

The unit will create a bunch of folders, but what you should pay attention to is the "Samples" one.

Given that the sounds you need are in that folder, you can access them easily by browsing through the menu screen.

A Quick Rundown

Alesis Surge Mesh Kit

Alesis Surge Mesh Kit - Eight-Piece Electronic Drum Kit with Mesh Heads, 40 Kits, 385 Sounds, 60 Play-Along Tracks, USB/MIDI Connectivity
  • Natural feel, premium response; 8” mesh kick drum Tower with kick drum pedal (included), 10” dual-zone mesh snare and three 8” dual-zone mesh Tom pads
  • Express yourself: (3) 10” cymbals: Ride cymbal, hi-hat, Crash w/choke
  • In-demand sound: Surge drum module with 40 kits, 60 play-along tracks and 385 sounds

Last update on 2021-04-11 at 04:13 UTC - 8/ Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros

  • Good response from mesh heads
  • Simple setup
  • Nearly silent, which is suitable for practicing
  • Decent hardware

Cons

  • The cymbal might not register the sound if you kill it too soon

Alesis Command Mesh Kit

Alesis Command Mesh Kit | Electronic Drum Kit with Mesh Heads, Chrome Rack & Command Drum Module with 70 Kits, 600+ sounds 60 Play Along Tracks, Custom Sample Loading and USB/MIDI Connectivity
  • Natural feel, premium response | 8 inch mesh kick drum tower with kick drum pedal (included), 10 inch dual zone mesh snare and three 8 inch dual zone mesh tom pads
  • Express yourself | (3) 10 inch cymbals: Ride cymbal, Hi hat, crash w/choke
  • In demand sound | command drum module with 70 kits, 60 play along tracks, 600+ sounds, custom sample loading via USB

Last update on 2021-04-10 at 18:40 UTC - 8/ Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros

  • Large sound library
  • User-friendly interface
  • Allowing import and export
  • Tweaking with the sound is a piece a cake

Cons

  • Hardware is not really durable
  • Only single trigger cymbals

Alesis Surge vs Command - Which is Better?

To begin your journey into the artistic world of drumming, the Alesis Surge vs Command are both great options.

The build quality is decent for the price, and the sound coming from these modules is fine.

Alesis has thought about the customers this time and delivered such outstanding products in the price range.

But then, it all comes down to the better one. And as we hate to say it, the Command wins. Not a surprise for the higher price trade, Alesis Command is the e-drum kit that takes you a long time to truly feel like you need an upgrade. Just out of the box, they sound good without any fiddling. Combining great mesh pads with unlimited possibilities of sounds and connections, it is worth paying the extra.

Still, the Surge has its own place to stand. It certainly deserves attention for what it can bring to the table for the cost. Experiencing the Surge will be almost the same as the Command, but with fewer functions at hand. Assuming that you're a complete newbie, this would be a better choice, as all those tweaking adjustments on the Command would be abundant to you.

alesis command vs surge

FAQs

How long to assemble the Alesis Surge mesh kit setup?

We would say over 20-25 minutes. The manual is in photos, which is a save, actually.

Many other manufacturers only give instructions by words, causing tons of confusion and frustration during the assembling process.

Once you have done the job, the rack is collapsible, making it convenient to store and maintain.

Can you connect headphones or speakers with the Command mesh kit?

Yes, not only headphones and speakers, you can pair with your smartphones, too, with the support of the AUX 3.5mm input and a ¼ inch output on the rear of the module.

Practicing privately or listening to your performance again is piece a cake with the Command kit.

Can you plug the Command kit into an iPad?

No doubt, you can. The AUX input on the module allows connection to your phones and tablets.

In case you wish to connect it to apps like GarageBand on iOS, you will need a converter from USB to the Lightning port.

After setting up the USB port connection on the control to the iPad, feel free to create and experiment with your e-drums.

Final verdict

Alesis Surge vs Command are solid value kits. No wonder Alesis is making their reputation for best value e-drums sets.

Both of them are suitable for beginners and intermediate drummers who are on a budget.

Out into studio recording, live performing, or just home practicing and experimenting, they prove themselves reliable choices, doing their best to satisfy all drummers.

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