Alesis Strike Pro Kit - Optimizing Trigger Response

The stunning new Alesis Strike Pro kit shatters all your pre-conceived notions about electronic drums. It combines the feel and familiarity of acoustic drums combined with the versatility and capability of the best electronic drums. These are the perfect drums to move beyond the limitations of a conventional acoustic set, without giving anything up. While the module comes pre-configured for a consistent response, you may want to make your own tweaks to customize it to your playing style. This article will explain some of the most important settings, and show you how and when to make adjustments to optimize the performance of your Strike Kit.

 

Contents

 

 

Firmware Update

Before diving into tweaking any trigger settings, check that you have the latest v1.1 firmware update. This update improves overall drum, cymbal, and hi-hat pedal performance to truly optimize the kit for all players. To check your current firmware version, simply press Utility and F5 to view the current app and trigger OS versions. 

The update can be downloaded from the Downloads section on the Strike and Strike Pro product pages, as well as the link below:

If you still want to explore the trigger settings, check out the rest of the article for some tips and tricks. 

 

Hi-Hat Hardware Setup

While the trigger settings for the drums and cymbals of your Strike Kit or Strike Pro Kit have already been optimized, you may need to make a small adjustment to optimize your hi-hat pedal performance. Hi-hat pedal designs can vary and the Strike module has an easy adjustment to help with this.

  1. Optimizing your Hi-Hat begins with the initial setup of this trigger. To begin, make sure the smaller 1/8” cable coming from the bottom cymbal is plugged into the Pro-X module which the bottom cymbal sits on top of. This cable will communicate to the module that the hi-hat pedal is closed.


     
  2. Make sure the spring that rests in the bottom cymbal has the black "stopper" on the top side, closer to the top cymbal and not down inside the cymbal. If this 'Stopper' is upside down inside of the bottom cymbal, it will not function properly.
     
  3. Now loosen your hi-hat clutch and let the top cymbal rest on top of the spring.


     
  4. At this point your setup options will be somewhat preferential:
     
    • You can tighten the hi-hat clutch right where it is. However, some users may prefer to have the top and bottom hi-hat cymbals a little further apart when idle. If this is your preferred setup, it is recommended that the top cymbal is pulled up off the spring slightly, or about an inch or so. However, lifting the top cymbal too high off the spring may result in some unexpected behavior when "stomping" the hi-hat pedal.
       
    • Pushing down on the spring and then tightening the clutch is not recommended. Not only does this make the two hi-hat cymbals contact more frequently, but compressing the spring actually limits how much data the module can use to make the different hi-hat articulations sound correctly!

 

During your setup, be cognizant of the placement of the ALESIS logo on this pad. The logo should be farthest away from you, so you can read ALESIS correctly, as that's where the "Edge" sensor is. 

 

Optimizing Hi-Hat Settings Within the Module 

After your hardware setup is completed, it is time to select the proper settings within the module. Each hi-hat pedal brand/model is slightly different (different rod lengths, different springs, tension, etc...).The Strike module has a number of settings to accommodate the differences in your hi-hat pedal design. 

  1. After selecting a kit, on your Strike module, press the TRIGGERS button.
     
  2. There are two ways to select a trigger to edit:
    • Turn on NOTE CHASE, do this by simply pressing the NOTE CHASE button. Strike the desired trigger that you want to edit.
    • Alternatively, use the cursors to select the TRIG in the top right corner of the menu to select any one of the Hi-Hat cymbal zones. Turn the data dial to select the desired trigger.
       
  3. After a trigger is selected, press F1 or F2 for the PEDAL menu.
     
  4. Set the Open setting to 90. This adjusts where in your foot pedal movement you will start hearing the most open hi-hat articulation. Setting to 90 will allow the most realistic behavior. 
     
  5. Now start the Closed setting at 50. This Closed setting is used to determine how much pressure you need to put on your hi-hat pedal to get the most closed articulation. This in turn also affects the closed "chick" sound behavior.  
     
  6. Now let's fine tune your Closed setting. Sit in a comfortable ready position and apply as much pressure to your hi-hat pedal as you'd like for it to be closed. Now play on the bow of your hi-hat cymbal. While playing on the bow, turn the Closed down/up until you find the transition point between Closed and "Semi-Open" sounds. 

    Note: Be sure to use an acoustic drum kit for this, as some electronic kits purposefully do not have realistic hi-hat behavior. 
     
  7. Now have some fun and play the hi-hat as you would normally. This should be a great starting point, but if you feel like experimenting with hi-hat settings, we'd recommend adjusting the Closed hi-hat setting. It will be the most direct way to match your pedal hardware and playing style! 
     
  8. That's it. Now go make some music!

 

 

Fine Tuning Your Drum and Cymbal Triggers 

Like the hi-hat pedal settings mentioned above, the TRIGGERS mode has settings for each drum and cymbal zone as well. These are already optimized on your module, but of course, there may be some desire to fine-tune based on your playing style. Here is an explanation of each parameter.  

  • SENSITIVITY:
    • This is the most common setting to adjust how a trigger "feels". If you feel like the drumkit is too "hot" or it is too difficult to get softer sounds from your kits, then you should turn this down. Alternatively, if you feel like you have to hit too hard to get the louder sounds, turn this up. 
    • The above is helpful for making quick tweaks to individual drums. However, if you find that every drum/cymbal in your kit seems to be too sensitive or insensitive, you can adjust the entire drumkit's sensitivity with one setting! Press the UTILITY button then press F3-TRIGGER. Change the TRIG SENSITIVITY setting to your preference (LOW, MEDIUM, HIGH)
       
  • THRESHOLD:
    • This setting determines how hard you need strike a trigger to get it to respond. If this setting is too low, you may hear the drum triggering by itself (some call this "ghost triggering"). If it is too high, you may find some of your softer hits are missed.
    • All of that said, this is generally not something you will need to change. The default settings are optimized for your Strike drums and cymbals already. 
    • If you would like to use a different model of drum/cymbal trigger, then you may need to adjust this. 
  • RETRIGGER
    • This is the minimum amount of time needed between successive strikes of the same trigger for the second one to produce a sound.
    • If this setting is too high, some notes may not trigger when you play faster or perform rolls.
    • If this setting is too low, you may trigger extra, undesired notes while playing normally.
    • This is another setting that will likely not need any changing. The most common scenario would be for those who like to "bury the beater" into the kick drum head. Turning up this RETRIGGER setting can help remove some of the "double hits" that happen.
  • CURVE
    • This determines how a sound’s volume is affected by how hard you strike it—that is, how responsive the trigger’s dynamics are to changes in your playing.
    • Most of the triggers on your Strike Kit or Strike Pro Kit use Linear as the default setting, which provides the most accurate and natural performance. 
  • XTALK RCV
    • This determines how susceptible the trigger is to “crosstalk” from other triggers.
    • The higher the value, the less likely crosstalk from other triggers will affect it.
  • XTALK SEND
    • This determines how likely the trigger will cause “crosstalk” in other triggers.
    • The higher the value, the less likely it’ll be a source of crosstalk on other triggers.
       

 

Optimizing Crosstalk (XTalk) Settings 

When striking a trigger causes another trigger to sound unexpectedly, it is referred to as crosstalk (or XTalk). It’s not common, and your Strike module has already been optimized to eliminate this when using your Strike Kit or Strike Pro Kit. However, like a real acoustic drum kit, your kit can be positioned and played in many different ways depending on your preferences, some of which may cause crosstalk. If that happens, follow these tips to troubleshoot crosstalk:

  1. Make sure your drum and cymbal pads are not touching each other or their clamps.
     
  2. Set up your kit on a soft, carpeted surface. Hard floors will generally cause more vibration through the drum rack.
     
  3. Adjust the tightness of the cymbals wingnut. Wingnuts that are too loose can let the cymbal “bounce” which can cause unwanted vibrations through the boom arm and rack. Wingnuts that are too tight don’t allow enough “bounce,” so the force from a strike will transfer directly to/from the rack.
     
  4. If a specific drum or cymbal pad seems to cause others to sound, increase the XTalk Send setting for that specific trigger. XTalk Send is best turned up on the trigger that’s causing the crosstalk on other triggers.
     
  5. If a specific drum or cymbal pad seems susceptible to unexpected triggering from crosstalk, adjust the XTalk Receive setting for that specific trigger.
     

 

Will My Pro X Hi-Hat Work With This Kit? 

Yes! The hi-hat included with the Strike and Strike Pro kits is a far more responsive version of the Pro X hi-hat kit and we don’t see any reason to use a Pro X Hi-hat over the one that’s already included.

If you’re in a pinch, it will work, though you may want to adjust the SENSITIVITY setting to fine tune the response.

 

 

Further Technical Support

Whether you are a customer or dealer, if you already own an Alesis product, or if you just have pre-sales questions, the Alesis technical support team is available to help!

Each product has a dedicated support page on the website where you can find manuals, specifications, software updates, drivers and troubleshooting guides: www.alesis.com

Visit the link below to connect with any of the following support options: online community support, phone support, email support.