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Drum Machine/Drum Sound Module

January 1, 2000
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ALESIS DM PRO

($899)

Ever since the groundbreaking HR-16, Alesis has been at the forefront of MIDI drum machine and drum module technology. The company's SR-16, D4, and DM5 have all been successful products, and the DM Pro more than lives up to its distinguished lineage. It's by far the most powerful drum module Alesis has ever produced.

Armed with 1,664 sparkling-clean, Velocity-switched drum, cymbal, percussion, and effects sounds, the DM Pro is a dream machine for sequencing. It has 64 kits (each of which can hold 64 sounds), with both acoustic and electric drums well represented. Although most of the the sounds are geared toward dance and pop styles, there's also a good selection of ethnic and orchestral sounds. Onboard processing is provided via two 24-bit effects processors, and six 11/44-inch TRS outputs allow for ultimate mixing flexibility.

The DM Pro is also outfitted with extensive trigger-to-MIDI capabilities, making it ideally suited for use as a sound source with a MIDI drum controller, or for replacing drum sounds from tape. To further sweeten the pot, the DM Pro is bundled with Alesis's cross-platform Soundbridge software, which lets you transfer samples and sequences into the module from your computer.

Because the DM Pro is positioned as a professional unit and doesn't have a rock-bottom price, you might think that it doesn't represent as great a value as earlier Alesis drum machines and modules. However, when you consider its innovative features and sheer number of high-quality sounds, you realize that the DM Pro is quite a bargain after all.

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