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Home DIY Electronic Drums Alesis DM10 Pad Upgrade Video!

Alesis DM10 Pad Upgrade Video!

BBmeshA lot of people in the edrumming world tend to consider a mesh pad better than most other types of triggers. For this reason I came up with a method to change out the Alesis DM10 Pro Kit‘s Pad to a mesh type conversion (Medeli DD-602 trigger Pad). This conversion is not based on a Roland cone method but a more tried and true reflection plate method. The best part is, they only things you will need to buy for this conversion is a mesh drum head (I recomend the Billy Blast mesh without the center patch) and a three sheets of 12″ x 18″ (3mm thick) EVA craft foam (comes in many color, I used black). The kind I used is called Funky Foam which I got at Hobby Lobby (most craft/hobby store should have). The sheets were $1.00 each. The Billy Blast mesh heads (three 8″ & two 10″) were $10.00 each.

Before we get to the video, let me point out that the 10″ trigger pad (if you are upgrading the DM10 Pro Kit) is a touch different than the 8″ trigger pad. You will find a hole in the thick black foam of your pad. The hole is not, I repeat is not something to worry about. You will find that the trigger works just fine with the hole in the very center. So, don’t fill that hole.


Input Jack wiring Diagram

DD602TRSA couple things to note. First, by doing this modification you will be voiding your warranty on the pads. The other thing to keep in mind is that any mesh head will work. I only used the Billy Blast head to keep costs down. If you want a better quality mesh drum head, you can always use a mesh head manufactured by Roland or Hart. If you are not in the states you will have a much larger variety of mesh head companies to choose from.

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132 Comments  comments 

132 Responses

  1. SpadeRaven

    Iv been strictly an acoustic player my whole life,(since age8)and have recently found myself stairing down the barrel of a married life with kids and a townhouse. Since we moved in my drums have been packed into a closet, 7 years now! I dying over here! I cant take it anymore! Needless to say, I’ve been doing much research on edrums before i buy and, unless im missing something, it sounds like the Alesis DM10 is the way to go! Even more so after watching that convertion to mesh on the drum pads. Why would anyone spend the money on a TD9 when they could save a G and get equal performance (after the head convertion of course), and a module that is basically taking the market by storm! Im stoked! Cant wait til’ next week when I can place my order for the DM10 Pro Kit. Thanks to Phil and HellFire for really setting the bar high on in-depth, and specific information to help make my decision an informed and exciting one. Cant wait to start beating the skins again. You guys kick ass!

  2. SpadeRaven

    Just one question. From what i read and hear, sounds like the Surge cymbals have more acoustic noise than the all rubber types. Noise level is a concern of mine living in a townhouse. However, i have concrete walls separating the house on both sides. Taking that into consideration, how concerned should I be with the level of acoustic noise from the Surge cymbals?

    Also, since im here. After doing the mesh head conversion on the DM10, are there any areas of the kit that fall short in a comparison to the Roland TD9? Basically, Im trying to find out what the TD9 can do that the DM10 cannot. I think the TD9 module might have a couple extras that the DM10 doesn’t but, depending on what they are it might not matter. Thanks.

  3. SpadeRaven

    Just wanted to confirm that all the heads on the new DM10 Pro Kit are dual zone? Pretty sure thats the case. So I wount NOT have to go through the soldering and adding of Peizo when I do the mesh head upgrade right? I could skip the wiring and just re-arrange the foam pads, do the cut out on the white foam portion so that the sensor plate hangs freely, add the new foam and re-assemble with the mesh head, correct? Thanks again for all the great information.

  4. If noise is an issue you could always look at the DM10 Studio kit. The version of the kit comes with plastic/rubber cymbals more like the Roland TD-9 kit. If you want to know what the noise level of the Surge cymbal are, take a steel cookie sheet, place it on a carpeted floor and tap it with a drum stick. If you don’t have a drum stick use a wooden spoon handle. That is about how loud the Surge cymbals are. I hope that helps.

  5. The Roland TD-9 has a dual zone hi-hat. Meaning edge and bow. The DM10 is a signal zone hi-hat. The TD-9 has dual zone crash cymbals with choke. The DM10 crash cymbals are single zone with choke. That is about all the The Roland TD-9 has over the DM10. Now here are some thing the Alesis DM10 can do that the Roland TD-9 can not.

    – Assign two sounds to each trigger and mix those sound as you see fit.
    – A much deeper editing system that allow you to do velocity filters. (i.e. change the pitch and/or decay of each drum the harder you hit it).
    – If and when you decide to expand, the DM10 gives you access to 30+ additional triggers via MIDI (using something like an Alesis Trigger I/O).
    – You can change out its base sound samples via. USB with new ones (Once Alesis actually releases new sound sets for the DM10).
    – And of course the DM10 has 1/4″ inputs for each trigger on the back of the module. Something the TD-9 doesn’t have (TD-9 uses a special brake out cable).

    I hope that helps.

  6. SpadeRaven

    Thanks for the hints and info Phil, gonna give the cookie sheet thing a whirl when I get back home. About your suggestion to consider the DM10 Studio over the DM10 Pro Kit for the rubber cymbal noise level, is that the only difference bewteen the two kits, besides the rack? If so, whats your immpression of those rubber cymbals. Are they reliable? I know im killin ya with questions, i really appreciate the time spent to respond. Thanks again.

  7. Joet60

    Hi Phil, wow….thanks for posting this…I have a brand new DM-10 Studio kit…here’s my problem…I can’t see this video!! I click on the above link but nothing happens. On youtube I’ve only found the dismantling of the pad…no re-assembly….HELP!! All of my pads are duel zone except the kick….which is really loud!(acoustically)….if you can hook me up with the rest of this vid…that would be great!!

  8. Make sure you have Quicktime. Also, it may take a little time for it to load. The severs here are kind of slow and some browsers want to load the entire video before it starts to play. Try clicking on the video link and let is load awhile. Open another web browser window and surf the net some and then try coming back to it. I hope that helps.

  9. stefferz

    hey Phil, if i can only get 2mm craft foam will that work? or maybe stack 2 2mm to get a 4mm..i cant find any 3mm craft foam where i live lol what should i do?

  10. I would try the 2mm craft foam, either one or two layers. I don’t see what it would hurt to try it either way and see which you like best.

  11. DylanJ

    Does the craft foam strictly have to be EVA foam, or can other types of foam be used?

  12. Well it is DIY, so you can try anything you want and see if it works. If you are just replace the thin foam it comes with you can use 1/4″ thick neoprene (mouse pad) foam rubber. I hope that helps.

  13. Pete

    Hi Phil, thanks heaps for this info. I will be getting a dd602 style kit soon. Im trying to decide which kit to get… medeli dd602 or the alesis dm5 pro. Is there any difference in quality between the 2 kits? I understand the pads are all the same but what about the frame and the module etc?

  14. Pete

    forgot to mention the kit im comparing to the alesis is labeled legacy dd602

  15. The best advice I can give you is to try them out if you can. Outside of that the only difference appears (not 100% sure) to be the modules. You might find the DM5 to be a little more robust, but if you plan on using your computer for sounds (i.e. VST’s like EZdrummer) either one should do.

  16. Thank you so much for this… It was easy breezy and sure feels a lot better (and i bother people less as well)…

    Changed 4 pads from my DM10 – forgot to buy the mesh head for the bass drum… do you recommend changing that one too?

    Warmest Regards


  17. If you can I would. The bass drum is the loudest of the pads. By changing it to mesh, you make it that much quieter. Thanks for your comment.

  18. Attila

    Hello Phil!

    Have you tried to do this conversion, but with standard drum heads instead of mesh heads? The pads are to hard to hit with factory setup, so swapping the foams looks like a good idea, have you tried it that way?

    Thanks for all the reviews on this site.

  19. You can do the conversion with a standard drum head. It will be a little louder than the stock pad but it will feel better as well. I hope that helps.

  20. Attila

    Hi again!

    I’ve done the conversion on the bass drum, with stock Alesis heads and it’s a lot more better and surprisingly quiter!? When playing with a stick it’s louder than stock setup, just as you mentioned above.
    Why does Alesis/Medeli makes these pads with the incorrect foam order? 😀
    I did the mouse pad upgrade on one of my toms too, and it’s an improvement too, but not so great as the full upgrade.

    Best regards,

  21. Dave

    I just got the dm10 – all of my drums are now dual zone. Are there 2 piezo elements stock in the drums for rim and head or do I have to add a piezo for rim triggering?

  22. If you bought a DM10 kit then you should already have dual zone drum triggers. I hope that helps.

  23. markmcg

    This is really great stuff Phil. I wish I could buy this used set and do all the mod and any repair while I’m at it. Unfortunately $377 for a DM Pro kit with only this info makes it a bit scary:

    “This product needs repair, but can be brought back to full playability. Please note this is an AS-IS purchase. If you are a do-it-yourselfer or know a skilled repairman, this is a terrific value and usually requires replacement of parts or some skilled setup work. Specifically, this percussion product requires repair or replacement as it only has intermittent functionality. It is also missing several nuts, bolts, and tension rods.”

    I mean is just the pads that I’d pull apart anyway and could fix? Man! :(

  24. markmcg

    Sorry, the above was a DM10 Studio Kit 6-piece …

  25. That does sound a bit scary. Does it come with a working module? If so, the price is worth it just for that because a module by itself runs about $600-700.00.

  26. dannyboy


    I’m considering buying the Alesis DM10 Studio Kit. Is this mod possible on the non-pro set?


  27. Yes. The studio and the pro use the same pads. I hope that helps.

  28. case

    Hi ,

    what about the end of the video please ?
    is there another sequence ….


  29. I assume you watched the video from youtube. You will find that if you click on the link for the video in this topic, that the video is complete and doesn’t stop after 10 min. (youtube limit). I hope that helps. Thanks for the comment.

  30. Mcstrat

    Hi Phil, Just finished the drum conversion on my usb pro kit and what a difference it has made,
    It is now “way” better than before , getting great snare rolls and I’m hearing velocities from BFD2
    That i havent heard before , all i can say is that
    I’m glad i found your video you deserve a medal.
    Just one thing is there anyway to make the rim hits a bit more sensitive its no big deal at the minute thought i’d ask anyway.

    Happy Newyear.

  31. Thanks Mcstrat.
    To make the rim more sensitive you can try a couple different things: You can try replacing the rubber rim cover that came with your kit with a harder type rubber. That is more of a DIY type thing and may require some trial and error. Or you could remove the rubber all together. It will make it more noisy, but the sensitivity should be much better. If you want to replace the rubber rim, you might want to try using 3/16″ fuel line rubber hose. You will need to split it down the middle so it will slip over the metal rim. The advantage to using the fuel line hose is, it’s a more stiff rubber than the factory but still is fairly quiet to play on. I hope that helps.

  32. Mcstrat

    Thanks Phil for rim hit’s advice.

    Would also like some advice about the hihat pedal
    That comes with the Alesis usb pro kit ,it does the job ok but seems a bit floppy and loose if you know what i mean, is there any other pedal out there that would feel more stable and responsive to use with the trigger I/O from alesis useing BFD2


  33. You can try the Roland FD-8 hi-hat controller. I believe Pintech makes a couple variable hi-hat controllers that should work as well too. Please be sure to calibrate your new hi-hat pedal once you get it. The calibration instructions should be in the Trigger I/O manual. I hope that helps in some way.

  34. Mcstrat

    Hello again phil sorry to bother you once more ,
    I was wondering is it possible to link two alesis
    Trigger I/O’S together for more kit expansion purposes
    Or what would you recommend yourself .

    Thanks again. mike from Belfast

  35. dul311

    Would you recommend this upgrade for someone like me? By that I mean that I hate the feel of stand Roland pads because the rebound is unnatural. As an example, I went back to rubber pads because I couldn’t deal with the roland pad feel.

    I had done a mesh conversion on my first generation pads which felt great.

    Your feedback would be appreciated.

  36. I would not do the mesh upgrade until after you have had a chance to use the kit as it comes. If you like the way it feels, then there is now reason to change them out to mesh. I hope that helps.

  37. Adrian

    Hi Phil, great video!!
    I was just wondering which mesh pad size to use with the bass pedal. Can’t find that info anywhere!
    Also, do you know if the bass pad conversion is significantly different than converting the other pads?

    Thank you!

  38. The head size is 8″. The conversion for the bass is the same. I hope that helps.

  39. Kirk Markarian


    If I were lazy and unwilling to swap out the mylar head for a mesh head and place a mouse pad underneath the mylar head, would there be a really significant reduction in volume if I just cut a mousepad to fit over the mylar head, inside the rim, and tape it down to the mylar head with double-sided tape?

    I am not looking for realism in rebound, I just want a quiet set. Would I lose trigger sensitivity to the point of being unusable?

    Thanks for any info you can provide me!


  40. You can try it. You will have to adjust your settings. Anytime you change something on the trigger it will effect the sensitivity to some degree. Just place a mouse pad under the mylar isn’t going to change the volume level much. That trick is used to make the trigger feel better. The quietest type of trigger is mesh. I hope that helps.

  41. Kirk Markarian

    Thanks, Phil
    I am receiving a Pearl Drum-X synth-drum brain, and I did end up purchasing some BillyBlast’s. I’m going to put those on and see how it goes, and I’ll probably just put the mouse pads under the Billy’s.

  42. Josh

    Would it be possible to just add the extra foam/rearrange the foam order and not replace the head (keep the existing head)? Would it still have the added feel?

  43. Yes, you can use the existing head just keep in mind that it will still be just as loud. I hope that helps.

  44. Revan Corana

    Can we do the same with the kick pad?

    Thank you for the video.

  45. Yes, That was the first one I did it to. 😉

  46. fcwedd

    Fantastic video.

    It makes you wonder why the heck Alesis didn’t do this themselves before launching their DM10 kits. That $50.00 makes the entire kit feel as if its value has doubled.

    If their kits shipped with these pads, Alesis would’ve set a precedent.

  47. Unfortunately, they can’t because of patent held by Roland but, there is nothing that states a DIY’er can give it a go. 😉

  48. Garrett664

    I am a harder hitter, when that white foam is cut and the resonator plate is hanging there, is there a chance that i could break that plastic and screw myself over? Is it like absolutely necessary to cut the white foam?

  49. Attila

    Hi Phil & all!

    I replaced my Evans heads with Pearl mesh heads, and documented it here it this video:


    I was searching for this comparison everywhere without luck, so made one myself. I hope it helps.

  50. Chris

    I’m looking into getting a dm10 and after watching the video numerous times, why must soldering be done? The dm10 pads already have a dual zone don’t they?

    So what I’m asking is, is there enough slack in the trigger wire in which I can rearrange and add foam without having to desolder and resolder the trigger?

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