Alesis Surge Mesh vs. Command Mesh – What’s the Difference?

The Alesis Surge Mesh and the Alesis Command Mesh kits are both very respectable entry-level electronic drum sets. The Alesis Command Mesh kit has a better drum module and is more suitable for advanced players looking for a practice kit. Both kits offer good value for money.

Even though the Alesis Surge Mesh Kit and the Alesis Command Mesh Kit look similar and share the same drum pad configuration, there are a few differences, especially in the drum modules that come with them. I will compare the two to help you determine which one is better suited for your needs.

Key Differences Between Alesis Surge Mesh and Command Mesh Kit

  • The drum module on the Command Mesh is better. The drum module on the Alesis Command Mesh Kit has almost double the number of sounds and kits than the drum module on the Surge Mesh Kit.
  • The Alesis Command Mesh has custom sampling built-in. You can use a USB flash drive to record songs, load samples, save kits, and load kits.
  • The drum module on the Command Mesh is easier to use. The huge knob control in the module’s center makes cycling through presets and adjusting sound more accessible and intuitive.
  • The cymbals are mounted differently. The cymbals on the Alesis Command kit are mounted with boom arms.
  • Price. The Alesis Surge Mesh offers better value for money overall, with a modest price instead of the slightly more expensive Command Mesh kit.

Key Similarities Between Alesis Surge Mesh and Command Mesh Kit

  • Both of the e-drum kits have all mesh heads. Both drum kits have tunable mesh heads that you can adjust according to your playstyle.
  • Same drum pad configuration. Both the Surge and the Command e-drum kits are 5-piece drum kits with three cymbals.
  • The exact number of additional pad/cymbal inputs. The Command Mesh kit and the Surge Mesh kit both have two inputs for additional pads or cymbals. 
  • Both of the drum modules have a metronome and onboard recording. Both drum modules have a metronome and onboard recording built-in that can help you while practicing, offering different learning features and play-along music tracks.

Pros of both drum kits

  • Good e-drum rack: Both e-drum kits are mounted on a four-post lightweight rack that has good build quality.
  • All mesh heads: The drum pads on both e-drum kits are made with mesh material. Thanks to the tension rods, they are also tunable, so you can adjust the tension according to your playstyle.
  • Affordable: Both the Alesis Surge and the Command kits are sitting at a great price point.
  • They are compact: Both e-drum kits are compact enough to fit anywhere. You can play them in the apartment, studio, or practice area without any issues.
Alesis Surge Mesh Kit
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Alesis Command Mesh Kit
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Cons of both drum kits

  • The drum pad sensitivity: The trigger sensors in these e-drum kits are not as sensitive as some of the triggers in the mid-range or higher-end drum kits.
  • Sound quality: Not that the sound quality of these e-drum kits is bad, but they still fall short compared to higher-end kits.
  • Mounting hardware: The mounting hardware is not great on these e-drum kits, but that’s expected with affordable electronic drums.

Alesis Surge Mesh Kit

Alesis Command Mesh Kit

Surge vs. Command Advanced Drum Module

The Command Advanced Drum Module is better than the Surge Drum Module. The most significant difference between the two is the number of sounds and kits they offer. While the Surge Drum Module has only 385 sounds and 40 kits, the Command Advanced Drum Module has 671 sounds and 74 kits.

Another feature that the Command Advanced Drum Module has but the Surge Drum Module is missing is custom sampling. You can use a USB flash drive to record songs, load samples, save kits, and load kits on the Command module.

The Command module also has 60 more built-in songs that you can practice with. The Surge Drum Module has only 60, while the Command has 120 built-in songs.


With 671 sounds and 54 kits on the Command module, it allows you to store 20 more user kits to customize the sounds you play. With the Surge Drum Module, you only get 385 sounds and 40 kits, with no ability to create custom kits.


The Command Mesh Kit and the Surge Mesh kit come with an 8” mesh kick pad tower. They both include a kick pedal when you purchase the e-drum kits, and there is room to use a double pedal on both of the kick pad towers.

Snare and Toms

The snare and tom pads on these e-drum kits are practically the same. The snare is a 10” mesh dual-zone pad. Both the Command and the Surge drum kits have three 8” tom pads that are dual-zone, so you get sounds on the rim as well as the center of the head.

Cymbal Pads

The cymbal pads on both of the e-drum kits are also the same. They both have a 10” ride cymbal with a single trigger, so you don’t get a different bell sound. The crash cymbal is also 10” and has choke capability.


Some other e-drum kits to look at while shopping for a drum kit at this price range are the Millenium MPS-850 which has an acoustic-style hi-hat stand and one additional tom pad, or the Roland TD-1DMK V-Drums, which offers better build quality than both the Alesis Surge and Alesis Command Drum Kit.

Roland TD-1DMK V-Drums
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Can You Add Sounds to Alesis Surge Drum Kit?

Unfortunately, you cannot. Loading your own samples on Alesis Surge Mesh Drum Kit is not possible. If you need that feature, you will have to upgrade to the Alesis Command Mesh Drum Kit or higher-end models.

Are Alesis Drum Kits as Good as Roland Drum Kits?

Alesis is known for producing better value-for-money drum kits. If you decide to go for Alesis electronic drum kits in general, you are most likely to get more features for your money. Roland electronic drum kits are more expensive and don’t offer as many features as Alesis drum kits in a similar price range.

However, Roland kits shine with exceptional build quality that Alesis has not matched yet. In general, Roland e-drums are made for professionals, while Alesis offers more budget-friendly options.


If you are looking for a budget-friendly electronic drum kit that has all the features that are in this price range, both the Surge and the Command kit are a great choice. The Surge might be a better value for money unless you specifically need custom sampling or more sounds and kits.

If, however, you need a better drum module that opens up a lot of possibilities, then the Command Mesh kit is a better option. Either way, both kits are great for the price and what they offer.

Mike O'Connor
Mike O'Connor

I've been playing drums for over 18 years. I work as both a session drummer and a drum teacher, and I love to share my knowledge and tips on this site. You can also find me on the Electronic Drum Advisor YouTube channel.

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