I have a long and complex history with the Alesis DM Pro. It’s a uniquely powerful and expressive device, specifically in how one can custom-program both natural and novel drumming expression between modulation Sources
- hit velocity
- hit rate (think “swells”)
- random variation
- many others…
…and the resultant sound controls.
- amplitude gain and envelope controls
- filter cutoff and envelope control
- many others…
I spent a LOT of time programming and personalizing it to get the most flexible e-drum system I could out of it, and as it’s outputs started to fail, I realized I could keep the unit and dump all my hard-earned programming into a new (likely cheaper) unit.
In fact, I picked up a second DM pro that was in rough shape for spare parts or frankenstein-ing.
The Brain’s brain fails:
However, when I booted it up this month, I started seeing scrambled patch names, and when I tested it’s saving of trivial changes, it failed to retain them. I immediately (re)backed up all my DM Pro kits and Globals into SoundDiver.
In this unit, like most programmable gear from the 90s, patches are stored in (non-flashing) memory chip(s) powered by a coin-sized battery that keeps them charged while the unit is powered down. Whenever a unit (especially from 80s and 90s) starts wiping all the presets, check for a little coin battery.
To the Bench
Opening the DM pro up is tricky.
for reference: this project involved.
- initial purchase of a Panasonic BR-2325-HG panel-mounted battery
- upgrade to CR2025 coin-button battery holder
Practical Problems of Polarity
…but the incoming battery only has two, so I have to “get it right”
Making it fit:
Power ON ?
after reversing the process to re-assemble the parts enough to power on, I found the unit suddenly showed symptoms WORSE than “memory wipe”
it Showed NO screen or response to front panel board.
Before panicking, checked my work and realized I’d mis-mounted a standoff.
After remedy of that mistake, I everything worked fine, and it could now save patches through power cycles (again), so I reassembled the unit for future use.