Alesis HR-16

Alesis HR-16 Image

One of Alesis's first drum machines. With 49 sounds including 10 kicks, 7 snares and a complete ethnic set all of which are 16 bit samples this drum machine is a great bargain! Its partner in crime is the MMT-8 sequencer. But the HR-16 has its own sequencer with 100 patterns and 100 songs available. The drum tones can be tuned, have individual level controls for mixing, and there is 16 voice polyphony which means up to 16 drum tones can be used within a pattern. Patterns are programmed in either step or real-time. With external click inputs and Midi, the HR-16 is capable of integrating your older drum machines or sequencers with Midi systems! The drum sounds, however, are pretty cheesy.

Alesis HR-16B Image

Alesis HR-16B

The updated HR-16B model had lots of new sounds cool for enough techno and electronic music. And it still costs about the same price. It is possible that some HR-16's may have been modified to use the HR-16B's ROM chip to get those sounds. The HR-16 is gray and the HR-16B is black. Either one makes a handy little drum machine that's so cheap these days that it is more than worth adding to your studio - it just might come in handy one day. It is used by Orbital, The Grid, Autechre, Sub Dub and the Stereo MC's.

Lookup Alesis HR-16 Prices

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40 Visitor comments
January 7, 2009 @ 7:37 pm
i learned programming beats on it at the age of 14, now i'm's the easiest beatbox EVER! i prefer the black version, because of those spooky bassdrums. you can program melodies, as you can lay an instrument in different tunings and volumes and pannings on each pad, and this stays in the pattern, after you assign them anew - REALLY COOL FEATURE!
January 4, 2009 @ 12:24 am
Quality. Could not be touched in it's day, for the money = abilities. A total winner both live and in the studio, never going to replace a drummer but it also wont empty your fridge or make out with your sister! I still keep one on hand to help in the early writing stage. This and an MMT8 with a midi synth (QS6 springs to mind) makes a really good writing tool.
Esmat Outim
November 15, 2008 @ 5:29 pm
i love the snares on this one
Andrew Beddoes
November 10, 2008 @ 11:21 pm
A well designed machine with tunable kit and effect sends on each instrument. The dark version, HR-16B, had sampled reverb drum samples and some noise effects. I kept mine.
September 22, 2008 @ 7:14 am
This is also a excelent machine for cuirtbending. I is the first machine ive circuit bend. And took me 2 hours without any previous knowlage. So its a cheap way to get some super trashed gritty sounds in your studio. And the sequencer is super easy an intuitive.
VSE Rating

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User Rating

Rated 3.6 (299 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Demos & Media
  • Audio Clip 1 - Samples of some Drum tones from the HR-16.

    Manual - Alesis have made manuals and program charts for many of their products available on-line, for free download as .PDF files!

  • Specifications
  • Drum Sounds - 49: 10 bass drums, 7 snares, 5 toms, 2 open hihats, 1 closed hat, 3 cymbals, Hi/Low congas, 2 woodblocks, 2 maracas, 2 cowbells, claves, cabasa, shaker, agogo, triangle, tambourine, handclaps, finger snap, side stick
  • Samples - 16 bit samples
  • Patterns - 100
  • Songs - 100
  • Effects - None
  • Keyboard - 16 pads
  • Polyphony - 16 voices
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1987/88
    HR-16B - 1989
  • Resources & Credits
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