Alesis SR-16

Alesis SR-16 Image

For serious programmers and those who want to use it as a sound module, the SR-16 provides comprehensive MIDI programming and MIDI implementation. In addition to more than 200 drum and rhythm samples (both in dry form or with reverb), a Dynamic Articulation feature enables a drum's tone to change, depending on how hard it's hit. Comes with fifty preset rhythm patterns (played in by top studio drummers), each with an A and B variation, plus A and B fill, for a total of four different rhythms in each pattern. Of course, you can create and save your own customized patterns and songs. Also includes four outputs, twelve velocity-sensitive pads, 16-voice polyphony, sample/DAC bit resolution 16/18, sound stacking, step editing and a 20-255BPM tempo range.

No doubt the SR-16 is a powerful drum machine, but ultimately it also sounds like a drum machine. If you need some drums to accompany your keyboard or guitar playing, for example, the SR-16 has been the go-to drum machine for many years. But all those bumper stickers about drum machines having no soul just might be directed at the SR-16. It may be a great tool for musicians but in the studio its sound just can't beat the real deal - or loops and more modern drum & percussion instruments and software. It has been used by Autechre and Vangelis.

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25 Visitor comments
Hesslek
September 10, 2013 @ 4:21 am
Also heavilly—in more than one sense—used by Godflesh
andy
June 3, 2013 @ 6:29 am
If anyone's interested the preset patterns are used on Crazy by Eternal.
Lee
May 2, 2013 @ 6:33 am
Here is a video of me demonstrating the rapid fill functionality. Not fill like a transition but fill a high hat on every 16th beat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaWBPP8ytfs
Erotic Cabaret
April 3, 2013 @ 2:49 am
Just picked up one of these. The new 24-bit version. This is honestly one of the best drum machines I've ever heard. You can't modify the sounds much but it sounds like a gem right out of the box. It's like a "best of" 80s drum machine and that works just great for me.
Jack Rayless
March 13, 2013 @ 5:13 pm
The SR-16 was my first drum machine. I'd have to say I'd rate it two stars. It's sounds are small and bland and generally pretty lifeless. With some external effects you can get it to sound pretty decent, and it is incredibly easy to program. I seem to remember the midi integration being a breeze. I never really loved it and can't see what the appeal would be these days aside from using it as a sequencer or clock( for example I can't think of one song that used it). I have no idea what I did with my old one. I wouldn't pay more than $150 for it but it is a fun toy.
 
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Rated 3.08 (199 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 - Hear the on-board Demo track.

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

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 16 voice
  • Drum Sounds - Sounds: 233; Kits: 50 user, 50 preset
  • Patterns - 400 (200 user, 200 preset) with 12,000 note capacity
  • Songs - 100
  • Effects - Panning & Dynamic Articulation (modulates tone). Some samples have reverb & ambience in them.
  • Keyboard - 12 velocity sensitive Pads (w/Dynamic Articulation)
  • Control - MIDI (Change Kits, Sync: MIDI Clock/Song Position Pointer).
    Foot-switch Jacks/Functions: 2; start/stop, count/A/B/fill
  • Date Produced - 1990-2003
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Alesis Online

    Additional info by John Hilfing.

    Reviewed November 2007.

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