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
April 13, 2011 @ 10:54 am
Hey Marcus,
Have you tried panning the kick and snare to opposite sides? You'd have to use to cables (Left and Right) into the mix, but you could treat them with differing volume and EQ.
I use the SR-16 for my comedic metal duo. It's pretty versatile. My only complaint is I'm running out of space to save songs.
March 20, 2011 @ 3:27 pm
I am a jazz/funk/fusion musician and i use the SR16 for my live set i think its ideal for what i'm doing run it thru the mixing board with some EQ and you,re good to go.My only beef is that you can't separate the snare and the kick for independant mixing live.
February 4, 2011 @ 10:43 am
The SR-16 was my first drummachine. It's very basic, 90% of the drum sounds are acoustic versions so it's difficult to use for electronic music styles unless you want to sound like a mid-80s EBM act. Back in 1993 when I bought it, its comparably low price and ease of use were the key points. If you need a simple machine for jamming along to, the SR-16 might be what you're looking for, other than that, circuit-bending it probably is the best thing you can do with it.
August 31, 2010 @ 7:28 pm
check out later godflesh albums from 93 onwards...
uses a sr 16, sounds brilliant.
sadly all i have at the moment is a yamaha rx21. lol
Evan Long
April 12, 2010 @ 7:00 pm
I tried the SR-16 for a week when deciding on my first drum machine. Between this and the similarly priced DR-660 from Boss, there was no contest; the Dr. Rhythm outshined this unit by a mile. The sounds were boring and the machine was relatively difficult to program.
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  • 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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