Alesis SR-16

Alesis SR-16

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SR-16, Drum Machine from Alesis.

9 user reviews
Prices starting at $149 Average price: $149

Alesis SR-16 tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Alesis
  • Model: SR-16
  • Category: Drum Machines
  • Added in our database on: 09/09/2002

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Buy new Alesis SR-16

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Alesis SR-16 user reviews

Average Score:4.4( 4.4/5 based on 9 reviews )
 4 reviews44 %
 4 reviews44 %
Value For Money :

MGR/Mike's review"Alesis SR-16"

Alesis SR-16
I bought the SR-16 through American Musical Supply for $200 for a few reasons. Most importantly, its price was within my budget and I found the 'representative' sound bytes offered by online retailers to be more realistic sounding than other competing brands'. It also received high 'ease of use' remarks from people on online forums, which was important to me as I'm a bit new to recording.

It is SIMPLE to use, even for a complete novice like myself. The machine contains a lot of flexibility in the sounds it offers. I don't use it for live performance, and so do not have memory concerns, but it seems to offer more than enough storage space for percussion compositions - and can backup in a variety of ways if this becomes an issue. Its MIDI capability is very helpful. The 'pattern' and 'song' editing features are incredibly easy to use which allows me to record in real time and edit later, or to compose beat by beat to get "perfect" timing. I happy with the cymbals for the most part, as this was my biggest concern for a realistic drum set sound. And it's relatively CHEAP!!

There really is nothing I don't like about the SR-16, although I think that some of its sounds are a little useless for my purposes (such as the backwards open high-hat, and some of the percussive instruments). I also do not think you can change tempo within a song, but if you're using the machine as a MIDI slave, this shouldn't be an issue as the tempo can be defined by the master.

It's very small and compact which is nice. It seems to be a little frail, however, and I would be concerned if using it in a live setting. Overall, it seems well constructed.

For a very simple, easy to use drum machine with pretty good sound quality and a low price tag, I don't think you could do better than the SR-16.

This review was originally published on

phraseland's review

Alesis SR-16
Ok - this is a classic. For some reason it is still around and once you actually put your hands on it you will know why this drum machine has been so popular - and still is. I bouht mine about ten years ago and up to this day I still use on times to quickly setup a basic drum groove for songwriting and practicing.
You can connect it to a PA or mixing board via the stereo outputs and it can receive and send MIDI information. The Pads are velocity sensitive and the volume is being adjusted with the big knob on the right.


For a drum machine this unit is very easy and straight forward to program. People being used to having big screens and software drum machines might find it a bit cumbersome but really for it being a small portable unit things couldn't be any easier. If you have any questions I found the manual to be very helpful and always task oriented.

You can choose which sounds you want on the 12 trigger pads (there is a selection of more than 300 sounds) or you can just choose a preset drum set. You can either create patterns or then tie them together to a song. For each pattern there are two versions, two fills, intros and endings.


Still after all these years (I believe the unit was introduced now almost 20 years ago) the sounds are pretty good. Of course these days you have higher sampling rates and different velocity layers...
...but it just shows that it's not necessarily about bits and kHz or tons of layers. These sounds were captured and then processed very well and have a lot of punch while being very naturalistic. The Alesis reverb is what it is - so don't expect studio quality...on the other hand you can still find the DM5 Module in many studio racks (which has basically the same sounds)...
I think they did a good job back then and it speaks for itself when a unit like the SR-16 is still in demand today.


As I said I have been using this drum machine for over ten years now and it has never let me down. I dropped a flower pot on it and spilled several cups of coffee over it. Although the volume knob has taken its toll it still works fine and if it ever breaks I will definately buy a new one (they just put out an updated it would probably be that).
If you check on ebay or the audiofanzine forums you will see that they quite cheap and you do get a very good instrument for your money.

AlexandreC's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" A machine that has proudly survived the walkman"

Alesis SR-16
2 Sockets pedals
DIN 2 midi in and out / thru
4 output channels, two mono jacks for the main output and a stereo jack for auxiliary output.
1 Headphone out
1 jack for tape backup (bha yes, we are in the 90s!)

The machine includes only sampled acoustic drum sounds. I would have liked one or two set out on a synthesizer at the time, but the sounds are really good quality.


It is easy to handle. I program as real: it works very well and is less laborious than step programming. The manual is very clear and the ergonomics of the machine seems quite logical

One caveat though: the screen is not backlit. On stage you will absolutely a lamp to shine if you do not see anything. If it is a problem for you there are a modernized version: SR18 but it is not the same price.

The pedals just seem essential for this type of device. There is a start / stop and another A / B / Fill that also "tap tempo" box when not playing.


Sounds are acoustic drum samples that are of excellent quality. I wish I had some synthetic sounds as I play electronic music, but at that price I'd rather have few but good and now I'm really not disappointed!

Velocity does not work at all in me, I see it with the service and I will publish the comment as soon as possible.


The BAR has become a classic that has transcended time and she deserves it. A simple, cheap and good quality.

Philipovna's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Excellent!"

Alesis SR-16
Connection midi - audio.


Everything is accessible. C as all used to it. The manual is to help the.


Varis styles are wide and sweeping "jazz - Funck - Rock '
Too bad no "Cubans"
But the dynamic is the!


I used one for your exact year and is successful ... Premire for use.
It is possible that I rutilise because I think not having done the "tour" including "midi".
The price is drisoire today.

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Other names: sr 16, sr16

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