Alesis SR-16
Alesis SR-16

All user reviews for the Alesis SR-16

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Average Score:4.4( 4.4/5 based on 8 reviews )
 4 reviews50 %
 4 reviews50 %
Value For Money : Excellent
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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.

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

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.

shanneton's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Classic but really ok"

Alesis SR-16
I take data from a different view:
Connection jacks in and out
4 audio outputs (2 stereo pairs)
2 MIDI In a 1Out/Thru
12 sensitive pads
16/18 bit converter
233 sounds
12 sounds accessible directly by pads, 120 sounds accessible via MIDI
16 notes polyphony, programmable pan position with 8 velocity layers per pad and 127 via MIDI
20-255 bpm tempo marks 12 000 400 patterns (200 preset 200 progress.) 100 songs
50 user kits, 50 preset kits

Change kits by MIDI program change / MIDI Clock Sync / Song Position Pointer
2 assignable footswitch start / stop, count / A / B / fill
No effect section
No possibility of using samples


Manual simple and clear
Ergonomics is not a problem


The sounds are really good, a little fancier than the previous generation.
They have a good dynamic.
It's really a reference. But not really sound original or surprising.


I bought it used about two years ago.
The value for money is really interesting opportunity.

Beware, there are well-known effects of aging on this product that must be taken into account if you buy used.
- Possibly to change the battery for memory
- Aging of the volume knob: it is possible to unjam easily with a bomb ad-hoc purchased electronics store
- My pads seem insensitive, the contact is also likely to dust.

I would do without this choice problem.

Anonymous 's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Alesis SR-16
It is fully described below.
The pre-recorded sounds are fine, since I use a two years, I have not toured the creation of pattern.
What I like is the super simple footswitch that you can buy elsewhere than with Alesis.


Super simple setup.
Very easy to use.
The manual is sufficient.


Sounds very much like a real battery. Is sampled with CD quality.
I play rock and it's very realistic.
I use it as a metronome improved, ie with the same pattern that turns up time that I stopped at the pedal. To do this it does very well.
All sounds are realistic.

Edict of 19/10/08
Now I check the pattern directly in the compositions, it is super easy, I can fancy small (turnover) ...
Now I have two years I think we made some concerts full of repeated and it is still going strong


I do not like is that for the moment I can not vary the tempo within a song automatiqe, or so I failed (which is possible) So for the music I make, it requires a manual adjustment (or pedal). Which in itself does not suit me because I use it to supplement my guitar when I sing.
Very satisfactory if it again, to live is better if there is a Mr Rhythm in the group because it does not do everything alone, especially if you want to leave room for improvisation .. . like all drum machines.
As they say on some sites if I am the fly or I will seek to buy one for simplicity. I would advise any guitarist or bassist who wants to learn to play square! This is a great tool for homework.
For the cons to live a somewhat more complete configuration would be most successful. I'm not able to do everything I need with my gift alesis is a pity, because the sound is very good. But for now I enmène on my concert and it rolls. One of my songs went to radio, I assure you it is as powerful a battery!
To listen

mdtjoe's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Alesis SR-16
See APRS! He said everything.
I find that nanmoins connection of external power supply does not hold water. it is super sensitive, which accasionne of 'resets' untimely. It sucks when even if the box stops live.


Clear, simple, prcis. edition alone!


The quality of the presets is indniable. for a box, there's groove. Now for use in home studio, a rhythm box hardware really does not seem justified. Y acid, fruity loops and others. At present, it becomes a little Exceeds. Good for live (gaffe connectivity, cf. Above).


I use it for 6 years. I do not regret it at all, but must recognize that it becomes dsuette.
Finally it's still a good box to me more than enball BOSS in the same range.

On mine, the screen is not clear either retro.

Mr.Music's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Alesis SR-16
4 audio outputs (2 pairs Stereo)
2 MIDI In a 1Out/Thru
12 sensitive pads
16/18 bit converter
233 sounds
12 sounds accessible from pads directly
120 sounds accessible via MIDI
Polyphony 16 notes
programmable pan position
8 levels of VLOC by pads and 127 via MIDI
20-255 bpm tempo
12 000 Notes 400 Patterns (200 200 preset progr.) 100 songs
50 user kits, 50 preset kits
Change kits by MIDI program change
Sync MIDI Clock / Song Position Pointer
2 assignable footswitch start / stop, count / A / B / fill


The config gnrale edition and sounds we can no longer be simple APRS one reading the manual I knew how to use the bottom of all functions.
And having said that in passing the manual and trs simple.


Sounds and patterns are prprogramer excute by real drummers!
So they can not be that good ... questions and expressing the effects first time I listen I could not believe BMD.
MEET trs well pads to the Veloci so you can play in real time a "flat" as we play on a real snare drum.
Sounds to me it's the top.


I served for 4 years and no problem.
My particularity prfer panning and editing sounds
I bought it without having to try, I had heard that her BMD.
Report QualitPrix: Excellent
Only small BMOL the memory of all your Creations dpendent rglages and a battery ... also like to know if the screen is bright or not-rtro because I saw it on the net version rtro light ... Now if anyone knows how to make light rtro I'm interested.
Ps: For the problem of the "stack", I'm working on it and I could give a plan when I finished ... for the curious and wanting to see an SR-16 with rtro light I leave you the address o I saw: ALESR16 & z = 1602274717580