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Author Topic: Alesis SR-16 (1990) 16-bit stereo drum machine w/ dynamic articulation  (Read 3769 times)

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Offline chrisNova777

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« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 03:29:05 PM by chrisNova777 »

Offline chrisNova777

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Re: Alesis SR-16 (1990)
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2017, 12:09:12 PM »

Offline chrisNova777

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Re: Alesis SR-16 (1990)
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2017, 03:54:44 PM »

Offline chrisNova777

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Re: Alesis SR-16 (1990)
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2017, 09:00:28 PM »
http://www.muzines.co.uk/articles/alesis-sr16/776


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THE SR16 GETS full marks for its thoughtful and flexible implementation, user-friendly operation, innovative features and generous complement of quality sounds. The fact that you get all this for £299 makes the SR16 excellent value for money.

In particular, Alesis are to be congratulated for giving the musician on a tight budget access to the sort of kick, snare and tom library normally only available with a sampler, and access to a large number of sounds without the need to spend further money on sample cards. Not that the SR16 can substitute for a sampler, nor can its 233 onboard sounds make up for the flexibility provided (potentially) by sample cards. One consequence of slanting the SR16 so heavily towards kicks, snares and toms is that you don't get the range of drum and percussion sounds available via, say, the Roland R-series card library. If Alesis were to augment the SR16 with an SR16B offering a similar number of sounds but this time covering all manner of world percussion sounds and off-beat percussive effects, they'd have an impressively versatile - and still reasonably priced - double act on their hands.

A wider tuning range for the SR16's sounds wouldn't have gone amiss, while a hardware update offering LCD backlighting would be welcome. However, there's precious little to find fault with on Alesis' new drum machine, while the company deserve praise for trying to be a little original. By majoring in spontaneity with its A/B/Fill pattern selections, interactive programming and real-time Song chaining, the SR16 shows that there's life yet in the dedicated drum machine. To continue in this spirit, I'd like to suggest that any software update for the SR16 - and Alesis have already shown themselves willing in this area with the Quadraverb Plus and Datadisk SQ - include Solo and Mute modes which allow you to solo any instrument or to mute any combination of instruments within a rhythm by pressing the relevant pad(s) during Pattern and Song play. Not only would this be useful creatively, it would also be helpful for transcription purposes.

Update or not, the SR16 looks set to rule the budget drum machine market with its particular combination of sounds and features. Whether or not it ends up doing so is going to depend on Cheetah's MD16 drum machine, finally available and retailing for the same price as the SR16 - and scheduled for review in next month's MT.

Offline chrisNova777

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Re: Alesis SR-16 (1990)
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2017, 08:01:18 PM »
http://www.synthmania.com/sr-16.htm


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I bought my SR-16 when it came out in 1990 (or 91?), and it has been going strong for all these years!  At the time, there were other strong contenders, such as the venerable Roland R-8 and the then-new Korg S3 and Kawai XD-5 drum synthesizers, but in the end I was persuaded by the sounds, programming capabilities, and most of all - low price- of the SR-16.
It's been a staple in my studio since, and I don't think I'm going to get rid of it anytime soon.  It's just too useful and easy to program.  There are 50 preset patterns in ROM, and 50 more available in RAM for you to program, but really there are many more, because per each pattern you can save a pattern A, fill A, fill B and pattern B.  Step and real time programming are supported.

The sounds are oriented towards rock, but dig into the ROM and you'll find some useful sounds for electronic, Latin, pop, reggae, jazz... a little bit of everything.  I was very surprised (still am) that Alesis included TR-808ish samples, but the TR-909 is completely absent.  Oh well.

 
The Alesis SR-16 drum machine came out in 1990, and it's still being manufactured!  A perfect example of the "if it isn't broken, don't fix it" rule.  The secret to the longevity of this machine is the high quality of its on-board sounds, and a few features that make this an excellent choice for the gigging solo musician, such as separate pedals for start/stop and fill ins/outs.

Many sounds on the SR-16 use a technique called "Dynamic Articulation": this makes the timbre of a sound change slightly when the pads are stricken soft or hard, and adds a lot to the realism of this machine.

Although it does have a few electronic sounds on board, true to its American origin, the SR-16 is mostly focused on bread and butter "rock 'n' roll" sounds.  The snares in particular are absolutely beautiful, and various enough to approach any project with them.

http://www.synthmania.com/Alesis%20SR-16/Audio/Preset%20Patterns/13%20Funk%201.mp3
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 03:27:17 PM by chrisNova777 »

Offline chrisNova777

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