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Rating and Reviews: Alesis SR16 Drum Machine

With a bevy of built-in and programmable rhythmic patterns and the responsive Dynamic Articulation program, the SR-16 handily proves its versatility.

User Ratings
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"It's a keeper..." submitted May 16, 2004

By a customer from hotmail.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Music Style: All manner. All types of rock, hip hop(not rap; there is a difference), electronic(d&b, tech)
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Sound: Once I became comfortable tooling around with the panning and velocity, I loved it. A great alternative for someone who can't bang the crap out of drums in the house. Not that spectacular for techno-esque sounds. Feature: No intrinsic accessories, wall wart notwithstanding. The glare on the display can be a hassle. Backlighting would have been great. I probably would have payed thirty dollars more for a backlit display. The MIDI functionality is great but underrated. It does everything and more than my sequencer(on my computer; not built in one) can handle. i.e., my sequencer won't accept MIDI Time messages. boo hoo. Quality: Entirely plastic. I would not recommend dropping it. As if you were going to try that anyway?? While the jog wheel - well, it's just a volume control - works just fine, it feels off; slightly scratchy or something. 'Can't explain, really. Value: Excellent bang(look at that pun go) for buck ratio. Manufacturer Support: 'Haven't had to use Alesis' support but the manual documentation is FANTASTIC. Great attention was made to ensure every little aspect of operation is easy to understand. If you don't know what quantization or panning is, you will shortly after opening the manual. They even explain time signatures!! The Wow Factor: Umm, I bought it. It has no "sex appeal", though. It's just an unassuming black box. Overall: I don't think I'll ever replace it. Yes, there are other, more feature-rich drum machines out there. Those, however, have just added things I can do on my computer's sequencer.
57 of 63 people (90.48%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Big things come in little packages! you won't loose!!" submitted February 23, 2006

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Hobbyist, producer, composer,
Music Style: R&B/Hip Hop
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: The sound is exceptional for a biginner like me. I was delighted on how easy it was to pick up and play right out of the box. Beginner or pro this is a mchince to reckon with. I was never able to express exactly what it was I was trying to come across until I picked this up. Ease of Use: the sounds are CD quality sounds and great at that. The manual was clear and not difficult to understand. There are two seperate manulas for this product. One was the thurough manual and the "hurry up and play" manual. that was great cuase thats what got me jammin right out of the box! Quality: The product to my expectaitons was made wiht no flaws. Drum pads and innerface are in perfect working condition and the touch sensitive pasd are still all in perfect working order. I would use this product for many years to come. My motto is..if it ain't broek don't fix it. Value: I am a first time buy and new to the recording scene. But as I looked through the online catolog I was amazed at how inexpensive this product was wiht what it had to offer. I thought maybe it was too true to believe til I recieved it. The price of this product was reasonable. The Wow Factor: The balc sleek design of this drumpad was beautiful right out of the box. The compact design was exceptional due to placing it in confined spaces. The rubber of the pads were great. All in all I was amazed at it's look. Overall: This pad is the main center for my expression. I would not change it for anything. Sure there are other products out there wiht other features and they may be good. But this product does the job and rises beyond my expectations for what it does. I am truly happy wiht this purchase.
32 of 36 people (88.89%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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Alesis SR16 Drum Machine Customer Review submitted November 24, 2004

Sound: Sounds great, easy to use. So many preprogrammed beats that I have never had to program my own so I can't speak to the ease of that. For the price it can't be beat. It has some very tastey beats. Love it!!!!
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"A great little unit for the buck" submitted May 13, 2005

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Features
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Value
The Wow Factor
Music Style: professional
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Sound: The kits are dead on, has mulitudes of percussion Feature: I use this for live performance, I love the A/B fills option. It just like having a live drummer. You can loop and fill as long as you want. Quality: I currently use this unit live and for recording. I has been a faithfull unit for the past 3 years. Value: I paid a $180 bucks for my unit at guitar center, two years later they are selling them for $140. I've seen them (used) on ebay for as low as $45. They are a great unit, but I wish they would have put more factory preprogrammed patches in it and saved me a lot of programming. Manufacturer Support: Havent need this one.
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"Great Songwriting Tool" submitted June 24, 2013

By Richard Brown in San Francisco, PA
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Hobbyist/semi-professional (as in, I've gotten paid for playing gigs). Guitar, vocals, saxophone, some keys.
Music Style: Rock 'n' roll/Americana/post-punk.
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VERIFIED BUYER
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Overall: This little machine has helped my songwriting tremendously. I just pick a pre-set beat and let that act as a prompt to start strumming and riffing new ideas. I haven't quite mastered creating my own beats yet, but I'm sure that'll come with a little practice and a little patience reading the instructions (don't let this scare you, though -- anyone who knows me knows I'm infamously bad with electronics/technology!). I'm now just waiting for my footswitches (sold separately) so that I can turn it off/on and switch beats with my feet. My only real complaint is not about the machine, but about the zzounds customer service. They mistakenly charged me for and sent me two of these machines when I'd only ordered one. I called up customer service to see how I could return one and get my money back. They gave me instructions, but when I asked if I would be reimbursed for the return shipping, the answer was roughly, "That's not usually our policy since we find that mistakes like this are usually not our fault. But let me check to see what happened." After the representative discovered that it actually WAS THEIR FAULT, he then had the returns department send me a return label, free of charge. So, all is well now, but I did not like the customer service representative implying that I'd done something wrong when I was looking right at my sales invoice saying I'd only bought one!
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"Real drummers may soon be on the endangered species list." submitted December 7, 2004

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Sound
Features
Quality
Value
Musical Background: Active Musician, Recording Engineer, and Luthier
Music Style: Rock n' Roll, Country, Folk, , Swing, and Light Jazz
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Sound: It sounds great, plays exactly the way I want it to, it doesn't speed up or slow down, it never plays too freekin' loud, it has no substance abuse problems, it's never late for a gig, and I only had to pay it once. The only two things that I don't like about it are, the factory preset rhythms, and like most other drummers it won't help carry band equipment. Feature: It would have nice if it came with a foot pedal, but, the price of the unit was so inexpensive that you can afford to buy one. It could also use a light in the screen for live gigs. Quality: It seems to be well made, I haven't had any problems with it yet. Value: It's well worth the money, in fact when I have some extra money I'm going to buy a spare. Overall: It's great, I'll be buying another one for a spare.
6 of 7 people (85.71%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Miles of Presence" submitted October 4, 2004

By a customer from ripco.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Amatuer
Music Style: Classical, country
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Sound: Whole lotta presence! Brings a song to life. Feature: More than I expected and it makes me feel like I own a real piece. People say the fill feature is unique. Quality: The quality of the sounds exceeded my expectation. The interface feels sturdy. Value: If only all pro-level gear was as reasonably priced as this is. Manufacturer Support: Never needed to talk to Alesis. I expect a company that puts as much care in their products as Alesis did with the SR-16 to provide a similar level of care to their customers. The Wow Factor: It looks pro and doesn't waste space
21 of 25 people (84%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"The best value and greatest drum idea tool available...still on top." submitted August 24, 2005

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Sound: This machine is an absolute standard. Great for beginners to the drum machine programming world. There might be better sounds out there on the variety of products available, but none come close to ease of use, ease of program, and flexibility. Feature: Fill A/B and Verse A/B can be used in many combinations, with a footswitch it is more logical than any Boss products. Tune, pan, virtual drum feature is neat. Quality: I have dropped, soaked, taken it apart to clean, violoated almost every warranty and misuse issue, put it back together...no problems ever. Value: At this price, I have two now...no brainer. Manufacturer Support: Have not had to...it's mint. The Wow Factor: This thing is great.
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"ok so it's a little Atari 2600ish by modern standards, ...so what? that's most of the appeal!" submitted April 24, 2010

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: active musician/guitarist/daw/violin/piano/keys
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Sound: ok ok - so it's not a back-lit display, display is digital block but cmon, the thing is almost 20 years old now, no design changes since, I've bought a Korg module, and now have been using/learning my new NI Maschine the Alesis swing values, pad response, still the best of any device I've used, tinkered with... seriously! awesome pad response and sensitivity, even still now on mine which is the 1996 model sure the sound library is probably easy to consider pretty lame by today's standards - but so what - it's the same library they've had for almost 20 years, and still a lot of the sounds have nice punch, and probably a lot of retro-wantability even now - check out the rap kicks, some of the punch basses, rim snares - all pretty sweet I'm still going to hook this baby back up into my MIDI setup to use as my primary Feature: for the price, for durability, for ease, simplicity, sounds, MIDI = awesome one thing that really sucks is the cut-off/sustain: the note will not sustain it is designed for drum sustain it will not sustain a tone for very long, for much longer than maybe Ease of Use: big drawback is the lack of visual interface - especially when stringing patterns together - but it's a 15+ year old design so I just say kudos for keeping the original design and not putting lipstick on a horse Quality: solid great pads even after 15 years of use Value: $150 falls out of the pockets of a Korg and it doesn't even notice - pick it up and buy one of these too $150 is sales tax on a DAW - save up another week and get one of these too Manufacturer Support: never had to contact tech support no problems with the device whatsoever aside from my own mess-up losing the original power wall-wart, which I just replaced at Radio Shack... no biggie The Wow Factor: "technological marvel"? ;) it is nothing compared to today's gear, technologically - but that's because it has the same technology it has had for 15+ years if one were to have a laptop DAW MIDI setup, this little device should be a must-have for off-board MIDI triggering you're at the coffee house doing some laptop sequencing, earbuds on= boring you're at the coffee house doing some laptop sequencing with earbuds, and this easy backpack-stow-er next to your laptop for triggering= sexy Overall: This device can not be replaced at this point as far as I am concerned - if this unit melts from nuclear blast or explodes from a solar gamma burst (the only things I could imagine causing any harm to this brick) I would definitely replace it, maybe with a couple of them just to have a spare or two after the global socio-economic turmoil resulting from an earth melting gamma burst, or nuclear holocaust... ...and then I would go in search for food and survivors.
2 of 3 people (66.67%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"you will not be disappointed!" submitted July 7, 2005

By a customer from msn.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Metal/Rock
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Sound: We did a demo with one of these as we were having drummer problems. Most people that heard the demo remarked "how good" the drums sounded..and "What kind of kit did you use"! Most companies that make drum machines seem to forget that SOUND is the most important thing, not bells and whistles...Alesis realized this long ago which is why the machine is still selling today. Feature: Pretty Versatile for a 12 yr old machine. all that is missing is the 'flam' and 'roll' as found in the Boss machines Quality: 12 yrs and only one problem..a dirty Volume pot, which is my own fault..otherwise..flawless Value: You CAN'T do better Manufacturer Support: never needed them The Wow Factor: got one Overall: once again...You CAN'T do better
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"Still Fighting" submitted May 10, 2006

Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Dj / producer(like everyone else right) / rapper
Music Style: True Hip-hop
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Sound: Sound is aight... I bought this when it was still new in like 1990 and it was cool, but there are to many things out there now I would not buy this now unless you want oldschool drum samples in your traks you could make a drum beat that sounds like it belaongs in a Beverly hills cop movie no prob Feature: Only 233 drums .... nowadays thats bad... quantinizing is very good though Ease of Use: If you cant figure this out stop EVEN TRYING to make music... this drum machine crazily easy to use beacuse its so plain and simple Quality: Never broke on me in like 15 yrs. and i still use it from time to time beacause i like the way the Hi-hats sound Value: price says it all Manufacturer Support: I give it a ten with the benifit of the doubt i never used support and i said if you need them to figure out how to use this drum machine QUIT NOW The Wow Factor: nowadays... save money buy a real powerhouse production station you'll thank me Overall: I give this a 9 beacause all these years and i still enjoy qualities of this machine... the price is crazy low and the drum sounds on it are pretty good especially if you consider this was developed in the 80s.... this drum machine is awesome i just think 2006 offers some thing, equipment wise, that this little soldier just cannot compete with, but when i bought it years ago it was $220.00 now it is around $150.00 that says alot about this little sucka
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"Bang for the buck king!" submitted November 25, 2007

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Musical Background: Long time professional musician, recordist.
Music Style: All styles
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Sound: The sounds are dated, but can be tweaked with EQ and compression. Very easy to learn, and a valuable tool in the studio, when there's no drummer around. Feature: I bought two pedals, one for start, and stop, and one for fills, only needed for live playing though. Ease of Use: It's a breeze! Quality: I've had mine for 12 years, and it works great. Value: 150 bucks os a steal for what this thing can give you. Manufacturer Support: I emailed Alesis for a tutorial CD, and got one free a week later. The Wow Factor: The looks just aren't impressive, but who cares! Overall: I recorded an entire CD (my first ever) using the SR, and I can't imagine not having one in the studio, if this one broke, I'd buy another.
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"Could be your first and last drum machine" submitted May 16, 2013

By Dave S in Boston, MA
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Musical Background: Session/Performance Pro
Music Style: Diverse
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Overall: Possibly the easiest to use, musician friendly drum machine ever made. A ticket to ride for the songwriter. With (highly recommended) A/B and Fill foot pedals connected, Boss makes them among others, become a one man band. You won't be the first or the last to do so. I use all kinds of software and plug-ins these days, but this was my first and continues to be there for me. There is something magical about just hooking this up anywhere, padding out quick beats and fills, and launching into ideas anywhere anytime when minus a drummer. In terms of solid simple time and timing, it can be better than some drummers (sorry drummer pals, but you know this is no replacement for you good ones.) The samples are good enough/basic per modern standards, and becoming electronic classics as re-sampled here and there. You will probably recognize from rap, hip hop, pop, electronic music both new and old. It's easy to connect MIDI and run more modern/high quality samples from the software/plugin/module of your choice. The SR-16 has quickly and easily propelled me from messing around with a couple parts to completed polished songs that I do live with a band more times that I can count. A flexible, easy to integrate with modern, trusted, reliable, consistent, fun, electronic percussive friend.
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"I lke this product because..." submitted April 20, 2006

By a customer from aol.com
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Value
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Dj & keyboardist for a band
Music Style: alternative
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Sound: it good but needs a little more memory Feature: i like the foot pedals Ease of Use: It is easy and fun to use Quality: it has good Quality Value: It good but i wish you could have more patterns in a song Manufacturer Support: tHE SUPPORT WAS Friendy The Wow Factor: If it was about looks i would have bought a different one. it looked to much like a calculater Overall: I Like it
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"GET IT!!! It can't be beat!! (No pun intended!)"

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Music Style: Metal / Hard Rock
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Sound: The Samples are diverse and clean. Easily the most 'natural' sounding drum machine I have ever used. Create a song with your patterns, choose a kit then add some outboard compression and the SR-16 sounds like a real drummer. Feature: They've covered just about everything, In Depth MIDI functionality, and "human" functions like swing, pad sensitivity etc. allow you to mimic a live drummer like no other machine. The only thing I would add would be 'flam' and 'roll' buttons , like the Boss DR-660 has. Quality: Can't be beat for the price Value: Hands down, the class of the group Manufacturer Support: Have not had to contact Alesis for support even once The Wow Factor: Already have it!!!! ;) Overall: By far the best in its class (Until Behringer decides to make a drum machine, that is!!)
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"An absolute must" submitted July 20, 2005

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Rock, folk rock, etc...
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Sound: Great for playing live. A great tip is to use the pitch control when programming a sound. You can make your machine sound "Just like the record". Quality: The volume pod seems to make noise after a few years of playing but well worth the money. Value: It's paid for itself many times over. Manufacturer Support: Never needed it The Wow Factor: Can't live without it
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"An absolute must" submitted July 20, 2005

By a customer from hotmail.com
Overall
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Value
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Rock, folk rock, etc...
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Sound: Great for playing live. A great tip is to use the pitch control when programming a sound. You can make your machine sound "Just like the record". Quality: The volume pod seems to make noise after a few years of playing but well worth the money. Value: It's paid for itself many times over. Manufacturer Support: Never needed it The Wow Factor: Can't live without it
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"Do not rely on Alesis to give you any help!" submitted July 3, 2006

By a customer from aol.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist.
Music Style: Country.
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Sound: The sound is great. Just like you had a live drummer with you. Feature: You need two foot switches. One for on/off and one for fill. Why in the world didn't they put one or two 3/4 time patterns on the preset patterns. Ease of Use: It is very easy to get the preset patterns playing. The manual is impossible to follow!! Just try to follow it when you want to record your own 3/4 patterns! Get to page six and you can go no further to set your pattern. It goes back to preset patterns. Quality: It is made of plastic, so you better handle it with care. There should be a face that lights up so you can see what you are setting it up to when there is no light to shine on the face!! Value: It is well worth the price if you can set up your own patterns too. Manufacturer Support: I think that the one I bought was defective. I E-Mailed them for information. Two days later I had to E-Mail them again. They answered: Read page 59. I read page 59. I started on page ten of the manual to set up a 3/4 time pattern. Two pages later it went back to preset patterns and I could go no further. I E-Mailed them about four more times and have never gotten an answer from them. I will never buy a Alesis product again!!! The Wow Factor: A practical addition. Overall: If I lost it I would buy from another company.
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A guarantee so solid, you never have to worry about price when shopping at zZounds

We'll beat any price
Simply click the Seen it for less? link next to the gear you want or call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637)
Got a coupon from another site?
Use it with us - we'll beat those prices, too!
Find a better price after buying from us?
No problem. We'll refund you the difference for 45 days, so you'll never regret buying from zZounds.

You'll still get the trustworthy service you've come to expect from zZounds, without paying more for your gear!