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Alesis SR-16 Stereo Drum Machine
Overall Rating
Submitted: April 7th, 2007
by Aaron-G-eHD
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Sound Quality
The touch sensitive keys are cool, but as some have said, they can be slightly unreliable, I hit them really hard for maximum effect regardless of the sound, forget subtlety! Most of the kits sound a little reverby and unrealistic as stated in previous reviews, I don't really care, it's a digital machine, it's never gonna sound like a live drummer for under $200, you get what you pay for. And for the price it's a good little package, machine, AC power and a thick manual. I can see myself using this live for experimantal punk ala Babyland etc. Some sounds are a litte 1980's and drenched in reverb, but good enough reverb, as Alesis are kings of digital reverb modeling, as evidenced by their rackmount stuff like the Micrverb IV. Features are slim, but it does the bascs all very well, especialy for the prcetag.
I trust Alesis gear wholeheartedly. My Microverb IV has never had a case or bag and never sat in a proper rack. I have traveled with it unprotected and it still works like new. It's been dropped, stepped on and fallen from the top of a tall bass rig many times. The SR-16, I imagine is built as well, granted it's almost all plastic and rubber, rather than the Micro's metal chassis. Even for being plastic, it doesn't feel cheap, it has the look and feel of a quality built piece of equipment and I will and do carry it around with other effects in a padded plastic pistol case, this type of case is dirt cheap, includes thick foam and offers maximum drop protection for small pedals and expensive stuff like Line6's big stompbxes. I would gig with this without a backup, based on my previous experience with Alesis products.
General Comments
It's totally worth the retail price and just in case I bought the chain store's extended 2 year warranty for an extra $20, which I feel will be worth it for peace of mind. I have been playing bass and guitar for around 15 years and this is my first real drum machine. I bought it because the salesguy said it'd been around since the late 80's in some form or another and that it was the gold standard of basic, plain old drum machines. Ease of use sold me on it, and the brand name helped also, as I like Alesis stuff. There are no extras, add ons or special features. If you want bass and effects and bells and whistles, buy a pricey Roland/Boss machine or use software. The SR-16 is like the plain, white, windowless work van of digital drum machines. It does exactly what it promises on the box, nothing more, very generic, in a good way. The key to having fun and getting the most out of this machine is experimentation. Hook it though guitar and bass effects. Add ridiculous digital reverbs. It's opened up a whole world for me as far as 4 track recording goes and helping me realize half baked guitar ideas and tempos, hell, use it as a metronome if you aren't creatve! I do wish it accepted alkaline batteries for a backup power source, but you can't have it all, right? The SR-16 is one small step towards electronic music for me and one giant leap for my new musical endeavors. I really dig this thing.
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