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Alesis SR-16 Stereo Drum Machine
Overall Rating
Submitted: December 31st, 2005
by miley mm
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Sound Quality
this is where things get sort of interesting. i'm amazed that as many people are satisfied with these sounds as we see in other reviews. the bottom line is that you can only get cheesy, echo-ridden 80s-ish drum sounds out of this. they do NOT sound realistic at all, on their own. everything is awash in a really tasteless reverb. there is no tightness to any of the drum sounds whatsoever. if you want the clean, tight sound that is fashionable in most contemporary music, run far away from this machine. that being said, the sounds are actually fun. if you want to have drum patterns for, say, cheesy 80s type synthpop, look no further! you can also get those huge, eery, echoey bass drums like on early swans records. run it through a distortion and you can get great industrial samples. it's also good if you're looking for drum parts to various subgenres of metal, especially death and black. i'm currently using this machine to record some $%^&*@ up industrial-ish black metal tracks. also, back to what i said about unrealistic sounds, that's not strictly true. IF you can program patterns intelligently, using the stereo features and dynamics settings, then complete patterns can sound reasonably realistic, at a distance. if you pay no attention to these aspects, it will just sound like a cheesy drum machine.
i don't entirely trust this machine to stand up to true gigging abuse. if you try to stack sounds on it then the overall sound will become extremely confused. a lot of the time when i use the rubber keys, they start playing different sounds from what i programmed! this would make one sound really silly in a live situation. the physical integrity of the box is good enough for sitting around at home, but i prefer to have boxes that are built like tanks. maybe that's just me.
General Comments
altogether, i'm still not really sure how i feel about this thing after owning it for a year. it's only good for certain types of applications. it is NOT versatile. you can have a lot of fun with it, and in certain mixes it can sound really good... but only in certain mixes. i still use it more or less regularly, but if it were lost or stolen i'm not sure how hard i would look for it, and i'm reasonably sure i wouldn't get a new one, or if i would, then i would get it used at the lowest price possible. all in all, i think i would be happier with it if i had paid about $50 less for it.
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