Alesis SR-16

Alesis SR-16 Drum Machine: Official Review

Alesis SR-16

Audio technology has made rapid advancements in the last few decades.

And yet devices like the Alesis SR-16 have, more or less, stayed the same.

The machine was introduced to the market back in 1990.

And yet it is still quite relevant, favored by musicians and producers alike for its simplicity and versatility.

Alesis SR-16

First presented in 1990, the Alesis SR-16 drum machine stays important today on account of its 24-piece sound motor and 233 common sounding drum sounds. Without programming a thing, you approach 50 preset examples played by star drummers, and each preset incorporates, An and B varieties in addition to two fill segments — ideal for drawing out melody ideas.




For a drum machine that was invented decades ago, why has the SR16 endured?

The features might have something to do with it. They include:

1). 12V Power Adapter

2). 12 velocity-sensitive pads

3). 50 preset patterns

4). MIDI in/out

5). 233 sound samples

6). 16 voice polyphony

7). Soundtracking and step editing

8) Two-function footswitch jacks


At 9.2 inches x 6.5 inches x 1.5 inches and 2.5 pounds, the Alesis SR16 is a small, compact, lightweight machine.

The manufacturers chose to maintain it’s vintage aesthetic, probably as a way to assure longtime SR16 fans that the quality under the hood would also stay the same.

When you first handle it, besides its portability, you will notice lines of neatly ordered buttons that can access the menu, enabling you to navigate the settings.

You will immediately identify the velocity-sensitive pads because they cover so much of the surface.

The back of the machine has all the connectivity components.

This is where you will find the input and output units catering to the Aux, LH, RH, and the Headphones.

This is on top of the MIDI input and output, and the footswitch input units.

Alesis SR-16

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As interesting as the external design might be, the performance and, in particular, the sound, is the most important aspect of the Alesis SR16.

It is the reason people buy the machine in the first place.

For some people, the most notable feature will probably be the 233 high-quality drum sounds.

You have more than enough patterns to cater to any music style you might have in mind.

And if you have some experimental projects in mind, the device offers 50 slots that you can use to store your own uniquely created rhythms.

Yes, this machine is a little dated.

But the sounds it has in store for you were recorded using real instruments in a studio.

As such, the quality is quite high. You have the option of using digital reverb or playing all the sounds dry.


1). The device is simple to use.

2). The device is small, compact, and portable.

3). You get a large database of sounds

4). All sounds were recorded using real instruments. So they are high quality

5). The device offers diverse connectivity options.


1). The exterior isn’t as durable as some people would like


The Alesis SR16 isn’t perfect.

It has limitations, especially if you want to do serious studio work.

However, it has survived for decades because of its versatility.

For a machine that is so old, the sound quality is better than you expect.

The simple learning curve makes it appealing to beginners who are bound to appreciate its extensive offering of sounds and patterns.

Alesis SR-16

Music is my Passion. And Keywords are my Love. Sometimes it’s hard to find the right equipment for your taste. So, I continuously publish researched guides and information for those who seek.


Music is my Passion. And Keywords are my Love. Sometimes it's hard to find the right equipment for your taste. So, I continuously publish researched guides and information for those who seek.

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