Alesis SR 18...is it worth it for Electro?

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Alesis SR 18...is it worth it for Electro?

Post by astroidmist » Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:13 am

Hi, I'm thinking of getting the Alesis SR 18... is it worth it for electronic music? Almost all of the demos I can find of it push it towards rock guitarists, but I do electronic music. What do you think? I've used drum machines in the past and I like the workflow of using them a lot. I used to have a Zoom StreetBoxx and it was pretty cool except that it couldn't sync properly to the computer. I'm hoping if I get the SR 18 it doesn't have this problem, but even if it did, I'd probably still keep it if the sounds are good. What do you guys think?

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Re: Alesis SR 18...is it worth it for Electro?

Post by Blue Monster 65 » Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:02 am

Look at the Akai XR20 - same basic machine as the SR18, but totally different sounds. It's marketed towards hip-hop, but is loaded with useful sounds for electronic music. I reviewed it on Sweetwater's site: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/XR20 It's a blast to play with!
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Re: Alesis SR 18...is it worth it for Electro?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:42 am

Yeah +1 for the XR20.

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Re: Alesis SR 18...is it worth it for Electro?

Post by Skillet » Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:55 am

I'm planning to replace my SR-16 with an SR-18. I like the 16 because it's cool to have a rhythm sketchpad that can go really deep and unquantized, as opposed to only xox style. From briefly trying both out, I like the Alesis sound set better than the XR20, a lot is really dry, flat, and acoustic as opposed to sounding like it's already been run through a filter and compressor, but there's probably enough variety you can find something to work with on either.

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Re: Alesis SR 18...is it worth it for Electro?

Post by tallowwaters » Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:25 pm

I've been using the SR-18 since it was released, and while I love it, an upgraded SR16 it isn't. While the SR16 was an extremely well thought out box with now "dated" sounds, the SR18 is a box with great "modern" sounds and some poor implementation going on.

But I'll third Scott and Stab - the XR-20 is going to get you the electro sounds you want.
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Re: Alesis SR 18...is it worth it for Electro?

Post by Skillet » Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:51 pm

What parts are poorly implemented? I mean, I guess I'll find out soon, but from trying one in Guitar Center and reading the manual it seems really similar...

Also, if you need another vote, I saw Rob Hood using an XR20. But I still want to at least try the SR-18 for longer. :lol:

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Re: Alesis SR 18...is it worth it for Electro?

Post by tallowwaters » Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:21 pm

There is always ghosting, even with sounds hard panned left and right. There are only 3 outputs, which is near damn unacceptable if you are using the onboard bass sounds, which are slim pickings anyways. Saving sets can be fiddly, and it's way too easy to save a set over another or not save a set at all because you've failed to notice you're still in friggin preset mode (unlike the SR16) Battery life is too short, and why in the h**l does it have an audio in? Better muting options would have been nice, as it seems stuck between live tool and studio groove box, pulling off neither perfectly.

Like I said, small problems, but symptomatic of Numark just pushing something out without completely thinking things through. It's still an awesome unit, but I do not like having to mix tracks with multiple drums in them because somebody thought 3 outputs would be enough.
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Re: Alesis SR 18...is it worth it for Electro?

Post by astroidmist » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:44 am

I thought the AUX output is stereo? Wouldn't that make it 4 outputs (L,R,AUX L, AUX R)?

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Re: Alesis SR 18...is it worth it for Electro?

Post by tallowwaters » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:25 am

astroidmist wrote:I thought the AUX output is stereo? Wouldn't that make it 4 outputs (L,R,AUX L, AUX R)?
:oops:

Caught me there. Still though, another aux out would be a lot more helpful than an input.
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Re: Alesis SR 18...is it worth it for Electro?

Post by griffin avid » Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:25 am

I picked up both the SR18 and XR20. I like the tones/kits in the XR20 and wanted something a little beefier underneath. Since the sequencer is identical and the layout so similar, I only had to learn one piece.

The SR18 has, pretty much, all rockish kits as mentioned.
For longevity, I'd rather use something with some kind of tone generating abilities- or the ability to load samples.
-Like a KORG ESX. You can do the simple pattern record, switch to step and use whatever sounds you like. That seems like the most flexible option. Besides, samples of the XR20 are floating all over the internet.

But sometimes less is more so I still dig the little drum machines.
The MPC 500 would be a consideration, but that's just too much money.
I'll probably wait a bit longer and snag a used one.

The microSAMPLER is pretty much handing all the sampled drum hits, but with the mini keys and no pads- it's a bit of a different flavor altogether.
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Re: Alesis SR 18...is it worth it for Electro?

Post by mama. » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:02 pm

my opinion, cant go wrong with a second hand MPC, then there are so many free sample packages of most vintage drum machines on the net or just make your own samples from synth. i really can not deal with the stupid stadium reverb snares on the SR16 and 18, what is this motley crue?? jk.

my favorite drum machine was HR-16 bc you can tune and mix all the drum sounds and super easy to make your own beats and songs. apparently the HR-16B had even more pure electronic sounds

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Re: Alesis SR 18...is it worth it for Electro?

Post by Skillet » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:37 am

I just got my SR-18 (had ebayed it right before this thread was posted)... 2 things I really don't like so far are the bass sounds - I was hoping for at least a basic saw and triangle wave but it's all pretty much slap bass, trance leads, and one sine wave - and the copy function, why the h**l would they take out the ability to copy from one drum pad to another?

I'll need to use it more to decide if that's gonna be a problem... from downloading the manuals it looks like all the functional complaints in here are pretty much the same on the XR20?

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Re: Alesis SR 18...is it worth it for Electro?

Post by astroidmist » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:18 am

Thanks for all the replies.

You guys have some good info; I appreciate that you've shared it.

Here's one question... does the SR 18 sync to MIDI from a DAW? My Zoom StreetBoxx had the sync setting, but in reality it was too slow to work for more than 2 measures. ????

I'm still not sure... I still might get an SR 18 because it's so crazy and non-electro it just might work. I'm not sure I can afford the AKAI drum machine (too impatient to save up), I'm just looking at something for about 200 dollars.

Since most everyone these days is probably using AKAI type of stuff and samples maybe it would be good for me to go a totally different route to set my sound apart from the rest. I don't do rock music, but I remember some electronic bands that I liked used rock drums, so maybe I can make it work.

IF there are electro sounds, that would just be a plus.

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Re: Alesis SR 18...is it worth it for Electro?

Post by tallowwaters » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:33 am

I wouldn't get hung up on the name aspect, Numark made both the Alesis and the Akai.

And yes, there are plenty of electronic sounds.
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Re: Alesis SR 18...is it worth it for Electro?

Post by astroidmist » Sun May 01, 2011 9:28 am

Bumpity bump bump bump. Any more comments about this?

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