Alesis drum machines give musicians a reliable, programmable and portable drummer to jam with. On Alesis drum machines, such as the SR16 and the newer SR18, the user can recall pre-programmed drum beats, create their own and connect other instruments such as guitars. Learning how to perform the key functions on the SR16 and SR18 can help you create and choose the best drum beats for your jam session or performance. The operations of the SR16 and SR18 are very similar, and each can be used for many different styles of music.
Press the “Pattern/Song” button if “Song” is displayed in the top right hand corner of the display screen. The “Pattern/Song” button is located to the bottom right of the SR16 or SR18 display screen, in the top left corner of the block of nine rectangular buttons.
Press the “Preset/User” button if “User” is displayed in the top right hand corner of the LCD display. This button toggles between factory preset drum patterns and ones that can be edited by the user. This button is located directly to the right of the “Pattern/Song” button on both models.
Select a pattern by pressing the “Up” and “Down” (In the SR18, it is labeled “Inc” and “Dec”) buttons to scroll through the available beats. The name of the currently selected pattern is displayed in the top left hand corner of the display screen. The “Up” and “Down” buttons are located to the left of the “Pattern/Song” button. You can also use the numbered buttons to enter a pattern number directly into the unit. These are located to the left and below the display screen.
Press “Play” to start the pattern. The “Play” button is located below the number buttons. The pattern will play, and when it reaches the end, will loop. This happens until you select a new beat or stop playback.
Press and hold the “Tap Tempo” button or the “Tempo Up” and “Tempo Down” buttons to adjust the currently playing pattern’s tempo. On the SR18, hold the “Tap Tempo” button, located to the bottom right of the block of nine rectangular buttons, and then press the “Inc” and “Dec” buttons to alter the tempo. The SR16 has two separate buttons, located directly below the dial in the top right hand corner, which can be used to adjust the tempo.
Press the “A” or “B” button to switch to the other variation on the currently playing pattern. You can see whether pattern “A” or “B” is playing by checking the indicator beside the pattern number in the top right hand corner of the display screen. The “A” and “B” buttons are located to the right of the “Play” and “Stop” buttons.
Select a new pattern number while a beat is playing to queue another pattern up to play. Alternatively, you can stop playback altogether by pressing the “Stop” button at any time.