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Alesis HR-16 16-Bit Drum Machine

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The Alesis HR-16 (High sample Rate / 16 bit drum machine) is a user friendly, yet extremely powerful MIDI drum sequencer / sound generator. The sound generation capabilities of the HR-16 include 16 independent drum "voices", each of which can be assigned to any one of 49 digital samples, and can be routed with a 7 position pan to one of two sets of stereo outputs. Each voice can also be tuned independently in 32 separate increments over an octave an a half.

The sequencing of the drums is accomplished by entering record, and than playing on the touch-sensitive drum buttons on the front panel, which is then stored into a "pattern." There can be up to 100 patterns in the HR-16's memory (00-99). These patterns can be anywhere from 1 to 682 beats long. The patterns can be combined into lists of patterns, which are called "songs." There can be up to 100 songs in the HR-16's memory(00-99), and each can contain a list of patterns up to 255 steps long.

The 16 drum pads at the front of the HR-16 are velocity-sensitive. How hard the pad is hit determines the volume of the drum on 8 levels. 12 of the pads (all pads except Closed Hat, Mid Hat, Open Hat, and Crash) are each directly assigned to a voice. This means that playing a pad repeatedly will retrigger the same voice, and no other pad will effect that voice.

Any sounds assigned to the three Hi Hat pads will all be assigned to the same voice. This is so that playing the Closed Hat will cut off the Open or Mid Hat, for a more realistic hi hat sound. The Crash pad is assigned to two voices that alternate. This means that repeatedly hitting the crash pad results in two independent crashes (of the same sound) that can overlap as they decay.

More sounds can be made to overlap by assigning the same sound to two different pads and alternating which pad is pressed each time the sound is to be played. Only 15 voices have been used (12 normal pads, 1 voice for Hi Hats, 2 for Crash). The 16th voice is used for the Click, which can also be assigned to be any of the 49 available sounds.


Type: Digital
Sound Engine: ROM
Pattern Engine (+) Open Manual Page
Programming: Real Time, Step
Pattern Notes:
+ Patterns up to 682 beats long
+ Up to 255 patterns per song
Sounds Per Pad (+) Open Manual Page
Sounds Per Pad: 1
Sources: ROM
Sounds Notes:
+ Assignable to any of 16 pads
+ 49 ROM sounds:

Kick Drums:
- 22 inch Power Kick
- 24 inch Power Kick
- 22 inch Deep Kick
- 20 inch Swift Kick
- 22 inch Double Head Kicks
- 22 inch 60's Kick
- 22 inch Gated Kick
- Electronic Kick 1
- Electronic Kick 2

- 8 inch x 14 inch Wood Snare
- Ambient Wood Snare
- Brass Piccolo Snare
- Gated Snare
- Electronic Snare
- Rim Shot Snare
- Side Stick Snare
- Brush Hit Snare

- 10 inch Power Tom
- Power TOM
- 10 inch Double Head Tom
- 14 inch Double Head Tom
- Electronic Tom

- Closed High-Hats A&B
- Half-open High-Hat
- Open High-Hat 13 inch
- Foot-closed High-Hat

- Ride Cymbal
- Ride Cymbal Bell
- Crash Cymbal

- Timbale
- High & Low Conga
- Large Woodblocks
- Small Woodblocks
- A&B Cabasa
- Maracas A&B
- Shaker
- Agogo Bell
- Medium Cowbells
- Large Cowbells
- Triangle
- Tambourine 16 inch
- Handclaps
- Finger Snaps
- Drum Sticks
Polyphony & Tuning
Polyphony: 16
Timbrality: 16
Tuning: Standard
Modes: Mono
Patterns User: 100
Songs User: 100
Storage: Internal
External Storage: MIDI
Case: Desktop
Trigger Pads : 16 pads, Hard Pads
Controls: Buttons, Pads, Sliders, Velocity
Display Type: LCD, LED, Backlit
Display Count H: 16
Display Count V: 2
MIDI / Sync / Trigger (+) Open Manual Page
Audio Outputs: 1/4" Phone Jack, Stereo Main, Stereo 2
DAC Bits: 16
DAC Frequency Rate: 44.1
List: $499
Retail: $450
Used: $50 - $100
Released: 1987
Manuals & Documents
References & Sources

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