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Thread: alesis SR16 vs. Zoom MRT3 vs. Zoom RT223

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    alesis SR16 vs. Zoom MRT3 vs. Zoom RT223

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    hello everyone..

    im on the lookout for a drum machine, but i cant swing for those boss/roland better/more expensive ones...so i was thinking if anyone could lead me through these i just pointed out...

    the alesis is supposed to be a classic right? but its old..i dunno..i kind of like the samples i hear from this machine though..it can do normal kits, not fancy funk, fusion whatever stuff i wont ever need..

    the zoom ones are filled with this kind of stuff...but are newer technology..i dunno if they'll be better in terms of realism...

    i would just need some decent normal (rock, lo-fi) drums, not fancy stuff...and i need it to go reaaaal slow sometimes..ill add fx later so there's no need for fancy quality fx there. oh, and i need to save the patterns..or songs, or whatever they call it...

    also, there's a midi out in the alesis unit...does this mean i can simply export the drums from there instead of the line ins? that would be cool..

    i would also only use the drum capability, i dont have any use for the bass stuff or whatever is there as well..

    tanx!
    [I]"ooohh Reginald....i disagreee"[/I] - family guy

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    Hey Diogo~

    Sorry to say, but I don't think you'll get much feedback here about drum machine hardware. You'll find more about drum software if you're interested.

    You can search the forum for drum machines, as I've done, but the few folks who've responded generally have little knowledge of any machine except their own, which makes sense. The best reviews tend to go to the higher priced Boss units although I never get the feeling that folks have done much comparison. The weakest aspect these machines, from what I've read and heard, is the cymbals--it's very hard to make e-cymbals sound real. On the other hand, the actual drum sounds can be quite good on these machines, with some tweaking.

    I'm looking, too, and I've resigned myself to the best suggestions of others: to get out there and actually listen to these machines in local stores. I've started that process and have been impressed with the Zoom units, given their low cost. The MRT-3 is a real gem if you don't need much variety and can live with just 3 tom pads for live tracking. The Zoom 200 series adds additional pads and more pre-sets. I haven't heard that Alesis nor Boss yet, but plan to in the coming months. From the specs, the pricey new Boss 880 is the winner since it allows two foot pedals--for hi-hat and bass drum--for live tracking. (All the other units allow just one pedal, which doesn't help much if you want to program real-time.) But $500? A bit rich for me right now.

    Sorry I can't offer more at the moment,

    J.
    Last edited by jeffree; 07-03-2005 at 14:59.

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    Jeff,

    many tanx for the great reply

    i kind of realize that im not gonna get many replies, but when i search for this stuff here, some ppl own the models in question..my hope was that ppl came here and posted about the particular machines..

    could u please develop a little on the MRT3? one of the older posts i read stated that its ages above the SR16 in terms of realism..i wonder if that is actually true...

    i kind of like the zooms too, but my feeling is that they're filled with stuff i would never use, and that the alesis, being more dated, is a little more drum oriented and really rock oriented as well, wich will be what ill use it (whatever i get) for...

    i cant touch the boss units either :/ and drums aint that important in my music, lots of songs dont have any (so i really cant justify big bucks), but when they're there, they HAVE to BE there

    Jeff, please keep me posted on your comparisons! i would very much apreciate it! i have no chance at trying some where i live, stores just dont carry them :/

    many tanx!
    [I]"ooohh Reginald....i disagreee"[/I] - family guy

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    I have a SR16 and it's been pretty good to me. Thing is, this thing has 16 bit samples which are a bit outdated sound wise. To me, it has useful stuff for 80's/early 90's music, but I now only use it to trigger samples I use though Sampletank (soft-synth). That's even getting a little tougher as the some of the pads on the thing need to be pressed pretty hard to trigger the sound.

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    I owned the SR-16 along time ago. As far as realism, forget about it. You would be better off using some free samples, a free software sampler, and a cheap midi controller. You could use the SR-16 as a controller for that matter.

    In order to export the sounds from a drum machine, you have to use audio outputs. Midi sends information only like velocity, pan, etc.

    All you need to get started is some kind of midi controller. It could be a SR-16, a cheapo casio keyboard, one of those little controllers with pads, etc. if your sound card has midi in/out. If not, take a look at some of the usb midi controllers. Theres alot of those under $200.
    artist formerly known as thebigredhotdog, formerly known as travelin travis, and formerly known as travisinflorida.

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    Diogo, I really haven't done enough research to offer any stronger opinions. I can tell you this, though--there's a lot of user feedback online for each of these machines. Just do a google/froogle search. I can't remember where online (some music retailer site), but I also found a variety of audio samples for both of the Zoom units. They're worth a listen, especially if you can't get out to try these machines.

    I'll post more when I know more. Good luck.

    J.

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    tanx a lot for the replies guys,

    i like the alesis unit's feel...it was designed for the kind of music i do (i guess), wich is a lot of early 90's stuff, shoegaze and the like...but it also has to do good in terms of acoustic based music, therefore the realistic need...i also like the fact that its a lot more drum oriented..zoom seems to have a miriad of things and presets i would never use...

    but as far as using it as a midi trigger, i think i can scratch that one out..my main thing is guitars and vocals, and i really dont have the time or patience to use drumming software and go deep into midi applications..i just want something that can make some beats and not be too hard to use..and that hopefully, sounds good.

    tanx a lot for the input...

    jeff, do keep me posted! tanx a lot!
    [I]"ooohh Reginald....i disagreee"[/I] - family guy

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    but as far as using it as a midi trigger, i think i can scratch that one out..my main thing is guitars and vocals, and i really dont have the time or patience to use drumming software and go deep into midi applications..i just want something that can make some beats and not be too hard to use..and that hopefully, sounds good.
    If you write songs onto the drum machine the midi output can be used at any time to trigger different/better samples.
    This means that you are not locked into the sounds on the drum machine...as long as you have a midi output.

    You may not be interested in this now,but once you realise the potential you will have options left open for you.

    My question is what are you recording to,and can you sync the drum machine to it?This can make a HUGE difference as to how you approach recording.

    Go look around for used units,the DR770 has decent sounds and great programability.

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    I've had the SR16 for over a year. I have two complaints about it.
    The first one is that you can't divide the beats. Each beat has 8 subdivisions. You can't set it to just have, say 4 subdivisions.
    The second is that you must use the same tempo for the entire song. This has forced me to stop the drum machine, change tempo then punch in, change tempo and punch in again...etc, to complete a song.
    Here are some samples of what I've done with it:
    http://www.cheetahstudios.com/downloads.htm
    It's on the Led Zep cover and MrEvil SMD.

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    The SR-16 is an easy to use machine but the sounds are outdated. The Zoom will have a little better sounds but not as easy and versatile as the SR-16.

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