SR16 as a drum module?

Motorbreath

New member
As will be obvious by the end of this post, possibly sooner, I know diddly about electronic drums.

I need to get a drumset for practice and limited recording. I currently have an Alesis SR16 in my recording setup. As I understand it, one must have not only the electronic drums, but also a drum module. This is the "electronic" part of the kit, that which holds the sounds.

My question is this: would it be possible to use my SR16 as the drum module? Do most e-drum kits hookup through midi or something? OR is there a standard "e-drum kit connector" of some sort that only exists on drum modules? I've not used midi with the SR16, but I am wondering if I could connect a set of e-drums to it and get my sounds that way. For practice and demo recording, the SR16 sounds are fine for me.

I suspect the answer is no. So, given my stated purposes, might the Alesis DM5 be a good drum module to consider? Budget rather than quality is driving this decision... :)

Thanks for any help or pointers in the right direction!
 

jake-owa

Banned
..and why the hell do you want those SR16 sounds following you around? If you really wanted to you could hook up the SR16 to the DM5 MIDI out and keep your SR16 sounds.
But...why?
 

Motorbreath

New member
The answer to "why" is that I already have an SR16 and I'm cheap. :) I was hoping to not need a drum module if I could connect an e-drum kit to my SR16 somehow. In other words, I'm trying to spend as little as possible.

Quality is not my main focus, as all I need to do with a drum set is practice and do minimal demo recording. For my purposes, the SR16 sounds would have sufficed.

So I've learned a little something about electronic drums in this thread. It appears that I really do need the drum module. The bad news is I need to spend more cash. The good news is the drums will probably sound better than the SR16. (Actually, I don't mind the SR16 sounds...my band is without a drummer and it is filling the gap quite well for recording our new CD right now.)

Thanks for the input!
 

scottboyher

New member
jake-owa said:
..and why the hell do you want those SR16 sounds following you around?

LMAO!

Motor make sure you don't try to save money with the D4 because the SR16 has most of those sounds anyway.. You would be best off with the DMPRO because you can always add sounds..
 

Vectron

New member
Motorbreath,
Yes, you CAN use the SR-16 as a drum module.(You DO NOT
NEED a module with triggers)
So, if you want to spend the minimum, just get a used
Alternate Mode(formerly KAT) DK-10. This way you will have
ten drum pads plus a pedal and HH input. Just send the MIDI
out from that to the MIDI in of your SR-16.
I think you may have to change the mode of the SR-16 to
some "module" mode. I think you can also play the sounds while a pattern is playing, as long as it's under the SR-16 maximum
polyphony.
When you are ready to move up(have the money), you can hook up the DK-10 to a high quality sound module, drum module,
or computer.
 

androo235

New member
I know, this is almost two decades later and the chances of getting a response from the original posters to this thread are slim, but here goes. I have an SR-16 and I want to use it as a sound module driven by a sequencer in my DAW (Reaper). In theory I know this is possible as that old video with Craig Anderton says you can use it as an "Expander Module" and so does the manual, but neither video nor manual tell you, in detail, how to get it working. I have a Behringer UMC404HD interface which has DIN-Midi in and out/thru as well as a USB B interface to the PC, I also have an X-Touch control surface (CS) which too has DIN Midi in and out/thru as well as USB B to the PC and 2 USB A for devices. The SR-16 itself being vintage (even though I bought it new only a few years ago, yes, I wish I knew then what I know now, but, hey it's here now and I want to use it) has only DIN Midi in and out/thru as well as audio outputs (up to four, I'm using two). I have become fairly familiar with the SR-16 menu's and have been able to get the DAW click to drive the SR-16 or the SR-16 click to drive the DAW (which some have had trouble with), but, that isn't what I want. I have been able to do that connecting the SR-16 via the interface or via the CS. I can get the click to work in either direction either of those ways but I can't get the SR-16 to respond, at least not audibly, to the DAW sequencer. I can see the Reaper track VU's react apparently based on sequencer input but can't get any sound out, unless I hit the SR-16 pads. I hear those, but, they don't drive Reaper sequencer input and sequencer input doesn't drive them. Connected via the interface or the CS the SR-16 doesn't show up in Reaper's preferences as a midi-device. Maybe it's because I haven't got the settings right in Reaper which are, albeit very flexible and comprehensive looking, also somewhat confusing for a newcomer to life with a DAW. On the other hand maybe it's because I'm having to connect the SR-16 to the PC indirectly either via the interface or via the CS. So I'm getting a Midi DIN to USB cable so that I can connect the SR-16 directly to the PC, maybe that will solve the problem (but, I have to say, I thought that was the point of the interface and the CS that I have having the DIN Connections....). After all that, @Motorbreath (does that work here???), did you ever get the SR-16 working in the way you wanted it to work? I'll try posting this, edited a little, as a fresh thread too.
 
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TalismanRich

Well-known member
Androo, I doubt that Motorbreath will ever see your post. Just an FYI, if you hover your pointer on the user name, it will show you the join date, late visit date and number of posts. In MB's case, he joined in 2000 and last visited in 2012, 10 years ago!

That said, maybe another SR16 user can comment.

I have an SR18 and I know that it will play midi tracks from Reaper. I have some tracks made from MT Power Drumkit. The SR18 will "try" to play them, but the note maps between the two are not the same. Certain drum hit will trigger bass notes in the SR, which really messes things up. I spent some time looking at the note maps, an haven't taken the time to try and build a song with only SR18 notes. I wanted to do that because there are lots of different drum sets in the SR so that gives me more sound options.

It's a project for the cold weather times coming.
 

androo235

New member
Thanks, yes I knew it was a long shot with MB and I did notice the dates, but worth a try. You say that the SR18 will play tracks made with "MT Power Drum Kit", sorry, I don't know what that is, but, let me guess, it's midi based sequencer data made in a program or a drum machine called that and the SR18 will play it. So, if that's right, what would be useful for me to know is does your SR18 show up as a midi-device in your DAW. I think that's my problem, my SR-16 doesn't, yet.
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
I know, this is almost two decades later and the chances of getting a response from the original posters to this thread are slim, but here goes
Tell you what, if Motorbreath ever responds to this, and I'm still here and I have not shed this mortal coil, I shall do a handstand and post the photo here !
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
Thanks, yes I knew it was a long shot with MB and I did notice the dates, but worth a try. You say that the SR18 will play tracks made with "MT Power Drum Kit", sorry, I don't know what that is, but, let me guess, it's midi based sequencer data made in a program or a drum machine called that and the SR18 will play it. So, if that's right, what would be useful for me to know is does your SR18 show up as a midi-device in your DAW. I think that's my problem, my SR-16 doesn't, yet.
Yes, the SR shows up. You have to set up the midi device. It's been about 6 months since I played with it, and I found it frustrating as can be, since I had never worked with midi before. You have to set up the channels and the map of the notes wasn't comparable between the SR and MTPDK. I couldn't figure out why there were bass notes playing, etc. I mistakenly thought that SOMEONE would have already put together a SR18/Reaper setup. The Alesis manuals aren't the best about describing what is going on in "layman's" terms.

I went back to just using MT PowerDrumKIt (yes, it's a midi based drum plug-in) and put the Alesis on the back burner.
 

androo235

New member
@TalismanRich I wish I had those problems, my issue is that is just doesn't show up at all. The problem of it playing externally triggered things it shouldn't (as opposed to my problem which is that it plays nothing at all that's externally triggered) comes from two sources. First, you should have it receive on a specific midi-channel and not "all channels" or in Alessi terms not in "Omni" mode, but instead you set it to the same channel that you are using to sequence your drums in the sequencer, and, then , like you say, there is the actual note mapping. Presently I can only dream of those problems. Let's call @Motorbreath again, I'd like to see that handstand!
 
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rob aylestone

Well-known member
Remember that back then drum machines used the GM soundest conventions - so drums were ALWAYS channel 10, even if you could change it - the basic drum 'locations' have remained pretty constant but of course, many additions have been added to the basic spec - C = kick drum, E = snare with toms on the higher C then down to A and F. Closed hat on F sharp with closed hats on Bb - usually arranged so that the Bb would mute the F sharp. the higher C sharp and D sharp got you a crash and ride - a few modules would add in side sticks and maybe a different snare and sometimes B0 got you a different kick, but you needed to stick with at least this basic setup. Now it's common for these to be mostly the same but have loads of extra stuff, and of course the actual kit choices were also predetermined - normal kit, jazz kit and the electronic ones. In the MIDI spec, ch10 got priority so was always sent first to keep the rhythm solid. changing the Alesis and the old Boss drum units to other MIDI channels could give some weird timing issues if you had other MIDI tracks with lots of continuous controllers - and it was even worse using a computer sound card where you were really connected to a socket designed for game controllers, not music. Again from memory, you could make the Alesis unit be silent by accidentally sending a controller 7 0 message. It needed to be perked up by a higher number to put it back into audio output. Now we have MIDI resets and all sorts of repeats of data when you press play or stop - but I wonder if these are just too quick now and in the data stream they get missed by the slower acting Alesis.
 

androo235

New member
Thanks @rob aylestone that's useful. I have tried using it on a specific channel, but, only half-heartedly, I haven't followed through checking that all the settings in Reaper and the SR16 look right when using a specific channel as I thought my best bet was to keep it "omni" and then when I got something, anything, I could perhaps get more specific. Your last sentence sounds like a plausible theory, after all it gets the click, which I guess is still what it would have been back then, but, the other messages are maybe coming at it too fast for its older design circuitry to handle (sometimes, I know how that feels :confused:).
 

androo235

New member
Just to say that this conversation went on over three threads - it does conclude and I did get it working. Look for the thread below in the midi-mania forum for a post which brings this to a conclusion.

Using an old Drum machine (Alessis SR-16) as a midi-sequencer driven drum module​

 
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