The Alesis HR-16 is a drum machine that was first introduced in 1987. It was designed to provide musicians with an affordable and easy-to-use solution for creating drum patterns and beats for their music.
I bought mine in 1988. So it is old!
The HR-16 features 16-bit PCM samples of acoustic and electronic drum sounds, with a total of 49 drum and percussion sounds included. It also has 16 drum pads, which can be used to trigger the sounds manually or to record drum patterns in real-time.
One of the notable features of the HR-16 is its “Dynamic Articulation” technology, which allows for more realistic and expressive drum sounds by varying the sound of each hit based on the velocity of the drum pad hit.
Other features of the HR-16 include a built-in sequencer with 100 patterns and 100 songs, MIDI connectivity for syncing with other devices, and the ability to program and save custom drum kits.
Alesis was founded in 1984 by Keith Barr, a former engineer at MXR Innovations. The company’s mission was to provide affordable audio equipment that was of high quality and easy to use. Alesis initially focused on producing digital audio processors, such as reverb and delay units, but soon expanded its product line to include synthesizers, drum machines, and other electronic musical instruments.
The Alesis HR-16 was designed as a drum machine for home studios and musicians on a budget. The HR-16 featured 49 built-in drum sounds, including acoustic and electronic drum samples, as well as a range of percussion and sound effects. The machine also included 100 patterns that could be arranged into songs, making it a powerful tool for creating drum tracks and rhythm sections.
The HR-16 was notable for its ease of use and intuitive interface. The machine featured a matrix of buttons that allowed users to quickly select and edit sounds and patterns, as well as a backlit LCD screen that provided visual feedback and information about the machine’s settings. The HR-16 also included MIDI connectivity, which allowed users to sync the machine with other MIDI devices and control it using external sequencers and controllers.
The Alesis HR-16 was widely used in a variety of genres, including rock, pop, hip-hop, and electronic music. The machine’s affordable price and high-quality sound made it a favorite among home studio owners and independent musicians, and it was also used by professional producers and engineers on a range of recordings.
Over the years, Alesis continued to refine and update the HR-16, introducing new models and features such as expanded memory and improved sound quality. The company also produced a range of other popular drum machines and electronic instruments, including the SR-16, the DM5, and the QS synthesizer series.
Today, the Alesis HR-16 is considered a classic drum machine and a symbol of the era of affordable digital audio equipment in the 1980s and 1990s. Although the company has undergone changes in ownership and focus over the years, Alesis remains a respected name in the world of audio equipment and continues to produce innovative and affordable instruments and gear for musicians and producers around the world.
In conclusion, the Alesis HR-16 drum machine and the company that produced it, Alesis, played an important role in the development of digital audio equipment and home recording technology. The HR-16’s affordable price and high-quality sound made it a popular choice among musicians and producers, and its ease of use and intuitive interface made it accessible to users of all levels. Today, the HR-16 remains a classic piece of affordable gear that is still used by musicians and producers around the world.