Alesis SR-18

Portable Drum Machine with 32MB sound library and Built-in Effects
Alesis SR-18 image 1
Alesis SR-18 image 1
Sweetwater Savings: $140.00 MSRP: $399.00
Special Order
Special-ordered from Alesis and usually arrives to you within 2-4 weeks. Please note: special orders cannot be canceled or returned.
Note: While most of the items we sell ship for free, this item does not qualify for free shipping due to special circumstances.

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Alesis SR-18
Special Order

Portable, Pro-grade Alesis Drum Machine

Packed with modern percussion sounds! The Alesis SR-18 is packed with the sounds you want and need,from totally electronic to totally acoustic drums and hits! No matter the style you're after — from rock to hip-hop to country — the 24-bit SR-18 has a large 32MB soundset that's got you covered. Onboard effects include reverb, EQ, and compression, letting you customize each sound to your satisfaction. And for on-the-go music making, the SR-18 can be powered by battery or by the included AC adapter. The SR-18 is your one-stop rhythm solution!

Alesis SR-18 at a Glance:
  • Large sound bank of sounds for any style
  • Battery power for maximum portability
  • Built-in Effects

Large sound bank
The Alesis SR-18 includes a 32MB sound set with a versatile percussion bank. Whatever the playing style, the SR-18 has something for you!

The SR-18 can be powered by battery, giving you the ability to create great drum patterns wherever you need to go. It can also be powered by an AC adapter for extensive use.

Built-in effects
An integrated effects engine includes reverb, EQ, and Compression. With 100 available user patterns, you can customize each sound to your liking and store them!

Alesis SR-18 Features:
  • Large, 32MB sound set with percussion bank and bass synth
  • Built-in effects including reverb, EQ, and compression
  • Can be powered by six AA batteries for easy portability
  • Can also be powered by an AC adapter
  • Pattern Play Mode enables patterns to be triggered from the pads directly
  • Mute function for parts
  • 24 voice polyphony
  • Backlit LCD
  • MIDI in and out
  • TRS 1/4" aux output
  • Drum roll function
  • Headphone output
  • Instrument input
  • 175 preset patterns
  • 100 user patterns
  • Tempo/value dial
  • Footwitch control for start/stop and count/A-B fill
The SR-18 is an Alesis drum machine for the modern musician!

What Does "Special Order" Mean?

A special-order product is one that we don't normally keep in stock. We order it from the manufacturer as soon as you order from us. We have great relationships with all the manufacturers we carry, so we can get your special order to you as fast as or faster than anyone else. Remember that special orders are non-returnable and non-cancelable, so make sure the item is right for you. A Sweetwater Sales Engineer can help you decide — call (800) 222-4700 for assistance!

Additional Media

SR-18 Reference Manual
Alesis SR18 Review
New in Stock at Sweetwater

Tech Specs

Sounds 500 drum, 50 bass
Kits 100
Patterns 100
Pads 12, velocity sensitive
Inputs 1 x Instrument, 2 x Footswitch
Outputs 2 x 1/4", 1 x 1/4" stereo, 1 x 1/4" headphone output
MIDI I/O In, Out/Thru
Power Power adapter included, 6 x AA battery
Height 1.9"
Depth 7.5"
Width 9.6"
Weight 1.1 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number SR18

Customer Reviews

Based on 14 reviews
Write your review

The hotness

It is all that i have done latin ,hiphop rock and jazz .... everyone needs one

Impressively Designed For Live Performance

I have been working with the SR18 for 2 years now and own two of them. The more I use it the more I am impressed with the design of this unit. It took a little time to get familiar with the programming functions but once mastered it is a breeze to work with. I am most impressed with is the A & B and associated Fill pattern concept. Once I figured out the ground rules, which the manual does a very good job of describing providing you read it carefully, I have found ways of utilizing them to maximize the available memory - not sure the designers anticipated some of the things I have been able to do utilizing the FILL patterns but if they did then I'm even more impressed with the thought that went into this design. In live performance the START STOP and FILL functions are excellent and even in SONG mode you can extend your performance to suit the situation so you are not bound by your original programming - pretty cool !! The copy function allows for movement to and from all of the A&B & FILL patterns and the tempo program change within patterns in SONG mode allows for the addition of even more expression in your live performances. It is impressive sonically and the availability of four assignable outputs allows for even greater control over the final FOH sound and if desired isolation of your count in.I could go on but I will just wrap up by saying if you are considering adding electronic drums to your solo act or group this is, in my opinion, a unit you should seriously consider.
Music background: Guitarist/Vocalist in Trio Covering All Styles

More than drums

I was overwhelmed at first, how to record with songs that change tempos, or types of beats, like Def Leppard does. The sounds are outstanding, the percussion add-ons are as well. I usually mute the bas due to octave changes but will use to begin a key in writing. I LOVE IT! Even though I own Tama set, and DW set. Usine Meine cymbals for TAMA, and combonation of Zildjan and Paiste for DW set.
Music background: Pro musician/ recording (private studio)/ song writing

The SR-18 is a great machine.

I am still learning things it will do.
Music background: musician.luthier.inst.builder.

One of the best!!

I own two SR-18's,two SR-16's and one SR-16 eqivalent Performance Pad. The sounds in the SR 16 have served me well for years but I was able to get my hands on the 18 right after having programmed nearly an albums worth of drums on the 16 (and after already having recorded the 16). In other words I was in a position do a proper A/B and see the clear difference between the units. First I had no serious intention of replacing the drums as the sounds on the 16 did the trick-that is until I heard the kicks. The kicks seemed to be more contemporary and modern having a somewaht lower focus. I think they were recorded into the machine using some of the more modern kick mics (like the Audix-D6) Then I noticed the cymbals. On the 16 you could simply change cymbal pitches to vary the hi, mid and low crashes-and this worked for me previously. The cymbals have more variety and sound more "real" to me. They seemed more 3D than the 16's comparatively 2D sound. What was the final nail in the coffin for the 16's parts being replaced were the 18's toms. They were fuller,meatier, more gutteral than the 16's. Though I had no intention of using the bass patches (as I am a bassist), through just messing around I did write a bass part for another song that will now be included on the current project. So the bass sounds are good. Another reviewer mentioned about the main and aux sounds leaking into each other. I did not find this to be the case. In fact the channel leaking or "cross talk" was significantly better on the 18 than the 16. My suspicion is that he probably had the reverb on and that is waht he was hearing. As for programming hardness/easiness that is always a subjective issue. Having logged literally thousands of hours on the 16 (had them since they came out). I did wish the programming was similar so I could work fast but no, it is not the same.....BUT!...ther are some improvements for example lets say you wanted to step edit a part you coulddn't play with fingers (say a complex fill) and you wanted to change quantization in the middle of the pattern on the 16 you'd go back to the beginning of the part with each change on the 18 you can change and stay right where you are. This was a godsend as some of my patterns were quite long and the fills sometimes needed the quantization high or off-to sound more human (waiting through every quant tic took forever! Now you can set the quant low scroll to where you want to be then change the quant back higher ,COOL!! Overall the 18 is WAY better however I did still use two of the 16's snares and the random wet hi hat. The verdict? If you hadn't heard the 18 then the 16 is a great machine and I would use it with no complaints (in fact since I'm faster on the 16 I STILL program with it ) but having heard the 18 it is now my go to unit. I use the 16 to drive the 18 via MIDI. One reviewer mentioned it's difficult programming. Look, every tool since the invention of fire has a learning curve. More features means more learning. You can't expect to fly the Space Shuttle after have gotten you driver's liscence without LEARNING! If you can't get anything out of the 18 (or the 16 for that matter) programming wise (or sonically) then I don't think any other drum machine is going to make a difference. I didn't even mention the effects-I mean Alesis MAKES multieffectors so you know what you're getting.The EQ/compression presets are dramatic enough that to me they expand the 500 sounds into sonically even MORE sounds! I Will probably get one more SR-18 for my next project!
Music background: Semi-Pro Musician, Engineer, Producer

Sweetwater Advice

Carson McClain

For years the Alesis SR16 drum machine has been all over records everywhere. It just has this signature sound and an easy-to-use sequencer. The new SR18 has all of that and more, just look at all of the new features listed above. I love the new screen on this. You can actually see it now! If you love your SR16, pick up the SR18, you will add new sounds and breathe new life into your recordings.

Mike Conyers

The Alesis SR18: Wow! I've been writing music for many years, and I really can't believe I ever lived without this drum machine! A 12-pad, sample-based, velocity-sensitive drum machine, AC- or battery-powered, this device is more than capable of helping a beatsmith experiment with drum loops, or a guitarist toy around with rhythms to jam over. The 32MB bank of drum sounds is extensive, providing many kits in several different styles, from hip-hop to rock, industrial to reggaeton. The SR18 is also MIDI-capable, so you can use it as a control surface for external devices or software samplers/synthesizers as well. In addition to the massive selection of drum kits, there are also percussion kits as well, with a wide variety of worldly instruments. A simple bass line is triggerable as well, with a one-octave range of sounds in immediate control with the press of a pad. Sequencing a pattern on the device is very easy, and the editable settings (quantization, rhythm swing, BPM, etc.) are simple to configure. Once the click track starts, you simply play whatever pattern you want, and after a set amount of measures it will automatically repeat; you can then start layering sounds ad infinitum, as well as applying built-in effects to your patterns, for a very customizable sound. The best feature about this drum machine, to me at least, is its complete portability; throw in some AA batteries, grab your headphones, go to the coffee shop, and you are ready to rock! As I said earlier, I'm truly unable to grasp how I ever lived without the Alesis SR18, but now I don't have to, and I know my music will go far with this weapon in my arsenal!
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See also: Drum Machines, Alesis, Alesis Drum Machines & Samplers