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using Alesis SR16 Drum Machine with BFD?

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using Alesis SR16 Drum Machine with BFD?

Postby daveontheroad » Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:23 am

this may qualify for dumbest question of 2010, but since the Alesis SR16 Drum Machine DOES have midi out...can i use it to trigger BFD? and or write midi files to my DAW?


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Alesis SR16 & BFD2

Postby plharris » Tue May 18, 2010 2:59 am

Yes, I have used via midi cables to trigger BFD2. I have also used it to load so of my favorite preset patterns from the SR16 to the BFD2 and selected different Drums in my BFD2 to change the sounds.


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Postby DrNewcenstein » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:17 pm

I've long been able to use my SR16 to trigger BFD2 sounds, however, what I've been working on lately is trying to convert the SR16's preset patterns into MIDI files and/or BFD Grooves.

I've been unsuccessful in finding a program that can "extract" the presets as MIDI files, nor have I been able to find a program that can convert single-pattern sysex files put out by the SR16 to MIDI drum files, so I've resorted to *gasp* reading the manual for BFD2 to use its Record function to convert incoming SR16 pattern/song data directly to a Groove.

It works, for the most part, however, I'm running into a few problems:
1. I'm using a MIDISport Uno (USB 2, In and Out cables - my Audigy2's MIDI In/Out ports don't fare much better). Do I really need to assume this is part of the problem?
2. Latency (easy enough to correct after it's recorded, though tedious)
3. If I set the SR16 to, say, 60 BPM, I have to set BFD2's tempo somewhere between 10 and 15 BPM higher, or else all the notes don't fit into the time sig (a 4/4 SR16 pattern becomes a 4.1-4.9/4 Groove). This messes with my head, so it's bad.

I'd much rather have the patterns as Grooves, as opposed to having the SR16 actually running every time.

I'd also like to have BFD automatically trigger the SR16 to begin playing the selected Pattern/Song after the lead-in. Right now I'm having to watch the blinker in BFD and press Play on the SR16, then shuffle all the ticks once it's done. Again, it's kinda tedious and feels like work, which I'm no fan of :lol:
It's easier than entering them manually, but not by much.

I've adjusted various MIDI settings in both BFD and the SR16, but can't quite seem to hit that magical connection, and I have never been able to find a chart that tells which MIDI notes trigger SR16 patterns/songs remotely (or if it's even possible).

Any clues?

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Postby DrNewcenstein » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:51 pm

Ok, slight update.

I think I may have hit upon the best solution to this type of issue (i.e. converting standalone drum machine pattens to BFD Grooves).

1. Start the SR16 before opening BFD - not really sure if this is necessary for everyone, but if I start BFD first, everything's half-tempo and half-pitch. Makes for crushing kicks and snares, though :lol:
2. Make sure all your MIDI In/Out for both BFD and the SR16 are set - Clock In/Out isn't necessary, but Drum Out should be on. If you see the BFD kit animating but hear no sound, double-check your Audio In/Out settings. If you see no activity, make sure you haven't selected a blank User Preset on the SR16 (I did :lol: )
3. Set yout SR16's tempo to match BFD2's Tempo. Previously, I thought it HAD to be different, but there was a latency problem with my ASIO settings (Operator Error).
4. Click the Record On/Off button in BFD2 to On (bottom by the Play button), then press BFD2's Play button. The beeper will count 8 beats before recording starts.
5. At the 8th beep, press Play on the SR16. Press BFD's Stop button once the SR16 stops playing.

For best results, make sure the Pattern or Fill you want is its own Song in the SR16. This makes sure the unit stops and preserves whatever trails (cymbals, etc).

Also, I set the Grid view in BFD2 to 1/128. Once the recording is made, I then click the Edit button (next to the Note Resolution box) and Select All Events, then click the square/lasso box next to that, to Quantize the selected hits to the grid. You may have to use the nudge button to move the hits to the start of the Groove grid.

There's still a time differential between the SR16 and BFD2, however. The Patterns in the SR16 show 4/4 (or 8 beats) but the same pattern in BFD2 at the same tempo will only be a 2-bar measure. Not really a deal-breaker for me. Haven't worked with the odd-time patterns yet, so I'm not sure how BFD2 will react to those.

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Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2007 8:42 pm

Postby DrNewcenstein » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:46 am

Another slight update:

I've been recording more of the SR16's patterns into BFD2, and found that if BFD2 is set to 120 BPM, the SR16 should be set to 118 BPM for a better transfer. Could still be a latency issue on my end, though.

At any rate, I hope to have all the SR16's preset patterns and fills converted to BFD2 Grooves within a week, as there's a lot of post-editing involved (sync is not always spot-on).

If it's ok with the Admins, I'd like to post a link here to the Grooves when I'm done. Not sure if there's a proprietary content issue there. I mean, the SR16's 22 years old, but still.

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Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 4:42 pm

Re: using Alesis SR16 Drum Machine with BFD?

Postby pallab » Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:32 pm

Hi Dr Newcenstein!

My SR16 just gave up the ghost, but after 20 years faithful service I guess I can't complain!

I saw you had been able to get a copy of the grooves from the SR16. I wanted to ask if it was possible to share these? I wanted to revisit some old recordings I made with some of the stock patterns and the patterns would be a big help to do this!

Kind regards,


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