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Alesis SR18 Review

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PROS / This drum machine is lightweight and can be battery operated.

CONS / Other than drums, there are hardly any other types of sounds available on the Alesis SR18.

 VERDICT / This lightweight and portable drum machine is most useful for practice and live performance.

The Alesis SR18 is an ultra portable drum machine that is best suited for practice and live performance. Due to the lack of sampling and sequencing capabilities, this machine is not suited for studio use. Though the SR18 has 500 different drum sounds, there aren’t any synthesizer or keyboard sounds on this drum machine, which limits your song production capabilities.

  1. Total amount of sounds that come stock with each machine.
  2. 5 Alesis SR18
    550 Number of Sounds
  3. 3254 Number of Sounds
  4. 452 Number of Sounds
  5. 480 Number of Sounds
  6. Category Average
    828.71 Number of Sounds

You can add reverb, EQ and compression to any of your drum sounds and save them to one of the 100 user presets. The instrument input makes it convenient to plug your guitar straight into your drum machine, so you can immediately start jamming along with your Alesis SR18. You can also plug in your headphones and have a personal jam session without the use of an amp or external speakers.

Built especially to assist you when performing live, this beat machine has two footswitches, one to start and stop your drum loops and another to add drum fills to your patterns when desired. The footswitch feature is one that is desired by most performing musicians because it gives you the ability to operate your drum machine hands free.

By using the MIDI ports, you can use your SR18 as a MIDI controller when needed. You also have the freedom to take the SR18 wherever you want because this rhythm machine can operate on battery power. The Alesis SR18 only weights a pound, which makes this drum machine one of the lightest and most portable ones around.

Alesis has many avenues you can choose from to contact the company if you have a question or concern about your product. Alesis offers online manuals for this drum machine and gives you the option to contact representatives by phone or email.


The Alesis SR18 is a great drum machine for practice and performance. You get a wide range of drum sounds to choose from and a handful of effects to play with. Because there aren’t any sounds outside of drums and bass on this machine, this drum machine is less useful with song production than other units. However, this beats maker is hard to beat for portability.