SR18: Shorten a pattern without losing the fill at the end?

On my SR18, I want to shorten a preset pattern from 16 to 8 or 4 beats by copying it to a user pattern and changing the length, but I don't want to cut off the fill (so I want to shorten from the front?). I'm pretty sure the SR16 allows this, but not the SR18?
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  • You should be able to copy the part and the FILL as separate pieces of the groove. Then you can organize them after setting your user pattern arrangement in SONG MODE
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  • Thanks for your advice, but thinking about it further, I have always used the SR16 onstage and used the second pedal to switch to a second pattern with a fill for choruses, etc. The 4-beat patterns made that possible. With 16-beat patterns, the timing on the fills is seldom correct, and the patterns cannot be modified and retain the fills for use in this way. The sounds in the SR18 are much better, but I am majorly disappointed with this shortcoming in the SR18, rendering it actually unusable for me. Could a future firmware update address this issue in some way? Perhaps? As it is, I suppose I could try to write out all of my tracks as songs, but that would be well over 100 songs, and the unit doesn't hold that many. Yikes. Better buy another SR16. Sorry to be a complainer.
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  • Are you saying that a pattern that already exists (say you've copied preset 1 to user 1) cannot be shorten from 16 or 32 to an 8 beat pattern? I appreciate that you can set the pattern length to 8 beats if you are composing a pattern from scratch, but modification of an existing pattern? I don't care about reducing the length of the fill to 8 beats as well. If you can't, that makes it useless for jamming live.
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  • I appreciate you can change the pattern whenever you wish live with a pedal, but as Jay states above, the timing of the fills will be frequently incorrect with a long 16 beat pattern. So I gather it's not possible to reduce the pattern length of an existing pattern. This is why Jay regrettably has to go back to the SR16, and why they keep selling. It's the only machine really suitable for live jamming.

    It would be hours of work, but is it possible to play a 16 beat preset pattern into your computer music software, cut off the first half, the play it back into a user patch which has been set up as an 8 beat pattern?
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  • 1. Press the RECORD SETUP button.
    2. Use the PAGE buttons to select different "pages" of functions; the display's lower right
    window shows the page number. These pages are described below.
    3. Adjust values on pages, if necessary, as described for each page.
    4. After making all needed changes, press RECORD SETUP again to exit, or choose another page.

    navigate to page 9: PATTERN LEGNTH
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  • I’m frustrated
    Wow... I agree. What a bad move by Alesis. I bought the SR16 to find that I couldn't see the display will enough because it wasn't backlit. Very happy with the sound and the transitions and fills. They were set up on 8 beats. I sent the unit back for an upgrade, thrilled when I plugged it in and could see the display but totally bummed when I realized all the patterns were set up on 16 beats. What is up with that. They took the option of changing a pattern or adding a fill at 8 beats which would allow you to also fill/transition at 16 etc. to not being able to transition/ fill except at 16 beat intervals. What would possibly be the reason for this? I'm too embarrassed to send this unit back for the 16. Gonna have to live with it I guess. Bad move Alesis.
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  • I’m frustrated
    Hi all,

    I am having exactly the same problem as Jay. I want to shorten a 16 beat pattern to an 8 beat but from the start, and not have the end 8 beats including the fills chopped off.
    I use this for live performances too but the 16 beat patterns are rarely any good as the fills take way too long and are generally out of sync with most 4/4 songs we play. I did speak to Alesis about this and they cannot figure out how to do it either.
    I recall that the SR16 had an option of which step you could shorten/lengthen a pattern from, but this does not exist in the SR18.

    Huge mistake here Alesis! But can it be addressed and updated for us existing SR18 owners??

    I used to use the SR16 for many years (it has since died on me, hence I upgraded to the SR 18). The SR16 was perfect for live performances as they were all 8 beat patterns. However, I don't want to buy a new SR16 as the screen is virtually impossible to read (on stage) without a lamp as it is not backlit (to be honest this is the only reason I wont buy another one).

    I have since been thinking of going out to buy an alternative drum machine (any recommendations?) but I feel slightly robbed by my £199 purchase of the SR18.

    Can anyone help? Surely there must be more SR18 users who have the same problems.
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    • Will do Dave, I'm going to keep searching for this...

      I forgot to mention my main overarching reason for not going back to the SR16....Its the internal battery that lasts around 3 years and when it dies, all your user patterns die with it. I reprogrammed mine many times as I changed the battery 3 times, but now its just not working at all...(too old now)... but I got good use out of it.
      Can you or anyone tell me how to back these files up? I assume you can upload them via a midi cable to a PC? (Don't know I've never tried as I don't use Midi), I am asking as I may have to resort (in a very grudged manner) to go back to the SR16 as the 18 just isn't working for me....

      How do you backup yours?
    • I bought it to practice live shows with. Hence.... the preference for the 4 / 8 beat patterns. I've' not used it enough to save anything. Actually lost interest in using it at all after trading in the 16 for the 18.
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  • Stephen,

    Yes, I do feel your pain, as I have written before. Doesn't a unit like this work on firmware? Couldn't they re-write the firmware to completely replace the existing patterns, or just add back in the feature to pick which end of a pattern you want to shorten? (Actually, for live performance use I'd rather they just go back to an 8-beat base.) I bought the SR-18 several years ago now, and it sits in the closet as I still perform with the SR-16. Too bad, I do like the drum sounds on the 18 better. I guess I'm just waiting for the SR-20 at this point (not meaning to start a rumor or anything, I have not heard anything), but I would certainly take a long, hard look at the features before buying another Alesis drum machine to be sure they don't take another step in the wrong direction. In answer to recommendations, I have seen no other product that will do what the SR-16 does with the double pedal for fills and pattern changes in a live setting.
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  • I’m frustrated
    Hi Jay,
    I totally agree, and you never know, perhaps a firmware update may become available in the future. Who knows?
    Its a real shame because I too much prefer the sounds of the SR18, and the look with the backlight which is a feature the SR16 really needs. I do also love the record function, but the SR16s Compose mode did the same job I would say.....
    My only other main concern is the 30 Empty user patterns are simply not enough.
    A blend of the above discussed features would be a great contender for the SR20 if there was ever plans to manufacture one!
    Alesis are you listening?
    The ability to control this machine via two footswitches for live performance is the ultimate attraction! That's something I haven't yet looked into on other machines.

    I fear my SR18 will also be cast in a dark corner forever if I do go back to the 16. Real shame...........The thought of using 2 drum machines for a live performance is not something I even want to try.....
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  • 1
    I will change this to a feature request for you all.
    Thank you all for the feedback.
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  • Make sure to select the (+1) at the top of the thread.
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  • 1
    I totally agree that having all the rhythms 8 beats makes it much more useful for live use.
    It would be so simple to add an option in the SYSTEM SETUP that allows a GLOBAL PATTERN CHANGE to 8 beats, and to make it automatically select the LAST 8 beats so the fills remain fills. Instead of having to use up a memory slot just to shorten a beat!

    This is obvious!!
    Come on Alesis! Get with it!
    I am waiting with bated breath for this feature!
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  • ...... as predicted. My 18 has been sitting in the corner with nothing plugged into it and no power since the day I got it. May have to break down and go ahead and buy a 16 to use and just look at the 18.
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  • 1
    This is definitely a must-have feature. A lot of the presets are great, but too long, and can only be shortened by cutting the ends off, which loses the fills. The only current solution is to painstakingly copy the fills using step edit, which I don't have time to do. Shame, as it's a great machine otherwise. +1 from me. C'mon Alesis!
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  • Have been speaking with Alesis Tech Support UK and it seems you can shorten them (after copying the pattern to User Bank), but not the first Rock 1 pattern which was the one I was trying to shorten.. I've only tried Blues 1 so far since they told me and it works ok, so maybe it's not such a major issue, be interesting to see how many of them can / can't be shortened whilst retaining the fill..
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