Alesis SR18 vs Boss DR 880

Depending on the music you are interested in, instruments, gears, setup etc. will be different as well and for those beat makers out there, drum machines like Alesis SR18 Vs Boss DR 880 are essential as they are capable of imitating the sound of electric drums without the real huge setup. If you are also interested to get one of these machines, go check what they can offer below and decide which seems to fit your preference the most so then we can shop wisely.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:

  • What is Drum Machine
  • What are Alesis SR18 and Boss DR 880
  • What Alesis SR18 and Boss DR 880 Look Like
  • How are the Sound in Alesis SR18 and Boss DR 880
  • How are the User Experience of Alesis SR18 and Boss DR 880
  • What Connectivity Available in Alesis SR18 and Boss DR 880
  • Alesis SR18 Vs Boss DR 880

Drum Machine

Almost all people have their own favorite instrument; be it about how they sound or how they play and it is depending on your personal taste as well. Due to the limitation of real instruments, many of us are moving to machines that can emulate the sound of real instruments and one of the most popular is the drum machine. They may not be able to bring the same experience of real drum sets but they are very convenient and fun to play.

As you may already have guessed, a drum machine is an electronic device which main function is to generate sounds of drum and percussion as they can imitate these sounds. The shape may vary but in general they are very similar to a mixer so you will find them in a boxy shape, rectangle or square depending on the model. There are many touch-sensitive pads on the unit that we can use to create beats and grooves including with a sequencer when you want to play the rhythmic composition.

Some people use the term drum machine and sampler interchangeably or mistake the unit as each other but in fact, these are two different electronics and offer different functions. As opposed to how drum machines mimic the sound of drums and percussion, sampler is used to record, alter, and playback digital audio. It uses digital samples, snippets of songs, or sound effects to create music. They also have digital memory to let the user access the sound instantly and perform them real-time.

Alesis SR18 and Boss DR 880 in Music Genre

Nowadays, you can find this machine being used in various different music genres from dance to psychedelic fold and also in different applications both inside a casual player room and on a professional stage. However, they are more useful and popular for those doing music on the electronic spectrum because the machine is generally more central to the foundations of a song or arrangement since there’s more scope for sonic experimentation. For a more traditional genre such as rock, they are more often being used to record demos.

 Alesis SR18Boss DR 880 1
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Shipping Weight3.73 pounds
6 pounds

Drum Machine Features

Drum machines will have several features built-in the unit and they may vary in details as manufacturers try to win the competition as well as who they are marketed for. In general, the basic capabilities will be pressure-sensitive pads as they need to make different sounds following your action, built-in effects to alter the sounds and match them with whatever preference you have, as well as some basic programming and editing features for better convenience.

About Alesis SR18 and Boss DR 880

Being a compact and convenient tool already makes a drum machine one of the most useful items to have in your setup. They are also varying widely in price so we can match it with our budget and even affordable models can be a great addition if used to the fullest. Many audio equipment manufacturers are offering drum machines and we are personally more comfortable with well-known names as they have a higher chance to have reliable products and a wider collection to choose from.

Talking about audio equipment brands that carry drum machines in their catalog, Alesis and Boss are two of the first bunch of names that come to our mind. We are sure most people are familiar with these brands as they are very much popular even from the casual eyes point of view. Their drum machines are also highly rated and while Boss is more popular for its guitar effect, they in fact have some amazing drum machines as well in a very affordable price range.

If you are here then it means this machine must be cheap enough to not break the bank but is still reliable to give the best experience. The ideal options from these companies will be Alesis SR18 and Boss DR 880 as they are priced at a similar level and the reason why these are such popular machines is because of what they can offer. These powerful models are carrying tons of features to expand the convenience and let you be creative.

Some people may recall the old favorite SR16 from Alesis and as you can already guessed this SR18 is an improvement over the older machine that has been around for decades. It brings what’s amazing from the older brother in the form of a new product to give the same character but still familiar for its usefulness. As for the DR 800, this machine is dubbed as the next gen of rhythm machine is shining brightest on its ease of use especially with tons of sounds and strategic pad placement.

Alesis SR18 and Boss DR 880 Design

Similar to most drum machines, Alesis SR18 and Boss DR 880 are also having this boxy shape made from plastic with a dimension of 9.2-inch deep, 13-inch wide, and around 4-inch tall compared to 10.7-inch wide, 9.5-inch deep, and 2.8-inch tall. They seem to be pretty robust and the body itself is very much thick to sustain a prolonged use. As you can see, both are featured with a small display at the top with a blue and green backlit respectively.

You can find most of their ports collection at the top and for the DR 880, some of them are also placed at the bottom of the machine. They do have different layout design but it is a subject to preference and in comparison, the buttons will be larger in the SR18 in case this is one of your concerns. Overall they seem to be a solid machine that is not only useful but also built with quality and friendly interface. Read also: DDJ 400 Vs DDJ 200.

Alesis SR18 and Boss DR 880 Sound

Moving further, the most important point of drum machine and any similar kit that produce sounds to mimic real instrument is the sound quality itself and here both Alesis SR18 and Boss DR 880 are sounding good; they even come with 500 and 480 drums sounds collection respectively to provide whatever type of music you want to make. In addition there are tons of preset patterns here at 100 preset patterns with 100 user locations compared to 500 to easily add fills, ghost notes, chord progression, etc.

There is no guarantee that your type of drums or sound will be available here because we have a wide varying taste and creativity but quality wise, we personally think most of them are just good, they are not amazing compared to items on the higher-end but very much reliable for different applications. Additionally, you can find built-in effects as well here including EQs, reverb, and compression. As for the dynamic range, it feels like they can only offer a few different feelings when you strike the buttons which are different from the claim of 12 and 20 side by side.

Alesis SR18 and Boss DR 880 User Experience

The next part we want to talk about is user experience and it is related to how these machines perform or how they will act in the use. Personally, we adore big pads as they are more comfortable to play with and here SR18 will win easily combined with how big they put the space in between. They do have a bright backlit display but menu wise, Alesis indeed simpler, it doesn’t crowd the display and it is just more pleasant to see.

What’s not so amazing is the volume knob because somehow it is placed at the top of the kit and you can’t see it when using the machine in its normal position so we have to tilt it unlike the DR 880 which conveniently set it up at the front panel. We also have complaints for Boss and this is about their menu which can be slow sometimes making users have to push the same button a few times to execute certain functions.

Alesis SR18 and Boss DR 880 Connectivity

The last point we want to mention is their connectivity because you will need to at least use a speaker or headphone to listen to the sound. They are coming with standard ¼-inch jack for the headphone and equally have the main out for both left and right. They have MIDI in and out as well as an input for instruments. The DR 880 however also put an RCA port here in case you will be using it for output and a USB port as another option for MIDI.

Alesis SR18 vs Boss DR 880

Both of these machines are amazing for the price point and they are also very powerful. Sound collection wise you will get more from SR18 but the DR 880 has more patterns and overall we do think these amounts are enough for most applications since you can find tons of sound to play and match with the current music we are making. User experience wise however, SR18 is better due to its layout and hardware but from the connectivity it lacks of USB for MIDI option.

 Alesis SR18 Boss DR 880
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Brand AlesisBoss
Key features- A Studio Icon - Legendary classic drum machine for songwriters, live perform-ers and remix engineers
- In Demand Sound - 500 professional sounds included, built-in digital effects for added realism and powered by Alesis exclusive Dynamic Articulation
- Seamless MIDI Connectivity - Complete MIDI support for use with keyboards, computers, DAWs and electronic drum kits
- Production Essentials - Pattern Play Mode enables different patterns to be trig-gered from the pads directly; programmable Drum Roll function
- Guitar/bass input, multi-effects, COSM amp models. 20 velocity-sensitive pads
- 440 drum and percussion sounds, 40 bass sounds with COSM bass-amp models
- 3 independent insert effects (EQ and compression), TSC (Total Sound Control) featuring 3-band EQ
- 500 preset and 500 user patterns; add fills, ghost notes, chord progressions and more
Customer Ratings*4.7 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars

You can go well with any of them because they are equally reliable but personally we like the Alesis SR18 better because it is easier to use, easier to see the information on its display, has a nice sound, and still very affordable.

NOTE : Product prices, availability, ratings and save money information are accurate as of the date/time indicated on post time (as seen right bellow the tittle) and are subject to change. Any price, ratings, availability and save money information displayed on Amazon Site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.




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