SR-18 velocity

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  • Updated 5 months ago
I have read carefully the previous posts on this topic e.g. https://getsatisfaction.com/alesis/to...
as well as the reference manual.
My pads do not have ANY velocity sensitivity whatsoever, whether set to the default medium, or soft, or loud and no matter which drum pad I press. So whether I press snare 1 or 2, Bell, Tom 1, 2 or 3, kick etc, and whether I press the pad extremely lightly or bone crushingly hard, the EXACT SAME Volume of sound emerges.
Others have described 2 or 3 variations (thought the reference manual on page 32 implies more variation. I do not get even 2 variations. There is only 1 volume level regardless of the pressure applied to the pad. Do I have a defective unit? It is brand new purchased from Guitar Center a week ago. Thank you.
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Mitch F

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Posted 5 months ago

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Mitch F

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I also should have mentioned that since the pads are supposed to be velocity sensitive, I tried pressing the pads both v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y and extremely quickly. Again no difference in volume was produced. Not even 2 gradations of volume were achievable; only the single volume level. Thank you
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Criss, Employee

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Hello, Mitch

Thanks for posting! 

Sorry to hear you are having trouble with the velocity ranges, what velocity setting are your currently using? If you are not already, the most dynamic setting in my opinion, is the "SOFT" velocity. Go to "Record Setup" and then scroll to Page 6. Then use the INC/DEC to choose your velocity setting. Try using the "Rock Kit" with these settings and you will see a noticeable difference when you press on the Toms.

If you can hear the dynamics at this point, then your SR18 is working just fine, it may be harder to hear the dynamics depending on the voices that you are using. 

Let me know if this helps! 
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Mitch F

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Thanks very much for your reply. As mentioned in my original post, I tried "medium", "soft" and "loud" settings within Record Setup, and lots of different kits. No matter which combination I tried though, I could not hear a difference in the sound volume of any drums, either when pressing the pads softly, with great force, slowly or quickly. Always the same volume. Note that I was listening only with headphones via the headphone jack. Could it be that with headphones the pad velocity sensitivity does not function (no difference in volume regardless of velocity with which pads are tapped) but via the other output jacks e.g. into an amplifier, there would be a volume difference?

Also, I had a couple of other questions:
1)The SR-18 is advertised as having 100 preset patterns and 100 user-editable patterns. However my unit shipped with 100 preset patterns, AND an additional "Bonus" 75 patterns stored in the user-editable section. I might like to hold on to those additional 75 patterns for future use, but I might need to use more than the 25 currently free slots in the user-editable section. Would the best way to store those bonus 75 patterns for future use (so that I could free up more of the user-editable section) be to offload these via MIDI/SysEX to a computer, and then re-load if/when I need them?

2)Does the SR-18 have an internal backup battery like the SR-16? I am not referring to the 6 AA batteries that one can use to power the SR-18, but rather an internal lithium coin-type battery. If so, does that provide power to keep any user edited patterns from being erased if the SR-18 is off without batteries or AC adapter? And/or are user-editable patterns stored in non-volatile memory similar to a USB flash drive and so would not be erased despite lack of power?

Thanks so much for your help!
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Criss, Employee

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Hello, Mitch F

You should still hear the velocity changes through the headphones, not just the main outputs. Try doing this, go to your velocity settings in the "Record Setup." If you continue to press the kick drum pad while flipping through the different type of velocities, you do not hear any difference? There is a significant difference between loud and soft, for this test I am using one of the Rock Kits. 

Yes, the best way would be to back them up via MIDI/SysEX and store them in folder for later use :)

The presets and patterns are saved to the internal memory of the SR-18. It does not depend on internal battery power (even when shut off) to save any information stored in the unit. 

Let me know what your results are! 
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Mitch F

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Thanks very much for your reply. So I do indeed hear a difference in the loudness of the kick drum pad when I cycle through loud medium and soft. If I press the kick drum when the velocity is set to soft, it is a much lower volume than when I press it when the sensitivity is set to loud. However I am referring to something different.

I was under the impression that the pads themselves are velocity sensitive. So that whether the velocity sensitivity is set to soft, or medium or loud, that WITHIN THAT SETTING, the harder or faster you pressed the pad, the louder the sound would be. However what I am experiencing is that there is no variation whatsoever in the volume of the kick drum ( or any drum) whether I press the pad harder or more quickly, or softer/slower. Can you explain how I can get the pads to be touch responsive so that the harder/faster I press the pad, the louder the sound will be?

Thanks for the info about the other questions; I am glad I was on the right track with those.
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Criss, Employee

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Hello, Mitch F

With the Velocity settings set to medium, navigate to an empty user preset and record a new pattern. When striking the pads, it's not about playing them "slow" or "fast." If you want to record a soft velocity, hit the pad within a 2-inch distance, that should do the trick. Make sure you try different kits as well since the velocity may not be as noticeable with all of the kits. 

If you still hear no difference, I would test the pads with MIDI-OX. This software allows you to see what velocity the pads are sending, if they are all between 100-127 then there may be something going on with the pads.

Here is a link that will show you how to use MIDI-OX:

https://www.noterepeat.com/articles/pc-troubleshooting/794-using-a-midi-monitor-to-test-a-midi-device

Let me know your results. 

Hope this helps!
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Mitch F

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Hi,
I downloaded both MIDI-OX and also BOME Send SX. I hooked up the Alesis SR18 with my Midi-to-USB cable and Windows does recognize the cable but I am not getting any output showing up when I press on the Alesis pads.

I thought maybe the MIDI-USB cable might be faulty, so I pulled out a keyboard controller that I have with a MIDI out jack, and hooked the cable up to that. This worked fine-- in both MIDI-OX and BOME, I see data when I press the piano keys on the keyboard. So this would seem to prove that the MIDI-USB cable works okay.

I went into System Settings on the SR-18 and made sure that DRUM OUT was set to ON, but that did not fix this.

What do you suggest? I am unable to troubleshoot the velocity issue if I can't get the MIDI out to work on the SR-18

Thanks,
Mitch
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Mitch F

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Hi,
Great news!! I received the replacement SR-18 unit today. While waiting for it to arrive, I decided to purchase a different Midi interface -- the M-Audio Midisport 1x1 (by the way I purchased it from InMusic-- there was a good sale on these on eBay by BirdBrainsMusic which apparently is a DBA for InMusic). I hooked up the SR18 first to the HDE MIDI interface cable which, as mentioned did work with another MIDI device (a MIDI keyboard that did show data in MIDI-OX when hooked up with this cable). No luck- as with the last unit. However I then tried the Midisport and I was able to get MIDI out to work and see the results in MIDI-OX. When I do this, depending on how hard I hit the pads, I am hearing variations in volume and this is being confirmed by the DATA2 field in MIDI-OX. I am able to get SIX different variations: 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 and 7F. It iis a bit tough to regulate i.e. when I hit the pad soft, medium, and hard, this yields a 30. When I hit it very hard, it is a 40, very hard plus, a 50, very very hard a 60, really really hard a 70 and go-for-broke-hard a 7F. The chances of my getting two 60s (or two 50s) in a row are very low. But for crude variations, which is likely sufficient, this is good enough. I also suspect that if I need to have very fine control over the volume of particular drum sounds, I can program those data in step mode (is this correct?). So the velocity sensitivity DOES indeed work, and I am very pleased. I am also extremely grateful for the excellent support from Alesis that I received while working through this. I know there have been a fair number of posts about this velocity sensitivity issue in the past so hopefully this one will but the issue to rest :).

Thanks again for all your help!

Mitch
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Criss, Employee

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Hello, Mitch F

Glad things are working better on your end! Yes, you can alter the volume on individual note hits in the step edit window. Once you dial in your pattern, you can go to individual voices in your pattern and raise or lower the volume with the jog dial. Works like a charm! 

Enjoy!