For 808 Day, Behringer Drops A Beat…..And An 808 Clone Priced Under $400

Behringer perked up some ears earlier in the week, teasing that you should ‘Fasten your seat belt.’ for 808 Day.

Today Behringer didn’t introduce anything new, but instead shared the first official demo of the their planned RD-808 drum machine. The video, embedded above, captures making a beat on the latest prototype of the RD-808, and, if you watch to the end, a teaser for 909 Day. (Behringer RD-909 anyone?).

The company has not released any hard pricing or availability information, but they are teasing a sub-$400 price and a release date at the end of this year.

The RD-808 is a modern clone of the classic Roland TR-808, updated with some features, designed to extend the original’s capabilities. Here’s an overview of the RD-808 from Rob Belcham, Senior Principal Systems Engineer at Music Group:

51 thoughts on “For 808 Day, Behringer Drops A Beat…..And An 808 Clone Priced Under $400

  1. The price is great and I love that this is full sized.

    But the sound seems really weak compared to the TR-8S. Roland’s got 30 years of experience with this stuff and knows how to make a drum machine but through a mix.

    The reality is that today we’re used to hearing these classic 808/909 sounds, but with processed with compression and eq to sound better. You’ll need to pair this with a mixer, eq & compressor to get ti to sound as good as the TR-8S.

  2. uhm…i dont even listen 20 sec to the vid…i saw the surface moving up and down when buttons are pushed….worthless imo…

      1. That unit is a pre production, hand made prototype. He talks about it in the second video. I would expect the production units to be solid.

    1. a quote on their facebook about the case “It’s a prototype. We’ve added all additional functions but the PCB hasn’t been mounted into the casing. We’re just waiting for the final casing and we’re ready to go.”

    2. I think it is either a membrane or capacitive touch panel – if it is the latter I hope that before it is released they do something to secure it down better

  3. Its going to get drilled over in straight up A/B comparisons that will eventually arise on the net.
    Grab your popcorn everyone.

  4. Spend three hundred dollars more and get a far more versatile TR-8S. Not only do you the critical ability to play samples (welcome to 1983, people!), you also get good built-in FX that let you dial up a more professional sound right out of the box – compression, delay and distortion. Rumor has it that there is an incoming TR-8S update that gives us a new pattern record mode, too.

  5. Ghee Whiz, What a surprise. All those angle and upside down shots but the back is where its at. More outs than meets the eye.

  6. you want to tell us that you like the digital tr8s acb sound? Or do you like samples? Nice to know but please dont compare to it to real analog drum machines like this one…

    I have also some plugins they sound very cool but i dont compare them with this unit…

  7. Looks like someone’s biting someone in a brazen and outrageous manner…maybe that’s worth a lawsuit?!

    Ah yes I remember now…better not to speak up in comment sections, risky business…

  8. Use your ears! The RD-808 sounds weak and flabby, like the Drumbrute.

    The TR-8S delivers the classic processed 808 sound, right out of the box, plus you can load it with any sample you like.

    If you get an RD-808, get it to satisfy your analog fetish or for its individual outputs, not for the sake of the sound.

    1. Wrong, here is why. Sampling only captures a “snapshot” of the audio. You lose the variation and nuance of true analog sound generation. Sampling is great and has it’s uses, but saying it is superior is just lying to yourself, unless you do prefer that type of sound, then it is just opionion. Low bit rate (13 and below) sampling is mighty fun I will admit….but then again I am a person who prefers that more warm tone, less crystalline….the tone of music on vinyl, not because its more “pure” or is “analog” it just sounds better and more lively to me.

      Take it from me, I mostly own digital synths. Love them, the only ones that feel lacking are the ones that are analog modelling. To be fair, they would sound better with the right effects, but still they have less complexity and depth. I hear sound like a wine consultant tastes wine. I pick up on all the little bits most people don’t notice. So yea, digital may sound the same to some people…but it is not identical by any means.

      P.S. I am a wine consultant. X’D

  9. I’ve heard it at the Superbooth and it didn’t sound any weak! And yes for me its the individual Outputs, that makes the fun!

  10. ***you want to tell us that you like the digital tr8s acb sound? Or do you like samples? Nice to know but please dont compare to it to real analog drum machines like this one…****

    Uhh, what? There seems to be a modern misconception that “real analog” is somehow better than digital. It’s rubbish and often driven by clever marketing or irrational claims like, “vinyl is best” or “I only master to cassette because wow and flutter adds life to my mixes.” We’ve had brilliant analog and digital instruments for decades. There have also been some absolutely awful analog and digital instruments.

    Unless you’re a Behringer employee, there’s no way you can make a rational claim that the unreleased Behringer 808 sounds better than the Roland TR-8S (probably the best drum machine on the market right now).

    1. the best drum machine on the market is since a long decade the rytm. And now tell us how cool your tr8s is!
      Rolands digital drum machines can not compared to real analog…

  11. LPs are flat-out vastly inferior to CDs: the fact that someone likes cracklings and degraded sound (aka “warm” for vinyl fans) it’s a different matter. Analogue and digital are just different, if you’re able to tell the difference (not hard when you play the instrument, almost impossible in a mixed and post-produced CD track). Behringer is clearly trying to attract analog-lovers, nothing wrong with it, it’s not the first time we hear of such pointless flames.

  12. I’ll get one for sure. I got a Deep Mind and was very satisfied for the price. You always have to take the budget price into consideration, but I am sure it will be solid.

    The funny thing is that Roland can’t do what it’s customers wanted for years. Now we know that it is very possible and Roland is just completely out of touch with the customer. Maybe interest has waned at this point but back 10 years ago they could have sold millions.

  13. i love how much of a point of contention this drum machine is when there are 10,000 other probably more creative ways to make drum sounds that havent been beaten to death as much as the 808, be original, do something else. happy 808 day.

    1. Totally agree. I’d had enough of my 808 by 1982. Bloody noisy old thing it was…I suppose some would say that was part of its ‘analog charm’…whatever!
      The ‘if it’s not analog, it’s not worth s**t’ contingent’ have obviously forgotten one simple thing…If it sounds good, who cares what made the sound.
      BTW- If hear another one of those god awful ‘biscuit tin 808’ flam-rolls on the radio, I’m going to puke.

  14. Electronic musicians like to think of themselves as cutting edge or experimental, but buy the gear they lusted after when they were in high school.

  15. FTFY: Unless you’re a Roland employee, there’s no way you can make a rational claim that the unreleased Behringer 808 sounds worse than the Roland TR-8S (probably the worst drum machine on the market right now)

  16. The problem is that behringer only cares about money. If they hype it then it sells like hot cakes but it takes almost a year or more to get your product. Anyone have a neutron? The second problem is if they don’t sell enough they will slash the price and kill the value of your used unit. Buying behringer was a risk in the beginning but slashing prices is a slap in the face. Most musicians buy and sell gear occasionally to try new things and avoid stagnant music creation. This is just what they do to the consumer let alone the other manufacturers.
    I actually think they make good products at times but I’m wearing of buying anything new from them. I think for me personally I will wait a year or two to see the value and durability of their new synths and drum machines.

    1. Aha behringer cares about the money, and roland not? LOL you are awesome 😛 And if you do only care about second hand prices you are so wrong, you buy a synth because you like it. Every music store gives you 30day money back that means you can check if this product fits to your needs…

  17. Regarding the seemingly flimsy nature of the build quality, the same cannot be said of the Behringer Model D or the DeepMind 12 and 6.

  18. The TR-808 in the Roland TR-8 and TR-8S (and the Roland Cloud AU/VST/AAX plugin) is not sampled, it’s ACB (Analog Circuit Behavior, or per-component virtual analog). After years of using the real thing and samples myself, Roland’s ACB version sounds surprisingly good. I’m looking forward to hearing a better demo of the Behringer machine.

  19. Why didn’t Roland do this years ago? And I always love people talking about the sound they hear through their iPhone speakers.

  20. analog vs digital debate ends here. Round 1 KO by Analog Original TR-808

    Not even same league. Unless only a few of us have magic ears or something.

    anyone want to challenge this?

    1. yeh let me try.
      rebuttal 1: what the hell are you talking about.
      rebuttal 2: no, seriously though, what the hell are you talking about.

    1. i have a TR8S and your comment Ssvg is a joke. How you can say that unless you work for Roland. This thing is going to middle finger Roland once and for all. They had their chance to make an analog 808 return and they missed the boat well and truely. Maybe this is the wakeup call they deserve. But i fear that nothing will remove their heads from the sand.

      go Behringer!!!

  21. I have the Roland TR-8 and the Roland TR-08 Boutique and I can honestly say…I love them! But this RD-808 by Behringer looks very interesting…I think I’ll buy it just for s**ts and giggles! -DJ Woody Pena a.k.a. Da Funkmeista

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