Behringer RD-9 Release Date Delayed Until At Least March 2021

Behringer today shared an update on their long-delayed RD-9, a new drum machine based on the classic Roland TR-909.

Originally announced in 2017, the RD-9 builds on the original 909 by adding additional tone controls and USB MIDI connectivity. Behringer has said previously that they delayed the release of the RD-9 until they could resolve the MIDI problems of their RD-8, since the units share much of their firmware code.

Here’s what Behringer has to say about the RD-9:

“The RD-9 is a fresh new take on an iconic classic, fitted with our own custom made analogue components which have been carefully engineered and developed, giving a truly authentic sound. All whilst introducing new performance features, controls, and connectivity with modern-day musicians and producers in mind.

For those wanting to stay as true to the original sound as possible, the RD-9 offers both an enhanced mode and authentic mode, allowing the option to bypass newly introduced functions.

The RD-9 introduces the ability to control your tones even more by introducing pitch and pitch depth control of the bass drum and, also pitch control of the hi-hat. 3 controls never found on the original, however play a big part in helping you further dial in your desired sound.

This modern-day approach to this absolute classic gives you the best of both worlds. New sound or old sound? Enhanced mode or Authentic mode? The RD-9 lets you decide.”

Behringer says that they expect to begin shipping the RD-9 in the March-April 2021 timeframe.

48 thoughts on “Behringer RD-9 Release Date Delayed Until At Least March 2021

  1. What nobody thinks about is that you to add $1000 worth of gear to this to create a stereo mix, unlike literally every other modern drum machine.

    The TR-909 design made sense in the 80’s, for studios with 32-track mixers and recorders. But people are going to be disappointed when they try to use this in a home studio and realize they need a big mixer, hardware effects processors and an audio interface just to record a stereo mix.

    Save your money and get an Analog Rytm. You’ll thank me later.

    1. Well, what about people who have all that you cited like rackmount effects, mixers, MIDI routers etc? I’m not wanting to buy this but I don’t think there’s a good reason to compare such (even copypasted) designs with modern workflow used by Rytms etc.
      But the fact they produce this clone is the direct signal that Roland has invented smth precious 40 years ago.

    2. €1000 worth of gear – stuff most aspiring musicians on a budget will have already – laptop – interface – cables

      €1600 for a Rytm – stuff most aspiring musicians on a budget will not have

      Most people using an 808/909 use them for jamming with other analogue gear using triggers, tapping out patterns and tweaking knobs and having fun. Not multi recording every single instrument meticulously.

      Nothing is more fun than syncing and banging out patterns on the fly with an 909/808/606/303 or 101. If you’re not doing that then I think you’re doing it wrong tbh

      Even if you do decide to separate the instruments. Almost nobody would separate all of them when just a few will do fine. You can literally just plug it into a single channel on a DJ mixer, crank the gain and instant Jeff Mills. Lots of DJs use them live

      The cost of doing this prior to behringer – about €10,000 to €12,000 if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on the gear

      The cost of doing this post behringer – about €1100 – €1200

      No idea why you would mention an interface. Surely anyone would need this to record absolutely anything? Not to mention most people interested in electronic music will usually already have an interface. If your interface has multi inputs – then you don’t need the mixer. If not then you can always record tracks one by one an loop them in ableton or whatever

      As per the reviews so far – the RD-8 has been well received and most everyone who owns one is happy with it – doesn’t sound like anyone is disappointed to me

      Almost every synth and drum machine around today is designed around blueprints laid down 30 to 40 years ago – sure the Rytm is great – I own one but it doesn’t sound like an 808 or a 909

      1. Not sure what type of mixer you’ve got but mine is a 12-input mixer and I’ve got a 4-input audio interface. Pretty typical home studio setup.

        Like most ’12-input mixers’, the mixer has 4 mono inputs and 4 stereo inputs.

        The RD-9 has 10 outputs, so just to get a stereo mix on the drums and stay where I am for other inputs, I’d need to get a 24-input mixer. A bottom of the line 24-input mixer is about $500. To actually record the individual outputs, you’d need at least a 12-input audio interface, which is another $1000 if you go on the cheap end.

        If you record in mono out, what’s the point of having individual outputs?

        This type of design made sense for pro studios 30 years ago, but just about anything else would make more sense for anybody with a small home studio.

        RE the RD0-8: It was pretty useless for about a year to anyone that used it with MIDI – which is what just about everybody does. This was a huge deal for many users and Behringer first refused to acknowledge it, then they finally admitted the problem and released a fix after it was on the market for a year.

        That – along with the cost and hassles of dealing with all the analog outputs – may be why there are so many used RD-8s for sale, and why the used price is plummetting:

        If the RD-8/RD-9 makes sense for you – great. But for most people, they’re going to be expensive nostalgia trips.

        1. Well, back in those days, we used tape or cassettes. Most of those recorders had 2-6 inputs, most popular was 4. So you recorded your drums using 4 tracks, mixed and bounced to two, leaving 1 for bass and the rest for everything else

          Now days, you can do the same and record to your DAW, unlike back in the 80-90s, midi sync could be very problematic/unreliable. Now days you get and have better tools in your DAW to record each channel, albeit, during multiple takes if you really want to do that.

          With that said, you get master outputs. Plenty of records were made just with the stereo mix of the 909/808 master outputs, many times the drums were being tweak live as the track was being printed. No need for a mixer, a distortion pedal, perhaps.

          I love my Analog Rytm mkII, but was one of the unlucky folks with unreliable pads, so no. With the money required to buy such device, you can get an rd-9, rd-8, td-3, 16 channel mixer, and few boss pedals. For live jams, this is a better option than fronting the cash on the Rytm, specially if going for that 909 sounds/vibe. Cheers!

    3. What about actually enjoying it for its true aesthetics? I like playing with knobs and poking around things and find out what excites me. It’s not just a piece of nostalgia it will invigorate many stale palettes and so what if I need to use some more channels and external effects I may discover something NEW!

    4. “Create a stereo mix”? LMAO If you are recording a 909 in stereo you are doing it wrong. Keep the kick, snare, clap, main hi hat in mono. You can pan fx and do everything else in your DAW. Roland’s POS boutique is an insult to humans with hand larger than a 3 year old’s, when this comes out that goes in a box or literally to my 3 year old. The Analog Rythm is a convoluted mess to work with, it sounds great, the menu diving and adding samples SUCKS… sold it. The RD8 was fun, easy to use and sounded great, sold it because I am a 909 guy, will be buying this RD9. I have owned all of the gear mentioned, excepting the RD9 obviously.

    5. Don’t buy this! It’ll cost you $1,000.

      Instead, buy this rhythmbox for $1,000+ that is self-contained and has less versatility when integrating with other equipment 😛

      The Analog Rytm does look epic though

      1. Nobody who’s used the Analog Rytm would think that it’s not versatile. It’s the deepest drum machine ever made.

        It integrates with everything. I use it to sequence my modular, to DIN SYNC my vintage gear, as a sampler, to do basslines with the built-in analog synths, all sorts of stuff.

        Plus it can do a stereo mix out, with effects. Plus it has individual outputs. Plus it doubles as a hardware compressor.

        The appeal of the RD-8 is that it does so little, so it’s easy to understand, plus it’s cheap and can copies the 808 sound pretty well.

    6. What on earth are you talking about? There’s a mono out and individual outs. You don’t want a mixer use the mono out, if you want to use multiple outs buy a mixer. Who in their right mind would have a home studio without a mixer? How do you create stereo mixes of anything without a mixer? if you don’t have enough inputs record the drums multiple times until you’ve got all of them. i’ve had the same 4 output mixer for 24 years, i’ve got 15 drum machines which range from mono to 10 outputs and i’ve never had any problem recording that way. Never in my life would i think “i’m not buying that drum machine it’s got too many outputs”, never, and i would never record drums in stereo, that’s for amateurs. Either you record in mono, or multitrack and mix to stereo.

  2. I am pleased behringer have offended many people who where not around when Acid house and Techno began . It was made on cheap equipment from second hand shops etc . The accesibilty of cheap gear gave us a music revolution. Behringer are flooding the market with good cheap gear. Good on them . It is tragic to see Roland putting out toys (two audio outs on drum machines ain’t credible) I am pleased to see this getting out.

      1. Good then !! anyone putting music equipment into the hands of the proles is doing a good job. Roland do not know their arse from their elbows as regards end users of gear these days.

      2. Awesome! Anyone who’s going to get offended by the release of a piece of technology SHOULD have this rubbed in their face.

        For the record, I’ve been making electronic music since my KORG M1 was the hot, new piece of kit. I sequenced it with Steinberg Pro-24 and C-Lab’s Notator on my Atari 1040ST. I am SUPER excited for the Behringer RD-9.

    1. “I am pleased behringer have offended many people who where not around when Acid house and Techno began .”

      Strange first comment on the post. Who’s offended? Are you just taking joy in the idea that Behringer might be offending somebody? Strange.

      What made the original 909 successful was the novelty of the sound, not price. It sounded new and it sounded cool.

      The Fairlight CMI sound was the new shiny for a few years, too – and it was the price of a house.

      A cheap 909 clone doesn’t give anybody anything new & cool – listeners won’t be able to tell the difference between the RD-9 and and the samples they’ve heard for three decades or the sound of the free 909 drum machine you get in GarageBand.

      So don’t expect any music revolution – this is a way of making money off of nostalgia.

      1. I’d take a guess and say the target market doesn’t want “new & cool” they want the classic sound of the 909 and they want analogue hardware not samples. What made the 909 popular wasn’t the novelty of the sound. If it was novelty then it wouldn’t still be being used, sampled and emulated. It has a timeless sound that spawned a genre (that many said was a flash in the pan but is still going strong today). . The argument for samples vs hardware makes more sense when the only option is shelling out £1000+ for a second hand piece of gear. But £250-£300?

    2. idk man… i just got a Roland TR-8S and its incredibly fun… feels like Roland really nailed it with that one. I get that its more expensive than this RD-9, but it also does way more and is not limited to 909 sounds and I suspect its a superior performance instrument (faders? yes please). The workflow for the 8 variations per pattern is so so good. Anyways, just extremely happy with the Roland TR-8S and unless you HAVE to have analog circuits (lol), if you have the extra cash, its prob a better choice than this thing.

  3. I’m actually really looking forward to this.
    I know, it’s a Behringer. People will hate on it.
    I actually had a Roland Boutique TR-09, and while it sounded awesome, it was far too small and the lack of actual outputs (other than via USB) meant it wasn’t for me.
    Can’t wait to try this.

    1. Does it copy the 909 design?

      Yes and no. It copies the 909’s analog circuits, but it also adds new stuff, like the Deepmind 12 did.

      Also – Behringer can’t legally copy the audio samples from the original 909, so their version can’t be a full clone, and won’t sound exactly the same as a real 909.

      Does it copy the 909 look?

      No – the layout is similar, but Behringer clearly is trying to avoid getting sued by Roland.

      Does it copy the 909 name or branding?

      No – it uses a generic name.

      It’s not that Behringer didn’t want to do a 909 knockoff – just look at the RD-8, which is an obvious 808 knockoff. But Roland has intellectual property for the 909 that makes a knockoff tricky to do. Why do you think it took Behringer 4 years to put out their copy, when they had prototypes in 2018?

    2. Enough bitching about calling a knockoff a ‘knockoff’.

      Everybody agrees the Behringer Switch is a knockoff of the Arturia Keystep.

      Everybody knows most of Behringer’s lineup is knockoffs.

      Behringer has even said that their strategy is to make knockoffs. Their strategy is to copy competitor’s products as closely as possible and have their lawyers advise them on how to keep from getting sued:

      To quote them:

      “We are very cautious when it comes to our follower approach and employ expert intellectual property firms to ensure our products stay within the boundaries of the law; we are committed to never intentionally infringe on other companies’ intellectual property.”

      The Deepmind 12 and the Neutron are NOT knockoffs, and they are probably the best synths that Behringer has ever made.

      But Behringer figured out they could sell a hell of a lot more Minimoog knockoffs than Neutrons. Their original designs have zero street cred.

      And Behringer can’t escape the bed that they’ve made for themselves. All people want from Behringer is cheap knockoffs! You can’t even imagine what a cool original Behringer design would be. But it would be cool if they made a cheap EMS Synthi!!!

      You can bitch about people calling Behringer’s synths ‘knockoffs’ – but get real. Knockoffs are what people want from Behringer. And they’r all people want from Behringer.

    1. Nice to see them finally commit to a release date.

      But tbh, a 909 clone seemed a lot more interesting four years ago than it does today.

    1. That’s what we always aim for. Controversial subjects just always inspire polarized responses.

      Checkout the comments on our early coverage of iOS synths sometime. People were sure we were shilling for Apple or were just Android haters because we treated iOS as a serious platform for music making.

    1. I hate most of the the 909 sound even before i knew whats a 909 or a drum machine.
      but i do like syro… this guy can make me love everything i hate

  4. Jazzed about this when it was announced, but now kinda of ‘meh’.

    Time for some original designs from Behringer and Roland both.

  5. I very much like the RD-9! Becasue it is an evolutionary update of a superb drum machine.
    It is rly like with Guitars in a way, they get better by “cloning-evolution” but keep the core classic design.

    Yes behringer made some mistakes, bad jokes and bad marketing decisions …
    However few companies that size are free from such sins.
    After all they do what ppl asked for a long time – Bringing back calssics updating and downpricing them at the same time!

    Also there are many companies big and small that have done “909 clones” and “909 alikes”. So making “your” 909 can be seen pretty mauch as business as usual.

    Confessing im a total TR 909 nerd! Best drum machine ever made imho!

  6. Personally not a fan (anymore) of the 909. Like the great Tom Ellard once said: sounds too much like wood in the bathroom.
    Uli has once given the hint that the RD9 release would come together with (possible) a multi-effect unit. I am waiting for the once leaked incredible Maelstrom concept. For years now. Let’s hope it still comes

  7. Funny comment considering Robert Racic positively rinsed the sounds on loads of Sevs records, but I know Tom savors a grumpy bon mot. Talking about SH in a Behringer thread comments section – didn’t see that coming.

  8. If it sounds good, it is good! And cheaper than clones already out. Even the recent MC707 and other Roland devices can’t offer multiple outputs, which I find is not professional. Not even Rolands boutique lineup, which honestly are not that bad, can’t really make the mark. They’re just rather small, fiddly and lack a real PSU.

    However, I do already see lots of recent Behringer products like this already up for second-hand sale, including their 303 and 808 style products. It’s already not that expensive. What gives? What does that say?

  9. If I were to pick a side between pro-Behringer and anti-Behringer, I’d probably fall within the latter most of the time, but the reason these debates endlessly run in circles is because at the core is a much larger debate around how the synth world is situated within the larger context of global capitalism in the modern era.

    This is the era of Foxconn suicide nets. The era of Uber/Lyft spending $180 million on Prop 22 to gigify to economy. The era of private equity parasitically sucking every last drop of value from businesses and real estate, pushing to evict people in a pandemic. I think it’s fair to say that we in the synth community generally hate that shit, and have thus wanted to keep the synth world in a protected enclave away from it. “Moog is about PEOPLE!” (etc., etc.).

    But here we are.

    Is it Behringer? Yeah, it is. But I think we’d be fooling ourselves to say that if Behringer wasn’t doing it, that another company wouldn’t come in and fill that spot in the market. By all means, if you want to boycott Behringer then feel free to do it, but if there’s an immorality about it that bothers you, I’d encourage you to zoom out and think more broadly about these issues. Perhaps there’s a way you can get politically active? Perhaps there are opportunities for mutual aid or anti-eviction work in your community? Just some questions to consider, because I think the core issue here extends beyond the synth world, and beyond Behringer specifically.

  10. I already have a Roland TR-8S, but I’ve been looking forward towards the RD-9. As it is impossible for me to own an original 909 as its way way out of budget for me. Yeah I’m a musician on a budget, but you can still have a lot of fun with budget gear.

  11. I would like to offer a tip to other RD-8 owners and potential RD-9 buyers. I have an old Mackie Onyx 12 mixer with eight mono inputs and I wanted some separation for the outputs for the RD-8 . Quite simply I purchased a multicore cable which had TRS stereo jacks at one end split into two mono at the other. I plugged the mono ends into the RD-8 outputs , you can double up the open and closed hats on one channel, also the snare and clap on another channel and so on. and the TRS end into the balanced input on the mixer. I now have plenty of options for stereo production of the RD-8 using only four channels on my mixer I still have some of the kit coming out of the main output of the RD to take advantage of the filter. I only use four channels for the RD because the other four are taken up with a Deep Mind 6, an MS-1, a TD-3 and most recently an Odyssey and I’m very happy with them all.

  12. You don’t need a mixer at all, simply a sound card with 4 inputs, route bass, snare and clap to their own inputs and everything else to one input, if u need to process a sound from the mixed one input, silence it when recording and record it separately. I’m guessing if you play out live, you will have some sort of mixer anyway. Happy producing my friends ???

  13. I already own the RD-6 and the RD-8, and I’m thankful Behringer made them possible. I also own (among other vintage drum machines) a Yamaha RX 5, which is a veritable Table Beast of separate outputs, and even a small on-board part mixer. I would not (willingly) part with any of these. I agree that the 909 overall sounds like “wood in a bathroom” but I do love the timbre of its toms.

    For those of you who are wondering why anyone in their right mind would want one, a classic analog drum machine with separate outputs into a mixing desk with aux sends is how you get a drum machine to come alive, and turn it into a real-time musical performance instrument capable of laying down finished bangers in a fraction of the time it takes on a DAW. This is why there’s still a market for these!

  14. I see a lot of weird comments about this being released. I own the RD8 and I LOVE it. I fell in love with dance music way late in the game, but I LOVE to play live as opposed to just DJing “perfect” tracks. So I am STOKED to own a clone of the 909. I can tell the difference between the analog sound and sampled 808 hits. It’s less digitization and more “organic” feeling overall. Not too hard to use a separate mixer and run its stereo outs into your interface. All you really need is a high pass on everything but the toms and kick. I personally don’t think it matters what you use or how “stereo” your mix is. Some clubs only have mono still. If your mix is good in mono thats way better than having a pretty stereo mix that fails on the dance floor when only the center audience can hear the full spectrum. At the end of the day it’s the actual music that matters. the feeling the track gives. we still have pros and newbies today making hits based on this alone.

  15. So it’s now 13th October 2021 and still everywhere in the UK is out of stock and pre-order only. By the time we get a re-stock they will probably have released MK II . Which leads me the question who is going to buy (like the RD-8) a MK I once this happens. What a waste and carbon footprint these unwanted Drum Machines will leave.

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