TR-909 Inspired Behringer RD-9 Drum Machine ‘Finally Shipping’

Behringer has announced that their RD-9 Rhythm Designer – a new drum machine design, based on the classic Roland TR-909, is now shipping:

“RD-9 is now finally shipping. We’re sorry that it has taken much longer than we had anticipated but Covid plus the current global supply chain challenges didn’t make it easier.

Compared to the earlier version, the RD-9 has been completely redesigned with many new features added. We’re very proud of the RD-9 and can’t wait to hear all your feedback.

We also like to thank the many wonderful beta testers who helped us with valuable feature suggestions and to ensure the product is now in perfect shape.

Please be aware that it’ll take some time to fill the huge backorders we have on hand. Thank you for all your patience and support.”

The RD-9 was originally announced in 2017, as the RD-909 drum machine. We shared an early look at the drum machine in 2018, with a preview from Knobcon:

At that time, Behringer was still calling it the RD-909 and positioning it as more of a 909 clone.

In late 2018, company head Uli Behringer announced that the RD-909 would be coming in early 2019, with a target price of $299. The company delayed the release multiple times, though, attributing the most recent delay to the MIDI problems that users encountered with the company’s RD-8 drum machine.

In January of this year, Behringer re-introduced the drum machine as the RD-9, and shared this official overview:

The Behringer RD-9 Drum Machine is clearly inspired by the Roland TR-909, but it updates the design with modern features like USB MIDI; incorporates some standard mods, like additional tuning parameters; and adds effects like the Wave Designer and a filter.

It also offers ‘Authentic’ and ‘Enhanced’ modes:

Features:

  • 11 drum sounds with additional parameters and global accent capability
  • 64-step drum sequencer supports poly-meter, step-repeat, note-repeat, real-time triggering, track-mute and track-solo
  • 10 independent analog outputs for external processing or recording your rhythms as multi-track audio
  • Integrated FX bus features Wave Designer and dual-mode Analog Filter with per voice assignment
  • Live recording, editing and playback of analog filter cutoff via automation
  • Storage of up to 16 songs and 256 patterns, all of which can be imported/exported during playback for unlimited songs and patterns
  • Pattern Mode allows arrangement of patterns into full songs and setting number of repeats per song part
  • Song Mode allows chaining songs together for live sets and expanded compositions
  • Auto Scroll feature enables improvisation in all modes
  • MIDI In/Out/ Thru plus USB implementation for synchronization and connection to external devices
  • Sync options include USB, MIDI, Clock and Internal
  • Encoder for editing parameters such as Tempo, Swing, Probability, Flam and Random
  • LED display for easy editing of program parameters
  • Headphone and main outputs on 1/4″ connectors

Pricing and Availability

The RD-9 is shipping now, priced at $349 USD.

Note: While the company has announced that the RD-9 is shipping, it’s likely to take months to become widely available, because of backorders and current manufacturing limitations.

45 thoughts on “TR-909 Inspired Behringer RD-9 Drum Machine ‘Finally Shipping’

  1. Wow people should do their research,

    The 909 was made famous by Chicago House!
    Not 808 State, Not Daft Punk and surely Not Saddonna!
    These people just wanted to copy Chicago House, The real House music!

    Get your facts straight!

    1. Well, although the 909 was used in Chicago, it was the early Detroit pioneers that made the 909 ‘famous’. for want of a better word.
      The Chicago sound was very much 808, 707, 727, 606. I can think of hundreds of first wave Chicago with those machines, and will struggle off the top of my head to think of one that was a 909 driven track.
      The Detroit sound was VERY much 909.

      Just ‘getting the facts straight’.

      1. To get your fact straight! Like a hot comb….

        Well from living in Chicago doing the house music days lots of 909, 606 some 808. I will give you points about Detroit but you are wrong Detroit was also very 707

        The point being Behringer made an ad of misinformation and highlighted white artist as being the music innovators of this sound and use of the machine. That’s my point

        Now everyone can do a Jeff Mills set

        1. @ VJONEXX electro-industrial and EBM pioneering duo Skinny Puppy. Their ‘Remission’ mini-album was released in 1984, just months after the 909 had gone on sale. It’s the earliest example of a 909 on an official release we know of. Alot of the old school Chicago acid house guys were listening to early industrial bands. Even on the Detroit side Jeff Mills was in an industrial band called Final Cut.

        2. What few people talk about is how much Detroit musicians loaned from english bands like Human League which among other machines used a Roland system 100 and Linndrum for a lot of their groundbreaking beats and songs.

    2. The dance musics of Europe and the USA are not intrinsically connected. They were bought forming at around the same time based around the same cheap and available Japanese synths and drum machines. As time progressed influences from both sides of the Atlantic obviously met and fused and formed new genres but to say that Chicago was the only place in the world where dance music was being made with drum machines at that time is just false

      1. > The dance musics of Europe and the USA are not intrinsically connected

        I’m not sure what you mean by that, but there’s a ton of mutual influence for the past 200 years.

        Personally I’d trace a lot of electronic dance music of the past 45 years to Giorgio Moroder, especially Donna Summer’s I Feel Love.

    1. The 909’s hihat, ride and crash are all sampled. Samples are protected by copyright. If you use the original samples you will be sued and you will lose. So every legal unlicensed clone has to use similar but not exact.

      1. The 909 crash is based on a recording of a Paiste Sound Formula Thin Crash. It may have been a 16″ diameter cymbal, though I’ve read various sources that claimed it was an 18″ cymbal.

        (Has Paiste ever sued Roland..?) 😀

  2. I’ve chosen RE909. Sorry B, you’re late to the party. Better luck next time.
    (dont bother calling, im out of office forever)

  3. Still mulling it over but I think that my contempt for this product will focus on the font choice for the front panel

  4. Fortunately, there are so many good simulations of 808s, and lots of sample sets of 909’s that having a hardware version from B-word isn’t really all that necessary. But for people who are familiar with the original, and/or who would enjoy having the knobs & buttons, this seems like a useful item– if you can get over the stink.

    1. Seeing vids of Jeff Mills jamming out on a 909 was enough to make me want something like the original interface that could be “played”

  5. I won’t even pay $25 for a RD-9. Cheap copies do not satisfy. Learn from my mistake. I should have saved up for something better, but I got my TD-3 lime last week for about $110 US. It is a flimsy Chinese made POS budget synth, so the plastic is paper-thin, the buttons are wiggly and the squelch sound is only a cheap tease of what the roland TB-03 sounds like. I’ll probably never use it because its feels and sounds so junky. I was dissapointed but not surprised. No more B-word products. They’re junk. I am $110 in the hole and still need to spend another $400 to get the real TB-03 from Roland.

    1. If on a budget, the Bass Bot 303 from Analogoc is a pretty nice 303 clone. Sounds better than the Behringer…I have even had two Behringer TD-3s just to see if one was defective, no…they just sound that bad.

      1. if it’s sound like shit it’s sound like shit, no matter the cost, you can get it for free or sombody can pay you to have it, it’s still shit.

  6. I bought a Roland TR-8S last year. It’s an absolutely brilliant drum machine that’s capable of 808/909 sounds and far more. Not sure why one would buy one an RD-9 instead unless it’s really inexpensive.

    1. jd-xi drums sound just like tr8 and tr8s.
      difference: jd-xi comes with excellently programmed, ready-to-use preset patterns.
      both tr8 and tr8s suck in that regard.

  7. China is facing mounting criticism from around the world over its treatment of the Muslim Uighur population in the north-western region of Xinjiang. Has anyone asked Uli what his position on that matter is? I´d like to know it.

    1. Does it matter what his opinion is? The USA has faced decades of mounting criticism for its treatment of migrant and illegal workers and their invasions of countries like Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Vietnam. I still buy American products.

  8. Wait when did synthtopia end the “knockoff” term for all things Behringer? I’d still call it a “clone” but thanks for listening!

    1. We use the term ‘knockoff’ where a product is clearly designed to be a cheap copy of someone else’s design.

      Some take this as criticism or bias against Behringer. But ‘knockoff’ is clearly the appropriate term for a product like the Behringer Swing. Behringer has even stated that they tried to copy the Arturia Keystep as closely as legally possible.

      And ‘knockoff’ is clearly NOT the appropriate term for original Behringer designs, like the Neutron or the Deepmind.

      The RD-9 is obviously somewhere between the two extremes of an obvious knockoff and a clearly original design.

      But with the RD-9, you don’t see Behringer using classic knockoff tropes, like copying the look of another company’s product with minor changes (RD-8 vs TR-808); copying the name of another company’s product, with minor changes (Behringer ‘Monopoly’ vs Korg ‘Mono/Poly)’; or making clearly cost-driven design compromises (using a simulated spring reverb on the 2600).

      The article also makes clear that the RD-9 takes a lot of inspiration from the 909, but is lot of design differences.

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