Behringer RD-8 MKII Now “The Most Authentic Analog Recreation Ever Produced”

Behringer today introduced the Rhythm Designer RD-8 MKII, an updated version of their Roland TR-808 knockoff that they call “the most authentic analog recreation ever produced.”

The company says that the RD-8 MKII uses Behringer’s clone of the Roland BA662 VCA chip, introduced last year, to more accurately recreate the sound of the original 808.

Here’s the official Behringer RD-8 MKII intro video:

Here’s what they have to say about the changes in the RD-8 MKII:

“This drum machine has been re-designed from the ground up with carefully selected components and circuitry, which have dramatically improved the sound of the voices as well as noise and phase response across both the main and individual outputs.

Most importantly, our engineers – together with our Coolaudio semiconductor sister company – successfully recreated the 40-year-old BA662 chip, which is instrumental for the authentic voices of this instrument.

We’re proud to deliver the most authentic and accurate analog drum machine recreation ever produced.”

Pricing and Availability

The Behringer RD-8 MKII is available now for $329 USD.

36 thoughts on “Behringer RD-8 MKII Now “The Most Authentic Analog Recreation Ever Produced”

    1. Haha. People are remembering a drawback of analog synths: you can’t do firmware updates on the analog circuitry, and hardware revisions are needed as chip availability changes.

    1. This seems to be just a redesign of the analogue drum voices. Which means it will sound different but all performance features are the same. All the hardware bar the new voice chips are the same. Meaning any firmware with “new features” should technically run on both Mk 1 and 2

      What would have been really useful in a Mk 2 is a stereo out and panning control for each voice. So you could have stereo mixes without having to use a whole load of individual outputs and a mixer

  1. I’m no 808 expert because I’ve never been able to get one, though I have many different samples and soft synths. I don’t know how accurate this is, but I do know that it sounds damned good.

  2. “We’re proud to deliver the most authentic and accurate copy of someone else’s design that’s ever been made.”

  3. … roland refuses to do much analogue things anymore. They hired malekko for cloning their system 500 and put a meager analogue synth into the “JD” synths but never brought back tb303, “the” two drummachines or where wiling to do a completely new analogue synth.

    Other options for analogue 808/909 would only be overpriced originals or other clones, some beeing DIY and with hardly any enhancements.

    So

    I like the behringer drummachines recreations very much. They are definately huge updates to the originals.
    Someone had to do it properly or it would never happen!

    Actually not looking for a rd-8(08) but rd-9(09) – the only thing worrying me now is: will i have to buy another one in a few months because MK2 ?

    1. The Roland TR-8S is a monster. There’s no need to limit users to a recreation of a single analog device when technology exists to model them and mix them with samples and even FM synthesis. I know lots of collectors are going to buy copies of the Behringer 808 & 909 as a pair, but it makes far more sense to own a TR-8S that can cover their sonic territory and more.

    2. Roland did the SE-02 – a collab with Studio Electronics. It’s monophonic but it has presets. I think that should count towards their efforts. 😉

  4. behringer really tapped into some serious stuff when they started channeling roland

    and now its like pure chaos

    so thats good

    isnt it

    ^_^

  5. I like the 808’s character, but its been overused for so long, I lean into everything else. I prefer a larger sound set. Tuning & effecting ethnic percussion into new shapes seems much more interesting, for example.

    That’s not to slag a classic. I had a CR-78 and TR-707 at one time and they were great e-band members. Roland has gotten that right more than anyone else. Knockoffs are part of the new normal, but if this was a draw for me, I’d go for Roland’s TR-08.

  6. why wouldn’t they just do it proper with the first version? this is why I am just going to build the re-808 when it comes out from dinsync

  7. Long story…

    Back in the mid 80’s, our drummer spent more and more time with his new girlfriend and so couldn’t make band practice much to the huge annoyance of the rest of the band… things came to a head one day and I blew up and effectively said he (drummer) can F-OFF and I would go get us a drum machine… I went to the local music shop and they had a second hand, real-deal, genuine, mint condition TR808 selling for $200… that was a lot of money for me back then (still is!) so I wanted to try it first… I’d read a bit about it but never heard it… it looked big and impressive so hopes were high I’d found a loyal replacement… we plugged it all up, hit ‘play’ and…..

    aaarrgghh…. that sounds like complete ##$$%$###$#$ … it doesn’t even sound like F-ING drums…. it sounds like the drums on my crappy Casio…. aaaaaarrrrrrggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    I didn’t buy the 808… kissed and made up with our drummer… he made more time for the band… married his girlfriend (still together)… she became our defacto manager/agony aunt/music critic… lived happily ever after except that if I had bought the 808, I’d be sitting on a goldmine now…

    Can’t look at an 808 (or clone) without thinking about those old days.

    1. In any case, it sounds like you made the right decision back then. don’t look back and be happy . You have won your friend back. That’s worth more than a TR808 goldmine.
      Back in the 80’s I also played the TR808 but found it very characteristic but also limiting. So I sold it. A while ago I felt homesick and bought the TR8s. Like someone already mentioned it is a monster. But in the end I wasn’t really using the TR808 sounds and its workflow didn’t do it for me.
      So I made someone else happy with it, won’t look back, and won’t regret it 🙂

  8. Ya, so the BA662 was used only in the 808’s clap circuit VCA… So that, and some black step buttons instead of the white ones, and you want to call it MKII? Hmm….

  9. Don’t tell me they still didn’t put MIDI velocity on it yet? thats a BIG creative opportunity missed
    Also the BD decay is not long enough! I have an original, some were like this but it should be set so you can do long boom sounds, that’s a big oversight also.
    apart from that its great…

  10. If Uli made an even half-decent knockoff of the Roland Handsonic drum, I’d become a colossal hypocrite, because first I’d buy one and then bitch when it spat out a spring & died 3 months later. The way things have been going, I figure everyone needs to beat the f*ck out of a hand drum at least 3x a week. Heh.

  11. Everybody take an educated guess how long it will take until the mkII will be superceded by the mkIII. …a year? …six months?

    Maybe Behringer should just adopt the way Apple, Gibson or Fender label their products and just go with “RD-8 2020”, “RD-8 2021”, “RD-8 2022” (you get the picture…)

    1. really hesitating to get a rd-9 now, allthough i rly wanted just that: an affordable 909 update …

  12. I’ve got a TR-808.

    I’ve got a RD-8 mk1.

    I’d get a RD-8 mk2.

    Neither RD sounds like the TR.

    But fuck it, they all sound good.

  13. take out the digital wave designer.. which lengthens the hits and makes it louder.. then talk about 808s price dropping.. doesn’t that make it a digital machine..?

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