Behringer RD808


hmm not so sure about that. I consider the og roland units to be classics, but they’re priced out of my reach considering how little I will actually end up using them.

But hey, decksavers are made for even lesser stuff so there’s a chance they might do it.


I think you’re right that they’re considered classics because of their cultural significance. but young people are allowed to appreciate culture too. A lot of young people are making house, techno, trap, hiphop. These sounds are as culturally relevant as ever, you don’t need nostalgia to appreciate that.


I could see it becoming a classic if Behringer is forced to stop making them for some reason, but who knows.

It’s interesting that the price is similar to what it was back in the day (non-inflation adjusted). I was just listening to an interview with Ad Rock and Mike D on Stretch & Bobbito’s podcast (What’s Good).

Ad Rock was saying that he bought his 808 for $250 and it became the “house drum machine” for Def Jam back in the early days. The same one was used on the Beastie Boy tracks as well as on tunes like Peter Piper.

For me, nostalgia sake alone, it is worth having an analog 808 clone even if it’s something I have to stick off to the side for space reasons and just break out when I need to. Hell, for years analog kick drum sounds alone were big money.

Maybe somebody will make a nice skin for it to cover up the Behringer logo for people that don’t like it. Personally, I’m impressed with how classy it looks, not like some of the crap that Roland is doing now.

Personally, I’m happy that somebody is keeping some of the old tech alive and affordable, and I hope he moves on to tubes and tape technology next. A cheap updated tape multitrack would be sick.

To be honest, I would not be surprised if all the boutique companies are outsourcing production to him in a few years. Nobody else is crazy enough to try to do some of this stuff with a full-scale modern megafactory.

Let’s not forget, many a good company started out making sketchy clones, even companies like Yamaha with their “lawsuit” guitars in the 70s or Fender Japan.


never forget…


What’s mind blowing is the TR-808 was originally introduced with a list price of $1195.00 – and that’s in 1980’s dollars. To have the RD-808 at $299 is pretty amazing and that includes dealer markup. If it really were a money grab from Behringer they could have easy done 2x that and I still think would sell a huge number. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Behringer is doing some sort of altruistic move, it’s a business and they’ll create profit, but I don’t think it’s the cloning cash grab many are making it out to be. They really are making it affordable and accessible to a wide market.


Also, let’s not forget that the fastest growing musical instrument markets in the world are in emerging economies, places where $1,000 instruments are not an option. Once these hit the used market, I could see people bumping these everywhere from Africa to Bangladesh. Let’s hope we get a lot of good music from this wave of cheap clones.


I honestly just want an lxr sonic potions drum machine. I’m afraid to get the kit and no one seems to have it up for sell complete in the US
I might buckle and get it eventually. It sounds dope, but the 808 is also neat, I almost exclusively use 808 samples to mangle up. Haha and those outs?? That’s spicy


I built (and sold) one. It’s an easy kit like most things based on a digital platform. Don’t be afraid.


what does one benefit from using an actual 808 rather than loading up OT or any sampler with 808 samples? or patterning 2 even


You’ll need a lot of samples to get the same range of sounds and you’ll need to do careful programming to simulate the way voices interact, envelopes don’t retrigger from zero if steps are close together, and the way accents are implemented, for example.


oh cool I didn’t know that. i’ve never really been into drum machines, aren’t accents the equivalent of p-locking velocity? prob something I need to actually use to understand the hype. I always thought the individual sounds were relatively limited


Roughly, except that accents can have subtle influence on other parameters than just volume.


I don’t normally link to search papers, but in this case I highly recommend reading at least the introduction of A Physically-Informed, Circuit-Bendable, Digital Model of the Roland TR-808 Bass Drum Circuit fully, and then skim through the remainder of the paper to appreciate how this circuit differs from how you’d build a kick drum patch using an analogue subtractive synth, or even a modular.

For further reading, also see the cymbal and the cowbell.


That’s because in an 808 accents don’t modify the volume of the signal coming out of the circuits (which is controlled by pots wired directly into the audio path), but by increasing the voltage level of the trigger signal that goes into the voice circuits.


this can be easily programmed on the AR :wink:


But is not inherent, and that’s why the originals are still desirable. Not everyone wants to program


it can…in a way that still won’t sound remotely as good as on a TR-808. I’ll still never get over my crushing disappointment with the analogue engines of the AR. I wanted to love that thing. But there you go.


yeah, that’s like how I can make acid stuff with my modular, except it still is a noodle nightmare. #momspaghetti


For things like 1/16th note patterns, as @t mentioned, the envelopes trigger differently.
The result is a less static playing of the sound. When you compare a 16th note hat pattern on a sampler, using a single sample, versus the real deal analog drum machine, the difference is striking. The sample has the sound of a CD skipping, as there is no variation with each hit. LFOing some parameters helps but it doesn’t get you there 100%

So, one thing you can do with OT is set up sample chains where all the samples in a chain are of the same instrument. Record 16 different hits of the same 808 hi hat, put them in a chain, and during playback, use a random LFO for sample slice select. aka “round robin”

It’s a nitty gritty detail, but worth it if the sound of a static sample annoys you.

And that’s just one characteristic of the sound of an analog drum machine.
When I am on my Acidlab Drumatix, programming closed hats, open hats, and both on the same step (which produces a unique sound) plus working their decays, plus working the accent knob, all at the same time, you just can’t mimimc that with anything else. Especially with a bit of swing added in.

So a lot of folks are hyped about the RD808, because to get this in a $299 drum box is a great value.

The Cyclone TT-606 was $299 for many months, and I bought my second unit during that time, it also has the accent/analog/swing funk in spades.


I’d like to add that the TR-08 and also the TR-8 and TR-8s model the TR-808’s behavior perfectly, as does Roland’s VST plugin. You don’t need an analogue clone for this.