Back at the start of June 2021 Behringer released a short teaser video hinting that they had yet another drum machine lined up and ready for launch. That teaser generated a lot of wild speculation about what form their next drum machine would take but Behringer have since put an end to the rumours with the announcement that they are about to drop the RD-8 MKII, a sequel to their critically acclaimed Roland TR-808 clone, the RD-8 Rhythm Designer (to give it its full name).
Behringer – never a company afraid to blow their own trumpet – are confidently boasting that the RD-8 MK II has been redesigned from the ground-up to offer a significant improvement over the original hardware so what are the key differences between the RD-8 and RD-8 MK II?
The biggest difference between the RD-8 Mk II and the original RD-8 is enhanced circuit board design for improved phase/noise response and the inclusion of a new chip based on the 40-year old BA662 OTA chip, as found in the original TR-808.
What this means in terms us non-geeks can understand is that the RD-8 now sounds more like a real TR-808 than ever before (and it was already sounding pretty good!)
Is the RD-8 MK 2 more expensive than the RD-8 MK I?
While Behringer have taken steps to improve the sound of the RD-8 MK II there is no such thing as a free lunch so a price hike is perhaps only to be expected. That said, it looks like the RD-8 MK II is currently available on various music gear sites for the same price as the original RD-8.
Should you upgrade from a RD-8 MK I to a RD-8 MK II? If you’re the owner of an original RD-8 MK I then it is likely the resale value of your machine has just dropped (sorry!). In my opinion, if you already own an RD-8 MK I, and you are happy with its sound, then it is not worth paying out more to get hold of a new RD-8 MK 2.
The arrival of the RD-8 MK II is good news if you was thinking about buying the RD-8 MK I but put it off – you might be able to pick up a MK I for a bargain price over the next few months! Anything in the sub-200 dollar region – roughly 130 dollars less than a brand new RD-8 MK 2 is going to cost you – represents fantastic value for money.
Behringer RD-8 MK I VS RD-8 MK II
If you demand the most authentic TR-808 sounds then the RD-8 MK 2 is the model to go for.
Is the Behringer RD-8 MK II Battery operated?
Neither the RD-8 MK I nor the RD-8 MK II are battery operated.
Can the RD-8 MK II import samples?
The RD-8 MK II is a TR-808 style analog drum machine only and not a sampler. If you are looking for a drum machine that can sample then check out my article on drum machines that can import samples.
Behringer RD-8 MK II Key Specs:
- Analog Drum Machine with 16 Drum Sounds, 64 Step Sequencer, Wave Designer and Dual-Mode Filter.
- Optimized circuit design with replicated BA662 chip for enhanced sound quality.
- Advanced sequencing and beat making options including step repeat, note repeat, real-time triggering and live step-overdubbing.
- Storage for up to 256 patterns and 16 songs.
- Integrated FX bus.
- MIDI interface (1x In, 1x Out, 1x Thru).
- Headphone Connector (6.3 mm Jack).