ReBirth, the Roland groovebox emulation that helped launch the popularity of soft synths, is now on Apple’s mobile devices for US$6.99. (I woke up to a note from Propellerheads’ CEO Ernst left in my inbox overnight, so thanks, Ernst, for the tip!)

This is not the native iPad version MusicRadar predicted after an interview with Ernst. For now, iPads scale up the iPhone interface. But a version with “native” resolution for the tablet seems a no-brainer down the road.

Feature list:

2 x TB-303 Bassline synths
TR-808 Drum Machine
TR-909 Drum Machine
Pattern Controlled Filter
Distortion unit
Compressor
Mixer
5 user mods
Pattern sequencing
Full automation
Combine patterns to build songs
Share songs with other ReBirth users

Full details: http://rebirthapp.com/

I have a few questions about this tool that I hope to get answered. I do wonder, for one, whether people in Sweden have some sort of superhuman vision that allows them to see incredibly tiny (ahem) user interface widgets. I’ll have to test this on my iPod touch. On the other hand, the faux hardware knobs and buttons actually seem to me to make more sense on a touch device than they did with a mouse, so that element could be a lot of fun. In a way, I’m sort of happy that they did a direct port like this, visually – the only way to tell if it makes sense for you is to give it a try. I’ll reserve judgment until I do.

Updated: I did get a chance to verify the export workflow, and unfortunately… there is none. Ernst confirms:

You can import files from the Rebirth Song archive and from your computer (via a web page), but not export to anything but iPhones.

That’s a deal-breaker for me personally, because I like the handheld as a way to sketch ideas for the desktop, not just via audio. Hopefully that’s something that can be addressed. I’m sure for the way other folks work it may be less of an issue. Stay tuned; I’m putting together an overview of all the various musical apps in terms of how you could integrate them with your creative process on your laptop or studio machine.

Synthtopia has some good thoughts on why this release matters. You can tell from the exclamation points what the review may be:
ReBirth Is Back! Turns Your iPhone, iPad Into A Techno Studio!

I’m also interested to know more about that sharing workflow, and how you might use this in a studio, beyond just connecting the audio out headphone jack of your device.

Of course, if you don’t have an Apple mobile, you can still get the original ReBirth for free, for Windows, meaning various tablets and netbooks can run this, too. (It’s ReBirth Everywhere! Speaking of which, I still need to try to make it run in WINE on Linux – anyone done that?)

In the meantime, enjoy; have a great weekend, everyone. I’m back to notating a conventional score, using paper, a pen, and a laptop. Kids, ask your parents.

Updated: questions answered.
ReBirth, Reborn, as Synths in your Hand: Q+A with Ernst Nathorst-Böös

  • http://www.suecae.com Suecae

    "I have a few questions about this tool that I hope to get answered. I do wonder, for one, whether people in Sweden have some sort of superhuman vision that allows them to see incredibly tiny (ahem) user interface widgets."

    The answer is of course a resounding yes. We have managed to keep this a relativly little known secret for years. Unfortunatly this blog post now exposes us to the world. :/ ;)

  • Michael Coelho

    Rebirth was the first non-DAW audio software that I bought. It totlally amazed me when I first saw it. I had many fun hours playing with it and the many excellent user mods that were made for it. I'm downloading it now on my iPhone. I'm planning on getting an iPad soon (maybe today?), so a native iPad version would be great. Props to the Props!

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Suecae: Ha! Knew it. I thought things looked clearer in Stockholm just spending a few days there. It's probably your superior air quality. Well, Propellerhead, Teenage Engineering, if you ever need a blogger…

  • griotspeak

    SO HOT. i may buy this before an iphone. i support this completely.

    that said, iPad version?

  • http://www.myspace.com/plyci Plyci

    just got it!

    its great! being a mac user who does not have the ability run rebirth this is a godsend!

  • http://www.tay0.com tay0

    ReBirth, ReCycle and Cubase 4 on OS9 – made a whole lot of mad ruckus that way. I've actually been considering adding an old iBook to my current rig just to run ReBirth live. I know you can get to all those sounds in other ways, but it's something having those little 303 emulators and that distortion unit…

  • http://www.martin-brinkmann.de martin brinkmann

    rebirth runs fine under wine, though i never got it to

    work with an iso instead of the original cd.

    so you need a cd-drive.

    another alternative is a virtual machine with an

    old win9x. or maybe a vm running linux running

    wine (to get around the iso problem) ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/djpetros Petros Martirosian

    Does anyone know if it supports multi touch?

  • eric

    @peter: According to your flickrstream you seem to have visited Stockholm in the coldest season ever in man history…so I understand it was clear to you…:)

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Martin – thanks, I'll give that a try. It seems an ideal solution for netbooks. (I've been quite impressed at how much better, at least in terms of my perception, a vanilla Linux variant runs on the Atom compared to Windows 7.)

    @Petros: I'll check.

    @eric – yes, that's correct. It's possible the ice in my eyes was focusing my eyesight. ;) I still had a great time, though.

  • http://xfader.com regend

    i have mixed feelings about this but i'm only playing devil's advocate here. Re-Birth gave me hours of fun at work when it was a free download (or maybe shareware?). i think it's one of the greatest pieces of music software that has ever existed. now that i have the praise over with, i get that with an iPhone you can be in a train or plane and create your patterns and then email them. you essentially have creativity on the go. i like this idea and all the software that is coming with these new devices. i have to ask the question: when will the audio be up to some professional standard? many years ago Yamaha had a concept in their PDA music device. Yamaha actually lead a strong move towards mobile devices to the point of introducing the MU759 Sound Generator IC for Mobile Phones and PDAs.

    is there any vision for creating quality audio components to match the exciting software? i'm just asking…thanks

  • Cody

    I ran absynth with wine in ubuntu natively, even supported my midi keyboard.

    I won't buy this until I can be insured that the native ipad app will be a free upgrade. Also, if I do jailbreak, I'm wondering if I can mod the drum machine samples (then again, thanks to cdm, I own sunvox!)

  • http://abletonlife.com Ryan

    Great news for the iPhone community! I can't wait for a mobile version of Ableton Live! Maybe the ability to rewire ReBirth with Ableton on the iPhone?

    Haha, maybe that's asking for too much.

    -Ryan

  • Jack

    Peff says that it's the same audio quality as Rebirth on a computer was. Is that believable? I thought the main problem with iphones (in audio programming terms) was that they weren't powerful enough to run decent quality programs…

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  • Birds Use Stars

    Everybody needs a 303!

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Birds Use Stars: Don't you mean every Nun needs a 303? http://www.flickr.com/photos/pantufla/22810033/

    @Jack: Never underestimate the ARM. Seriously. A lot of the kinds of audio processing we do is more than possible on these chips.

  • Birds Use Stars

    @Peter Kirn: If God is a DJ, the nuns are synth programers?

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  • eS

    @Petros: yes, it supports multi-touch! :-)

    I'm on the train to work. Downloaded it and instantly found myself in nostalgia-land! :-D It was a wonderful piece of software and still is. Thank you Propellerhead, but don't bother doing an iPad version: an iPad, with its bigger screen and faster processor, needs Reason!!! :-D

  • Karl

    oh-my-god: I just went through my old software CDs the other day and proudly touched that original silver Rebirth Cd package. I remember how excited I was back then, and feel that same spirit now that I can use it on the road. Thanks to the programers (also for the good price for all this work…).

  • leslie

    Love It to death… Simply BRILLIANT!!!

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  • s ford

    i have got rebirth working in OSX with crossover, works a treat too.

    as the cd authorisation issue, there is a way to get around which works, but might be a little on the tenuous side….

  • ernesto

    no export no deal. simple.

  • http://chromedecay.org Joshua Schnable

    @Birds – God *is* a DJ, and the nun(s) make the tea.

  • quantize

    really…lame as hell compared to audiorealism's effort..

    this is news???

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  • TechLo

    If Apple makes the "IEye,Captain" to make small devices legible I'll be the first to spring for the implant. Heck, I already use reading glasses whenever I'm on a computer so I can have maxed out resolution. Or maybe instead of an ocular orb swap the IEye would be fashioned after a pirate eye patch that flips up and down when you need the 5x vision.

  • Jason

    I bought this, I like it for the most part. The UI isn't designed for the interface it's true. It's interesting though, just to use, one thing I didn't realize with touch is that the knobs and faders design doesn't make as much sense as I thought it would. Trying to adjust a parameter like Tune where you need to look more than listen is impossible when the knob is covered by your finger. i don't know why I didn't think of that before. Yeah, the traditional graphic representation of a knob just ain't going to work.

    The export issue is ridiculous. I paid $7 and regret it… I should have read more about it, not being able to export to my spare laptop running xp and rebirth (as well as some routing things and a PG-800 emulator) makes this a toy. I was really hoping for a a workflow where I can take something I'm working on with me on the bus or vice versa without having to cart a laptop around all day.

  • http://youtube.com/vjfranzk VJ Franz K

    It's great to have to the return of RB – I forgot how good it was! (and portable, it's all the more useful.)

    Here is the first part of my review of it -
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKu6vKlwDEU

  • http://fernandoalmeida.arq.br Mocoroh

    Think I'm gonna buy it, anyway. About the export thing (in fact, a deception, but very suitable to Apple's typical maneuvers), I'll do the P2-WAV recording…

    By the way, this regarded my PDA days (Zire 72) with those excellent Chocopoolp apps (Bhajis Loops and Microbe). Worths the googlin'.

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