Say Goodbye to Rebirth – Synth News Digest 3

Recently, the sad news hit the synth community – Propellerheads’ venerable virtual beatbox studio, Rebirth was being removed from the iTunes App Store. At first, many synthheads figured the issue was due to the 64-bit requirement in the upcoming iOS 11. I noticed that Rebirth just updated at the end of February, so there had to be something else afoot.

And there was. It appears – after nearly two decades – Roland finally issued a “cease and desist” to Propellerheads for copyright infringement due to the TR-808, TR-909, and TB-303 simulations in the app. The Swedish music software maker obliged and Rebirth is gone from the App Store as of June 15th.

rebirth ios

Goodbye Rebirth! Screenshot by Author.

Where was Roland in the late 90s, when the desktop version of Rebirth was the rage? Software synthesis intrigued me ever since I played around with Csound. That environment wasn’t amenable for live jamming with Quarkspace, so we never really used it. At that time in our history, samples were the main source for beatmaking, but I wanted to write our own loops and the timing of Rebirth’s release was perfect.

Recaesarian (where’d we get that title?!), from 1999’s Spacefolds 5 was the first example of us jamming with Rebirth; I even added-in some of the preset patterns towards the end to freak the fellas out.

A more concise live version developed over the years, and we cut a definitive studio take never to be released. More recently, I mashed up the Recaesarian loop with the one from The Hidden Moon’s Astral Grinder on a remix for Inside the Rift magazine.

I used Rebirth pretty extensively for the next few years, before FL Studio – with its support for VST plugins – became my go-to beatmaker. Because of its lack of VST support until recently I never bothered with Reason, Propellerhead’s successor to Rebirth. The iOS version of Rebirth is faithful to the original, with an improved interface for wrangling patterns.

Feeling nostalgic, I am currently working on a Rebirth project for an upcoming Church of Hed release. If you own the iOS version, make sure you back the app up. It is the end of an era, for sure.

Kenton’s New Merge-8 MIDI Merge Unit

Electronic musicians handling a wide range of MIDI controllers, clock sources, and computers know the value of a good MIDI merge unit. Kenton just released the Merge-8, an 8×2 MIDI merger which combines MIDI data – including clocks, time code, and SysEx – into one stream repeated at both outputs. It comes with its own power source, so you needn’t worry about a 2.2V signal not providing enough juice. The Merge-8’s street price is around 135 quid, including VAT.

Getting your Chiptune on with Impact Soundworks Super Audio Boy

There’s no denying the impact of video gaming music and sound effects on the music industry. If you enjoy getting your chiptune on, check out the FREE Super Audio Boy Kontakt sample library from Impact Soundworks. Now those old school Nintendo Game Boy sounds are at your fingertips – all at the perfect price! Note that this library requires the full version of Kontakt.

Softube introduces Console 1 Mk II with UAD Plugin Support

Universal Audio plugins remain the Holy Grail for many musicians on a budget. Softube recently introduced Console 1 Mk II, a more inexpensive version of its mixer with support for UAD plugins included. At a street price of $499, you get one high-end console channel strip, with the ability to control your UAD and other plugins – most standard formats are supported.

This seamless mix between the hardware and software worlds is truly state of the art. As Midnight Oil sings – “we got the best of both worlds here!”


  1. […] whose Console 1 Mk II was discussed in our last news digest, recently announced, Tape, a new plugin focused on putting the warm sound of reel-to-reel tape […]

  2. […] Rebirth now sadly gone from the iTunes App Store, iOS musicians searching for a new TB-303 clone need to check out Troublemaker. Featuring an […]