I get sent a bazillion iPad and iPhone app announcements every day. And I appreciate them (feel free to continue sending ’em to gadgetman (at) spodgod.com). But, to be honest, it’s rare I get sent news of an app that’s really worth getting excited about. Though this news is pretty exciting – to me at least.
ReBirth for iPad. £8.99.
Some of you reading just said “woah…” quietly under your breath. Others said “wha?” quietly under their breath. Still others are scanning the sidebar for white papers on costing up server ownership. Sorry, you’re on the wrong bit of the site. Here’s where we talk about fun stuff.
Propellerhead’s ReBirth is a software synthesiser and music sequencer first released on the Mac and Windows back in 1996. It models, in software, the classic Roland TR-303 bassline generator. And for good measure, you got a Roland TR-909 and TR-808 drum machines to play with on top. Translation? Back in the day, this was all you needed to kick out banging dance choons.
The key innovation, continued in Propellerhead’s other seminal music creation product Reason, was the emulation of the hardware interface. The Roland TR-303’s in ReBirth not only sounded like the original boxy little units used by acid-house space cadets of old – it looked like them too. And programming them was just as easy.
In the iPad version, that hardware emulating interface comes to glorious life. With multi-touch you can control one, two or more sliders and knobs at once – if you’re dexterous enough. It’s worth mentioning that there has been a cut-down iPhone version for while. But that was just a toy. This is the real deal.
Support for the original ReBirth was dropped in 2005 – and you can still download a free PC or Mac version here. And there are better, more comprehensive music making solutions available for the iPad – like Nanostudio. But when it comes to fast and easy backing track generation, with squelchy bits and glitchy, old school beats, there are few tools as suited to the job as ReBirth.
So, ReBirth – we salute your rebirth.