The ReBirth RB-338 at my house is the iPad recreation of two Roland TB-303s matched up with a Roland TB-808 and it's follow-up, the TB-909. Basically two hits of clean acid, with the sacred heart of hip-hop beatmaking, on top of the drum machine that gave birth to house and techno in Chicago and Detroit. It is magic. It is funkyasallhell. 

This piece of software is the first music software I ever encountered, made music on, and fell in love with. My good friend Gus had it on his Mac clone, and another friend, Paul, was going in hard with his copy. I remembered just how easy it was to dig in and pull out some badass beats with just a few clicks. I also remember the haze hanging around in those rooms, too. But, that's a story for another day. 

Nowadays, there are companies like Behringer, and others, that make TB-808 and 303 clones. Word is that there is a 909 coming out soon as well! All for prices ranging from a couple hundred to a couple thousand (if you want a used Roland). And that's before you factor in the scratch pots, the non-functional buttons, the missing caps, poorly soldered midi retrofits, and the arcane user interfaces. 

Even so, the hardware world is now in the ascendancy for music makers, as most everyone has gotten sick of trying to jam hard with a laptop and mouse. I'm still with it, tho, with my Logitech roller mouse (damn, it makes a difference).  But finding that I had ReBirth on my old iPad means I've got some funky ass beats to make! And yes, I already have done a little somethin. More on that, and the music called, "Hi-Tech Soul," later. 

ReBirth combines these four units into one and adds effects like, compression, delay, a cool filter, and distortion, to give you an incredible palate to create with. The company that made it, Propellerhead, now makes a fantastic package of music creation software called Reason. Now, Reason is a suite I don't own, but have used, and can say they moved on full steam ahead with more great coding after leaving ReBirth behind. They did the world a solid, and with Roland's wink and a nudge, left the software online without support for a few years. Finally tho, they pulled it all down, only to be found by those hardcore interweb dwellers who have Windows machines to run it and the time to hunt down the pieces-parts, or those who want the adrenaline rush of downloading sketchy apps from unknown sources. 

That's something I don't have to worry about. I gots mine right beside me on my iPad. I'll probably play some beats in bed tonight, to dance the night away in my now nostalgic memories of 90's Detroit raves.

Leave a comment

Add comment