ReBirth RB-338

ReBirth RB -338 is a software synthesizer for the operating systems Microsoft Windows, Mac OS and Apple iOS. The company Propellerhead Software developed and officially released the first alpha version for Mac OS in December 1996. On September 1, 2005 ended Propellerhead support. Shortly after the site went online ReBirth Museum and the last version 2.0.1 was provided as freeware in BitTorrent format for download.


Propellerhead launched the development of the software emulator with a borrowed device type Roland TB- 303. The -founder Pelle jubilation had experience in analog and digital sound processing and was instrumental in the analysis and reverse engineering of the circuitry of the TB -303. Rather than digitize the sound of the TB -303, the analog circuitry should be described by algorithms and emulated by a computer program. The drum machine TR- 808 and TR -909 then replicate and complement was obvious, but in contrast to the 303 drum machine to work with samples.

ReBirth was groundbreaking for this class of instruments in the 1990s, one of the first software synthesizer for personal computers and with a mouse pointer -based user interface.


ReBirth emulates the same two monophonic hardware synthesizer type Roland TB-303 and the analog drum machine from Roland TR -808 type and Roland TR- 909. The signal from each emulated device can be individually altered with filters and effects. Four Patternselektoren over who do not have the original devices that allow fast switching between different musical sequences and save the reprogramming to play different sounds. ReBirth has a mixer, Pattern Controlled Filter (PCF ) and some standard effects such as delay, compressor and distortion ( Distortion).

The virtual knobs and switches can be controlled via a MIDI interface and connected through the ReWire protocol software with other audio programs.

The program allows user modifications which modify the samples of the drum machine or modify the graphical user interface (GUI). In ReBirth are standard five different surfaces implemented.


Propellerheads emulator of the TB -303 has been criticized as an inferior copy of the original sounds. This criticism is not uncommon for software synthesizers, recreate what analog devices, due to the unique sounds of analog tone generator and qualitative reduction by underperforming Sound Cards and Computer: A strong qualitative limitation is usually in the disabled for music generation analog quality typical PC sound cards in terms of noise and linearity. This could be the Rebirth emulator but avoided if the digital input has been redirected to a professional interface in the PC with a downstream Studio DA converter, so he was sonically treated the then-available sound modules and in the studio, as was also used in the stage area.

However, a problem does not resolve itself: Due to the limited resources of the then comparatively low-performance computers had generally strong computationally optimized algorithms are used, which led to an inadequate reproduction of analog circuits, although this was relatively well resolved in the Rebirth emulator. These limitations can be for this software afterwards by modern computers no longer round.

Therefore, Rebirth is a software today basically no longer appropriate, but is still often used for so-called retro sounds.


During software development, there were concerns with the developers Propellerhead on copyright in the counterfeiting of Roland sound module. After negotiations between representatives of the Roland Corporation and Propellerhead was agreed that the following sentence on the packaging of ReBirth and have to appear the splash screen:

" ReBirth RB -338 which inspired by the TR -808 and TB -303, originally created by Roland Corporation. Their unique sounds and visual images have been re-born through digital simulation by Propellerhead Software. "

" ReBirth RB -338 was inspired by the TR- 808 and TB -303, which were developed by the Roland Corporation. Their unique sound and appearance was reborn by the digital simulation of Propellerhead Software. "

Propellerhead interpreted this agreement as Roland's consent to their software.

Compatibility with operating systems

The version 2.0.1 of ReBirth runs on the operating systems Mac OS 8 and Mac OS 9, Apple as well as on Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows XP from Microsoft. On Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows 7, the program runs only with manual rework (see web link) or even in XP mode of Windows 7 Professional.

In April 2010, published Propellerhead ReBirth of an app based on the operating system Apple iOS for handheld uses Apple iPhone, Apple iPod touch and Apple iPad.