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
5 user mods
Pattern sequencing
Full automation
Combine patterns to build songs
Share songs with other ReBirth users

Full details:

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