Vintage Roland drum machines on your iPhone

ReBirth, which emulates the Roland TR-808 and 909 drum machines and TB-303 bass synthesizer, has been released for iPhone.

Electronic music fans and gearheads take note: you can now get ReBirth, a software emulator that duplicates the sounds and controls of Roland TR-808 and 909 drum machines and TB-303 bass synth, on your iPhone for only $6.99.

Back in the early 1980s, the Roland TR-808 was the king of drum machines. The old warhorses, beloved for their booming kick-drum sound, are still around, and have been resurrected in software emulators and name-checked by countless hip-hop artists--Kanye West even named his 2008 album "808s and Heartbreak" after it.
ReBirth running on an iPhone. Propellerhead

In 1997, Propellerhead Software released a program, ReBirth, that emulated the 808 along with its successor, the TR-909, and a Roland bass synthesizer, the TB-303. These three instruments featured prominently in early acid house music, and have been used by countless electronic and dance artists since.

Propellerhead discontinued ReBirth in 2005, but the demand for classic electronic sounds just won't die! Now, Propellerhead and Retronyms have resurrected ReBirth for the iPhone (it works on the iPod Touch and iPad as well), complete with various effects like distortion and compression, and five built-in user modifications. They're selling it in the iTunes App Store for $6.99. That's a bargain--if you bought the original gear on eBay, you'd be out about $6,000.

About the author

    Matt Rosoff is an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, where he covers Microsoft's consumer products and corporate news. He's written about the technology industry since 1995, and reviewed the first Rio MP3 player for CNET.com in 1998. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network. Disclosure. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattrosoff.

     

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