ReBirth Is Dead For Real This Time

Propellerhead Software today announced that ReBirth – a virtual studio, originally introduced in 1996 – is now dead for real.

They have announced that ReBirth for iPad will be removed from App Store June 15, 2017:

We have decided to discontinue ReBirth for iPad.

The decision comes after a statement from Roland that the product infringes on the company’s intellectual property rights.

Rather than refuting this claim, we have decided to honor our long-standing relationship with Roland Corporation and has, therefore, come to the conclusion that the best path forward is to discontinue the product.

ReBirth was introduced in 1996, and was a pioneering virtual studio, offering two virtual TB-303 synthesizers, along with Roland TR-808 and 909 emulations.

ReBirth was initially discontinued in 2005, but it was reincarnated as an iPad app in 2010.

57 thoughts on “ReBirth Is Dead For Real This Time

    1. My thought is that, if they’re facing suing Behringer again for trade dress infringement, Roland needs to demonstrate that they’ve been protecting it.

      1. They could instead formalize the informal arrangement they’ve had for 21 years and grant Propellerhead a license to sell the software. It’s not like they have no choice here but to clamp down.

        Same goes for all the Star Trek fan productions, which CBS shut down last year. They could have simply said they need to apply for a license to use their trademarks.

        1. Star Trek has been rabidly protected since year dot. And it’s hurt the franchise. Star Wars gets a lot of Internet love where Star Trek is still a bit of a mystery to many.

          I would think that propellerhead aren’t making enough to pay the royalties to Roland Especially back payments.

      2. It’s pretty clear that Roland *hasn’t* been protecting their IP if they waited over two decades to launch a legal claim.

        That said, fighting a legal battle over a piece of software that no longer makes money just isn’t a smart use of resources. Kudos to the Propheads for keeping it around for so long.

        1. This has nothing to do with copyright. It would have to be a section 43 (a) trade dress claim, which is a trademark dispute.

  1. Better make sure I have a backup of my iPad with this installed.

    I sold my TB3 because Rebirth was all I needed and more for 303 stuff. If nothing else it’s a fun app to play with. Too bad they can’t just take out the parts that sound like Roland and replace it with another mod.

  2. The iOS/iPad version was crippled by Propellerhead’s odd decision not to ever implement any kind of MIDI into the app, either through core inter-app means or via the CCK. I’ve done gigs solely with a laptop running ReBirth mapped to a Behringer BCR2000. With the iPad, it was just your fat fingers vs. tiny virtual knobs.

  3. interesting i was looking forward to a rack extension for reason of rebirth forever. guess thats over. oh well. i wonder why they have complained now. maybe propellerhead were actually going to put it in reason. strangeness. great app roland should take a cut or something i mean its been around for like 20 years without any issues.

    1. Just take ABL3 RE and done. You have also few emulations of TR808 and one TR909 as rack extensions. BTW I’m using ABL2 as RE and it works and sounds beautiful much better than rebirth. I also using BOOM! as TR808 and it also sounds great.

  4. Troublemaker is still a good 303 app. I suppose Rebirth was loved since it had the techno trinity in one app. Weird that Roland is coming after them now after so many years.

    1. I disagree. I think Roland was exceptionally generous and tolerant all this time.

      Now, decades later they’re making 303/808/909 recreations in hardware, and they are selling plugins (well, subscriptions to plugins). Rebirth now directly competes with Roland’s current products!

      Propellerheads had a good long ride with Rebirth, but fair is fair – these are Roland’s products.

    1. I’ve been hearing this exact comment for two decades now. It seems like classics refuse to die for some reason. I don’t hear anyone bitching about the Stratocaster sound, which is also a has been sound. /s

    1. Well that’s it, I can never update my ipad now. There’s still so many great 32 bit apps that have never been updated to 64 bit and I don’t want to lose them just because Apple says so.

  5. I think the real reason for this is simpler. Why should Roland make this statement after all these years?? It’s the same as Steinberg ruling out 32-bits plugins. Apple will in the future only support 64-bit apps. I recon the Props decided against rewriting ReBirth into the 64-bit domain. Heck – they still haven’t made the Reason rack scaleable – my large computer monitors hate the Reason rack – my old yes hate it as well.

  6. I made a Live set with two tracks of Phoscyon, one for Nepheton, and one for Drumazon with the appropriate pattern filters, distortion, etc. that I control with my BeatStep Pro. Knob twiddles and everything. It’s *almost* like a hardware controlled ReBirth… it just sounds WAY better. 🙂

  7. ReBirth was going to get broken by iOS 11 anyway, but now I’ll really have to make sure I keep a back up copy on my computer as well as never updating an older iOS device….

  8. The 303 and 606 were my introduction to drum and bass programming in the early 80’s, and I have had every version of Rebirth for every platform. I still like the Rebirth GUI ! I’m keeping Rebirth until I can’t anymore.

  9. What seems even more odd to me is not that they’ve gone after ReBirth after all this time, but the fact that they have been letting countless other clone software go as well. Sure, Props can actually afford to pay out some $$$ if they decided to fight the suit, but what about all that other software that virtually steals the look/feel/sound of these units?

    I’m guessing this has more to do with the release of the boutique units. It could also have to do with gearing up for a potential Behringer suit, as mentioned above.

    But it just seems like if someone wanted to argue that Roland had essentially abandoned this design for the last 30 years I think they could make the case.

  10. That’s pretty shitty on Roland after decades and I wish props would give the customers a little more info on why and what happens to owners

  11. Rebirth has been updated in February 2017, adding Audiobus support. It Is 64-bit! Just buy it if you feel you need it.. iOS11 won’t kill it.. I loved it back in the days on my Mac, got it for the iPad and literally NEVER used it…

  12. Love Roland products but this is LAME Roland, what about all the other clones out there?? Hardware/Software….. looks like the EMPIRE will be after them SOON??

    BTW.. Propellerhead Software especially REBIRTH is a BAD ASS TOOL ( IMO ) LOAD’S OF FUN!


    (May this app be with you) 🙂

  13. Looks like Ronald is becoming a kind of patent troll. They create horrible green products year after year, but this was the greatest f-you from them.

    I bought rebirth 1.0 right after it was released in 1997 and still have the cd, also bought 2.0 and ios apps. Rebirth is one the greatest software ever and guys were truly innovative and ahead of their time when they created it (d-beam is just a bad joke).

    1. I don’t think they can stop people from releasing a single oscillator triangle/square wave synth with portamento. Patent law only lasts 20 years so clones are perfectly legal. This is about trade dress. Basically, as long as you make it LOOK different on the outside, it’s no problem.

  14. Obviously, Roland is trying to sue someone else, and needs to prove in court that they have “protected their IP” for a significant period. Suing propellerhead for a product introduced in the 90’s can be used as ammo in fights against others. In particular there are 2-3 people Roland has gone after before whose latest batch of products go too far in copying 303 and 808- down to the fonts and “print ads”. between scam artists selling non functional synths, to people building diy clones and putting fake Roland logos on them… No surprise this easy target was attacked!

  15. Roland execs will probably say “oh our new drum machines failed because of all the lookalikes, and all the similar software ripping us off, like Rebirth” whist continuing to keep their heads in their digital sand…haha

  16. When innovation declines, the board of directors will use the company financial leverage to have the copyright/patent trolls to step in to wipe out any competition without mercy. Roland becomes the musical version of Apple. Sad to see this happen in the music industry. Probably still get a system 1-m but that will be it Roland wise. Bye.

  17. I hope Apple is nice enough not to wipe out all 32bit apps, as users of ipad 4 and lower will also be kind of wiped out with their device. Hope no planned obsolescence strategy will be used as this will not be fair at all as lots of people have spent more money buying istuffs instead of other brands and now it is simply cruel to penalize customers like that. Lots of quality synths with excellent sound engine can run on 32 bit, there should be this option. That is apps support both 32 and 64 bits but of course 64 bit would offer more power including more polyphony, more multilayers, multitimbral abilities etc. However 32 bit should stay. I am a big fan of Apple and hope I will not be deceived.

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