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ReBirth RB-338: legendary electronic music emulator discontinued

"Propellerhead Software's ReBirth RB–338 pioneered a new era of music instrumentation that merged the principles of 'virtual reality' with historic synthesizers and drum machines. This concept seemed impossible at the time, but has since become a common trend in music software.

Since its introduction in 1997, ReBirth has influenced numerous companies to take advantage of contemporary technology by incorporating computer simulation into the latest generation of products.

The world has come to embrace the sound of electronic music, thanks to a long tradition starting in the 1960s with the popularization of Moog Synthesizers. It deepened in the 70's and 80's, and the sound of drum machines was introduced in music as electronic instruments adopted microprocessor technology.

As technologies continued to evolve in the 90's, the subsequent role of computers in music ushered in a digital age of composition and recording. Early in the decade, trends in electronic music and their significant effect on popular culture converged with the rich heritage of synthesizers, drum machines, and computers in the software application known as ReBirth. ...

While there have been plans to resurrect the 338, far too much time has passed, and realistically, the economics of software development prompted the decision to terminate ReBirth. Even after a decade of operation, Propellerhead Software is a relatively small company, and must focus their efforts on future technologies. The company contemplated outsourcing ReBirth, but quickly determined that those plans would consume valuable time and energy best spent on priority projects. Finally, ReBirth was discontinued with the parting gesture of making it publicly available. Ernst Nathorst–Böös stated the following:

'We think we serve the community better by concentrating the small development efforts we have on creating new exciting stuff than keeping what we feel is essentially a stale concept alive. ReBirth was a great achievement in its day and we're very proud of it.'"

(Propellerhead Software)



1997archetype • composition and recording • computer musiccomputer simulationcomputers in musicconvergencedance musicdigital agediscontinueddrum machineelectronic instrumentselectronic musicemulator • Ernst Nathorst-Boos • FX unitsinterface designinterface metaphoriPadiPad appslegendaryloop • Marcus Zetterquist • microprocessor technology • Moog • Moog Synthesizers • music instrumentationmusic softwarepattern • Pelle Jubel • Propellerhead SoftwarerebirthReBirth (software) • ReBirth Museum • ReBirth RB-338remediationretro • Roland • Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composersequencersimulationsoftware applicationsoundSwedensynthsynthesizerTB-303TR-808TR-909 • transistor rhythm • virtual reality


Simon Perkins
11 JUNE 2004

Kinetic Optics: Music Through Kinetic Abstract Animation

"This project is a series of new audio instruments and automatons that explore unique methods of user interface and audio synthesis. The series will be rendered with Java, Processing, Jsyn (Java synthesis libraries), and OpenGL. ...A goal of this project is to provide a series of instruments of distinct expressive audio range, through an interface of kinetic abstract animation. This series will operate in multiples, and incorporate MIDI to interact with professional, commercial audio systems. Precedents: Golan Levin, Audio Visual Environment Suite John Whitney Oscar Fischinger Moog Music and Buchula Systems: early modular synthesis Luigi Russolo and the Futurists Oscar Sala (Trautonium & Mixturtrautonium) Leon Theremin Harry Partch (Quadrangularis Reversurn Marimba, Cloud–Chamber Bowls & Gourd Tree)"
(Steve Baker)



Audio Visual Environment Suite • Baker • Buchula Systems • Cloud-Chamber Bowls • Fischinger • Futurism (art movement)Golan Levin • Gourd Tree • Harry Partch • JavaJohn Whitney • Jsyn • Kinetic Optics • Leon Theremin • Luigi RussolomarimbaMIDI • Mixturtrautonium • modular synthesis • MoogOpenGLOskar Fischinger • Oskar Sala • Partch • Quadrangularis Reversurn • Russolo • Sala • Theremin • Trautonium

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