I've got to admit that I have a fascination with synthesizers. When I was in engineering school 35 years ago, I soldered together two synth kits and became familiar with the early sequencers and waveform generators. I listened to the early synth music of Larry Fast (Synergy), Yes, Kraftwerk, Tomita, ELP, and Wendy Carlos religiously. That love of synth stayed with me through the years. So when we received a tip from reader Dioxide about ReBirth for iPad (US$14.99), and I realized that he was talking about an iPad version of the incredible ReBirth RB-338 software synthesizer, I immediately jumped on the story.
ReBirth was an application initially created for Mac back in late 1996, and emulated two Roland TB-303 synthesizers, a Roland TR-808 drum machine, and a Roland TR-909 Rhythm Composer simultaneously. These devices were all created in the early 1980s, and their sound has been replicated extensively in hip-hop, house, techno, and other music genres. ReBirth received a "rebirth" of sorts this year when Propellerhead Software, the Swedish company that published ReBirth through 2005, revived the classic software with a ReBirth iPhone app ($6.99).
Now it's available on iPad, and it looks amazing.You can share songs with friends through social networking, use multi-touch to control more knobs than you'd be able to on the actual TB-303, save as MP3 and more. There's a video of ReBirth for iPad in action following the break. We'll have a full review of the app soon.