Propellerhead’s ReBirth is saying its final goodbye, as Roland says that it infringes its IP rights

It’s been a long goodbye for Propellerhead’s ReBirth. Having been launched for desktop computers in 1997, this Roland TR-808, TR-909 and TB-303-emulating software groovebox was discontinued for PC and Mac in 2005, only to be relaunched for iPhone in 2010. This version bit the dust in 2013, but the iPad edition has remained on the App Store. However, it won’t be there for much longer - in fact, it’ll be removed on 15 June.

“We have decided to discontinue ReBirth for iPad,” says a statement on the Propellerhead website. “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.”

It seems slightly strange that the intellectual property issue has come up now - 20 years after ReBirth’s release and at a time when it was all but dead anyway - but it does come at a time when Roland is creating its own software emulations of its classic hardware for its Roland Cloud platform. Could 909, 808 and 303 emulations be heading up there, too?

As for Propellerhead, it looks like it’ll be moving on and releasing more mobile music-making apps in the future. The company has just invited people to join its mobile app test pilot group, and has pretty much confirmed that there’s something new in the pipeline. In fact, the URL for its survey on the subject contains the words 'reasonmobile' - make of that what you will.

If you want ReBirth on your iPad, though, you have just a couple of days left in which to get it.  

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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