Back in 1997, Steinberg released an innovative piece of software called the Rebirth RB-338. This was the first major analog synthesizer emulator and boy did they choose something tough to emulate… the Roland TB-303 bass box, which was initially designed to be a bass accompaniement for guitar players. The TB-303 never really took off in that regard, but like so many things in the technological arena, an alternative use was eventually found, and the early house producers used it to produce what has come to be known as the “acid” sound. These little boxes, now out of prodution, became the rage for electronic music producers and soon were fetching up to $1500.
The popularity of this sound in the mid 1990s prompted Steinberg to develop the Rebirth emulator and they nailed it. The Rebirth sounds very much like the 303 and even features a number of the little nuances so characteristic of the box. Throw in some effects, arpeggiation and an 808 and 909 step drum sequencer and you had a nice little platform to work with. Now of course, analog synth emulators are all over the place and all the classics, including Moogs, Waldorfs and Prophets are well represented by Virtual Studio Technology plugins (another Steinberg development); but the Rebirth is pretty much where it all started.
And the good news, for those who might not already know… the Rebirth is now completely free to download and use.