Monday, March 25, 2019

Propellerhead ReBirth (RB-338) Techno Micro Composer "Believe the unbelievable" brochure, 1997

Propellerhead ReBirth (RB-338) Techno Micro Composer "Believe the unbelievable" four page colour brochure from 1997.

Full disclosure - I'm a huuuuuge Reason fan. I have a great auto-load template set up that opens with two TBL3 303 emulators, and two Kongs - one with 808 sounds and one with 909 sounds. Great for when I'm on the road. Or in bed.

So, you can't be surprised that I was a huge ReBirth fan way back when as well. It was such a game changer. So much fun.

But I was a little surprised when I came across this brochure, along with about 200 others that I got for free (from a guy who knew a guy). Reading through it brought back some great memories. If you have any recollection of using this software, it's definitely worth the eye-ball time.

The brochure itself is amazing looking - the scans of the front and back cover do not do the shiny silver colour justice. The cool design is top notch with lots of space. Just the way I like 'em.

And did you catch the TWO logos? I'd forgotten how close Propellerhead and Steinberg were. Steinberg first partnered with Propellerhead for their Recycle music loop editing software. And the success of Recycle helped keep that partnership going, with the money made helping fund the development of ReBirth.

But, according to a 2013 interview with then Propellerhead CEO Ernst Nathorst-Böös, that partnership ended with Reason.
" fairly quickly became clear to us that the cultures of the two companies were very different. They were distributing our products, among other things, and did a great job of it. But when Reason came around, we decided that it was important for us to also handle those aspects of our business ourselves."
Remember, Steinberg already had Cubase. Sure, two very different DAWs, but still competitors.
"They had Cubase and we had ReBirth. When Reason came out, it just seemed like the natural thing to do to end the distribution relationship. But we kept working together on making our products work well together, using ReWire and REX technologies."
Ernst speaks highly of Steinberg throughout the interview. It's a good read for anyone interested.

One interesting observation I made while looking through this version of the brochure is that Propellerhead never directly references the TB-303 or TR-808 in the brochure copy. In the introductory paragraph they write about "a silver box" and "303 sound". Later on they reference "two silver synths and a black drum machine". And in the Functions Overview section they reference "two bass line synthesizers, one 'analog' drum machine".

Its not until the legalese section on the back page that they tell us what we already know (and love!)...
"ReBirth RB-338 software synthesizer is a new, original product that simulates the sound of the discontinued Roland products TB-303 and TR-808. However, the product is in no way connected with Roland Corporation."
This apparent policy to avoid direct comparison with Roland's gear changes in future ReBirth promo material...

Stay tuned!

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