baby audio ba-1

BABY Audio launch BA-1 Synth: A Powerful New Plugin for Music Producers

Synthesizers have come a long way since the 1980s, but there’s something about the raw grit and lo-fi charm of those vintage analog synths that still capture the hearts of musicians and producers today. BA-1 by BABY Audio, a modern re-imagination of a cultish 1982 analog synth that looked like a toy but sounded like a beast, is here to bring back that nostalgia and take your music production to new heights.


BA-1, the new synthesizer from BABY Audio is based on a portable 1980s synth with a toy-like appearance and a gritty sound, the BA-1 has captured the signature sound of the original hardware while adding new and useful features to enhance its capabilities. The original synth called the “CS01,” was used as a secret weapon for bubbly synth textures by some of Sweden’s most successful pop producers of the past two decades. Despite its influence on music history, the CS01 has never been properly captured in software form until now.



BA-1’s analog-modeled oscillator, FM capability, and 24dB low-pass filter with resonance provide more flexibility in sound design. The envelope section allows for shaping the sound with quirky side effects, similar to the original, but with the added option to host-sync the attack time to your DAW’s BPM. The BA-1’s standout FX section, inspired by budget 1980s rack hardware, captures the lo-fi charm of the home studio scene of the era.


Let’s have a closer look at the FX section which is the standout part of this synth.


BA-1’s FX section is inspired by inexpensive 1980s rack effects and guitar pedals, and is so impressive that it could merit its own retro-color plugin. The ‘Tone‘ feature includes two shelving filters that make it easy to darken or brighten the synth’s character, while ‘Drive‘ adds gritty analog-modeled distortion and has two modes: ‘Circuit‘ which models the effect of circuit bending the original hardware, and ‘OD’ which models an 80s overdrive pedal.


The combination of grainy delay, reverb, and chorus effects is synonymous with the 1980s sound, and BA-1 has replicated this iconic FX combo, modeled after budget rack hardware from the era. Using all three effects at once leads to dynamic and engaging patches that are anything but dull.


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The Sidechain feature ensures that synths move with the mix, improving their overall sound. It can work in ‘External‘ or ‘Internal‘ mode, and by default, Sidechain is set to ‘Internal’, creating an automatic 4/4 ducking pattern synced to your host tempo. This feature can be dialed-in to taste, and switching to ‘External’ mode via the ‘Routing’ label enables you to duck BA-1 when a sidechain input is present. Place the sidechain either before or after the FX section by clicking the routing switch.


BA-1’s battery was portable and could be powered by batteries, but their lifespan was limited, introducing strange sonic artifacts as the power source deteriorated. This behavior has been modeled and slightly exaggerated to achieve pitch fluctuations, noise, and distortion as the battery drains.


While the original hardware’s speaker was not of high quality, it had a unique and pleasant lo-fi vibe that has been modeled in all its rough glory. Clicking the speaker button while using BA-1 allows for a switch from line to speaker output, which can bring a mix to life with its moving air.


Despite its powerful capabilities, BA-1 remains surprisingly simple and easy to use, with parameters tuned to be in the perfect sweet spot. Users can create new patches with ease, with the smart “Re-Gen” feature automatically creating new musically-tuned patches with every click. BA-1 also offers visual customization with four different color options and comes with over 500 high-quality presets, including genre-based expansion packs.



BABY Audio BA-1 synth plugin comes at a price of $99 MSRP with a $49 intro sale.



Image credits: BABY Audio

Hemant has been actively involved in the dance music industry with over 3 years of experience. Currently working as a Project Manager and heading the We Rave You Tech division. Get in touch via email.

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