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BA-1 BA-1 BA-1
BA-1 by BABY Audio is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin and a Software Application for macOS and Windows. It functions as a VST Plugin, an Audio Units Plugin, a VST 3 Plugin, an AAX Plugin and a Standalone Application.
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Meet Hardware Realism

BA-1 is an analog-modeled synth that brings you closer than ever to pure and authentic 1980s textures in a plugin. Just like the real hardware, it's dead-simple to program, surprisingly versatile, and dripping with sonic color.

The Legacy

BA-1 is based on a portable 1980s synth with a toylike appearance and a gritty sound. Despite its small size, it left a big mark on music history, while still flying somewhat under the hype radar. The original has been used as a secret weapon for bubbly synth textures by some of Sweden's most successful pop producers of the past two decades. It was also a staple of 1990s digital dancehall and beloved by the indietronica scene for its raw lo-fi quality. The 'CS01' - as the original is called - has never been properly captured in software form. So for our first ever synth, we started there.

The Sound

In keeping with our motto "it's an evolution, not an emulation", we modeled the hardware with the greatest possible accuracy, before carefully upgrading it with new and useful features. A second analog-modeled oscillator, FM, polyphony, and more, help to vastly expand the sonic palette of the original. All while keeping its signature sound unspoiled.

Additionally, BA-1 lets you drain the battery, bend the circuits, and use the built-in speaker – for an authentic lo-fi aesthetic that you could normally only get with hardware.

The Effects

If you know our company, you'll know that effects are our specialty. So we've treated BA-1 with an FX section worthy of its own plugin. The effects chain is inspired by budget 1980s rack hardware and captures the lo-fi charm of the home studio scene of the era. The overdrive is modeled after a guitar pedal, while the delay, reverb and chorus effects are based on cheap, but amazing, digital rack units.

With BA-1 v1.5, the FX chain is now included as a separate effect plugin as well so you can add it to any track you desire.

What's New in BA-1 V1.5

BA-1 v1. 5 is a free update for all owners of BA-1.

New Effect Plugin - BA-1 FX Strip:
BA-1 isn't just an analog modeled synthesizer. It also offers a meticulously modeled FX section, based on budget 1980s rack effects. Users have been asking for a standalone edition of BA-1's effects chain since the early days and here it is! Use the FX Strip to run any audio through BA-1's virtual circuits and add 80s-flavored drive, filtering, delay, reverb, chorus – and even BA-1's speaker simulator.

Arpeggiators were an essential ingredient in the synth sounds of the 80s. For BA-1 v1.5, we've added a hands-on, hardware-style arpeggiator with three modes (up, down, up/down) and a three octave range. The arp allows for un-syncing from the host tempo for more authentic (i.e. slightly out of time!) effects.

Flexible Chorus parameter:
The original BA-1 offered a simple on/off chorus effect, reminiscent of the Junos and other classic 80s synths. In v1.5, the chorus can now be set anywhere between 0% and 100% for more creative flexibility.

Easter eggs:
The colored dots between BA-1's segments reveal some new additional synth parameters when clicked. LFO fade adds ramp time to the modulation wave that gradually (or abruptly) fades up to its set frequency for a more unpredictable LFO effect. Chaos introduces nonlinear behavior in the reverb and chorus algorithms for dissonance and unpredictable pitch glides.

Improved preset browser:
BA-1's preset manager has a vastly improved workflow in v1.5. Search presets by name, filter by pack, or mark patches with color-coded tags to remember them. You can easily import packs, create your own or browse the available BA-1 Expansions to add more sounds to your synth.

New UI theme:
See BA-1 from a fresh perspective with the new black and red UI theme.

Get BA-1, learn more, or download the free trial:


{See video at top of page}



Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 4.50 from 2 reviews

Reviewed By BONES [all]
March 28th, 2024
Version reviewed: 1.5 on Windows

This is a terrific little synth. It's not really an emulation, although Baby Audio obviously started out with the Yamaha CS01 as inspiration. They have taken it much further, though, adding extra features that take it way beyond the CS01, whilst keeping the original's simplicity of operation (and some of the limitations that go with that). Sound quality is excellent, very much in the spirit of the good ol' days but right up there with the best emulations and V/A plugins.

You get two oscillators with the usual V/A waveforms and tuning options. FM modulates Osc 1 with a sine wave for a gnarlier sound. The low-pass resonant filter does its job, without standing out in any way. There is just one ADSR envelope and a single LFO (sine wave only). At the end of the signal path is a decent suite effects - sidechain (ducks the signal to a 4/4 beat if there is no input), Tone (EQ), Drive (two kinds), Delay, Reverb and Chorus.

The instrument is velocity sensitive (on/off) but doesn't respond to aftertouch or a mod wheel (even though the CS01 had pitch and mod wheels). It all sounds a bit basic and mundane but the reality is that all the elements work together really well, to create something that is much greater than the sum of it's fairly simplistic parts. BA-1 ships with several hundred presets to prove this point. Hitting the "re-gen" button also shows that it's pretty hard not to make a useful patch, even when assigning random values to everything.

The Version 1.5 update added a basic arpeggiator and a few "hidden" controls to extend the synth's functionality (look for little dots in the cracks in the UI). While we are talking about dots, there are a couple of labels on the bottom row with dots next to them - press the dots to change the functionality, as per the screen. V1.5 also gives you an effect VST with the BA-1's effect chain, which is a nice addition. The updated preset browser is also pretty good, allowing you to tag presets with three different colours.

There are a couple of weird, unique features I feel are perhaps unnecessary and take up a lot of space on the GUI. The speaker sim is kinda cute, I suppose, but it's pretty limited and doesn't need to take up so much space. The Battery emulation is supposed to mimic the effect of running out of juice but it feels either too subtle or too full-on, there's no real sweet spot where it feels useful. The sidechain can be used like a second LFO on the VCA so it has its uses.

There are also a few things I'd like to see added to this synth, limitations that feel unnecessary to me. Being able to modulate the FM amount with the envelope or LFO would extend the usefulness of the feature. In fact more destinations for the LFO would be welcomed, as would a few more LFO waveforms. I also feel the LFO's modulation depth isn't always enough. HP, BP and Notch filter modes would be nice, too. Being able to assign the Mod Wheel to various parameters would make the synth a lot more playable. Maybe the speaker box could be halved to make room for the chunky wheels of the CS01, which I always thought looked really cool. They'd be particularly good for the standalone, if not so much for the VSTi (where you can more easily assign controllers). The biggest improvement I'd like to see, though, is the addition of a unison mode so I can stack all the oscillators into even bigger sounds.

To be clear, none of those things stop this from being a really good little synth, just as it is. The sounds I can get out of it are incredible, from soft and subtle to monstrous and scary, and all the while it delivers a high quality sound that always seems to work in a mix. You can use the re-gen feature to build your own bank of unique, usable sounds in no time and tweaking those sounds to get them working in an arrangement/mix is about as easy as it gets. As I said, BA-1 is a lot more than the sum of its parts and it has become my "go to" synth for most things.

Read Review

Reviewed By nachenko [all]
November 9th, 2023
Version reviewed: 1 on Mac

Instant Synthwave machine. Simple, enjoyable, no clutter, light on the CPU, sounds GREAT. Looking for subtle vintage textures? Got it. The tones of those crappy "unsolved mysteries" TV shows of the early 80s? Easy as pie. Analog warmth? Ask and you shall receive.

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Comments & Discussion for BABY Audio BA-1

Discussion: Active




29 April 2023 at 11:36pm

When I try to export a .WAV from an FL Studio track using the BA-1 (full, paid version) in it, it's so quiet, I think there's something wrong with it. A glitch maybe?

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