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BA-1 has an average user rating of 4.50 from 2 reviews

Rate & Review BA-1

User Reviews by KVR Members for BA-1


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.

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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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