Baby Audio goes back to 1982 and revives Yamaha’s cult CS01 synth as a plugin

Having made its name with a range of intuitive effect plugins, Baby Audio has now released its first synth, the BA-1. This is a “modern re-imagination of a cultish 1982 analogue synth,” otherwise known as the Yamaha CS01.

Despite bearing the same prefix as the classic CS-80, the CS01 was a different beast entirely. A compact, almost toy-like keyboard, it was a simple single-oscillator monosynth that could be powered by batteries and had a built-in speaker.

For the BA-1, Baby Audio’s first task was to model the CS01 as accurately as possible, but that was just the start. There are plenty of additional features, too: a second analogue-modelled oscillator, FM and polyphony, for example.

Fittingly, there are also some quirky elements. This may be a plugin but you can still drain the battery, bend the circuits and ‘use’ the built-in speaker. These features can help you to achieve the kind of lo-fi sound that you’d associate with vintage hardware.

There are some suitably retro effects, too - all inspired by budget ‘80s rack hardware - and more than 500 presets. The ‘Re-Gen’ algorithm, meanwhile, enables you to create new patches on the fly.

BA-1 runs on PC and Mac in VST/AU/AAX formats. The regular price will be $99, but it’s currently available for $49 and you can also download a trial version.

Find out more on the Baby Audio website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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