Alesis and MXR Founder Keith Barr Dies at 61
August 30, 2010
A talented electronic engineer, Barr was instrumental in the development of many groundbreaking products that helped make professional recording accessible to more musicians.
Photo courtesy Spin Semiconductor
Barr's innovations with Alesis include the ADAT, an eight-track studio tape recorder that recorded high-quality audio onto video tapes. The ADAT was announced in 1991 and allowed for small and home studios to attain professional-level recording at a much lower price for the first time. With Alesis, Barr also advanced digital effects, designing the first affordable all-digital reverb, the XT Reverb which retailed for $799 as the company's debut product in 1985, followed by the first sub-$1000, 16-bit effects processor, the MIDIverb, in 1986.
Most recently, Barr founded the company Spin Semiconductor, where he worked on the FV-1 processor chip, which was the company calls "a complete reverb solution in a single IC." He also had recently completed a book entitled, ASIC Design in the Silicon Sandbox, where he shared his knowledge of integrated circuits. He is survived by his wife and two children.