27/08/2010 Bookmark and Share

Keith Barr - Alesis founder - In Memoriam

Pioneering inventor of Alesis ADAT, MIDIverb and MXR effects passes away

Keith Barr, probably best-known to Sound On Sound readers as the founder in 1984 of Alesis, died on August 24th 2010 at the age of 61. Keith was an engineer at heart, though he also loved music, which led to him being a founding partner in MXR, the pioneering guitar pedal company back in 1973. He went on to set up Alesis Corp in 1984 with Russell Palmer and Vice-Chairman Robert Wilson, and was responsible for bringing the first affordable digital reverbs (the MIDIverb) to the home recording market as well as the ground-breaking ADAT 8-track digital tape recorder. He confided that the reason he wanted to design a digital reverb was because he loved Billy Idol records and wanted to be able to recreate that sound! <strong>Keith Barr founder of Alesis Corporation (centre) flanked by Alesis' Russell Palmer (right) and UK distributor at the time Rober: &lt;/strong&gt;Keith Barr founder of Alesis (centre) flanked by Alesis' Russell Palmer (right) and Robert Wilson (Sound Technology, UK distributor)Keith Barr founder of Alesis Corporation (centre) flanked by Alesis' Russell Palmer (right) and UK distributor at the time Rober: </strong>Keith Barr founder of Alesis (centre) flanked by Alesis' Russell Palmer (right) and Robert Wilson (Sound Technology, UK distributor)

During several of my conversations with Keith, he told me that he found designing ASIC integrated circuits the most rewarding part of his work, and when he left Alesis he moved into full-time semiconductor design, living in Taiwan. He was president of Spin Semiconductor at the time of his death and was author of ‘ASIC Design in the Silicon Sandbox: A Complete Guide to Building Mixed-Signal Integrated Circuits’.

Keith was a brilliant engineer with a wide-ranging knowledge of subjects as diverse as atomic physics and microbiology. I think it would be fair to say that while he helped start several successful companies, his main focus remained on the science behind the products. He was a unique individual and I know that he will be greatly missed by all those fortunate enough to know him.

Paul White, SOS Editor-In-Chief

www.soundonsound.com/sos/1996_articles/may96/keithbarr.html


 

Home | Search | News | Current Issue | Tablet Mag | Articles | Forum | Blog | Subscribe | Shop | Readers Ads

Advertise | Information | Privacy Policy | Support | Login Help

 

Email: Contact SOS

Telephone: +44 (0)1954 789888

Fax: +44 (0)1954 789895

Registered Office: Media House, Trafalgar Way, Bar Hill, Cambridge, CB23 8SQ, United Kingdom.

Sound On Sound Ltd is registered in England and Wales.

Company number: 3015516 VAT number: GB 638 5307 26

         

All contents copyright © SOS Publications Group and/or its licensors, 1985-2014. All rights reserved.
The contents of this article are subject to worldwide copyright protection and reproduction in whole or part, whether mechanical or electronic, is expressly forbidden without the prior written consent of the Publishers. Great care has been taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of this article but neither Sound On Sound Limited nor the publishers can be held responsible for its contents. The views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the publishers.

Web site designed & maintained by PB Associates | SOS | Relative Media