Keith Barr 1949-2010
By George Petersen
I’M LOSING A LOT OF FRIENDS LATELY. And not Facebook “friends�?, but real, amazing human beings that are no longer with us. The other day, it was Keith Barr, the genius who founded Alesis and was a co-founder of MXR, who passed away at 60. Besides some of the greatest stompboxes ever devised, Keith also led the team that created the Alesis ADAT digital modular digital multitrack recorder that—while mostly obsolete today (digital TAPE recorders?)—forever changed the audio world. For a more compete background on the life of Keith Barr, go to “In Memoriam—Keith Barr”
Even today, there are major holdovers from the ADAT technology, such as the LightPipe standard for carrying eight channels of digital audio over a fiber optic strand, and the company still continues, but perhaps the huge legacy of Keith Barr came from the vast number of industry pros today who were lucky enough to be part of the Alesis empire in Southern California and developed their marketing / sales / engineering / management / manufacturing chops there. The list of alumni from that great organization is substantial and they all share a bond from working within that team environment.
Farewell, Keith. You left us all too soon, but your mark on the industry is indelible and long-lasting and will continue to be felt for years to come. Rest in peace. You will not be forgotten.
George Petersen is an independent journalist/author/producer. Visit him on Facebook or at www.audioinfosource.com.
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