Barth Audios Pitch Transposer & Delay
Iconic pitch transposer with groundbreaking sequencer function
The Barth Audios belongs to the first generation of digital effects and, together with the Publison DHM89 B2, represents one of the milestones in the fields of pitch transposing and sampling. The Audios combines a two-voice pitch transposer (with sequencer!), delay and sample section in one unit. With its innovative and inspiring operating features, it remains a popular and top-class creative tool even in the DAW age that has gained real cult status particularly in Berlin’s insider circles.
- Development and production
The Audios was developed by the German engineer, Klaus Fischer, between 1976 and 1978. He was assisted on the symmetrical input and output stages by Peter H. Leunig, creator of the legendary Kraftwerk vocoder (Release Ralf & Florian) and Barth Musicoder. The prototype of the Audios was presented to the public for the first time at the “Tonmeistertagung” in Berlin in November 1978. Production was subsequently taken over by the R. Barth KG in Hamburg. The first series-production Audios came onto the market in spring 1981. By the end of production in 1983, 50 models of the Barth Audios had been produced.
- Fields of application & sound
A unique feature of the Audios is the possibility of setting the two transposition intervals (±1 octave) no less than four times, and of having these four steps controlled by an internal sequencer. External synchronisation is effected either by envelope follower or by trigger signals (the external trigger input necessary for this can be retrofitted by Klaus Fischer, if required). The trigger signals can be generated by drum computers such as the Roland TR-808 or Roland TR-909 and by percussive audio signals (e.g. Rimshot) from the DAW. The original signal can be steplessly mixed in to the transposed signals. In combination with the impressive three-dimensionality, this creates undreamt-of sound and groove creations that in this form can only be achieved with the Audios.
A further effective application is the stereophonic transformation of vocal tracks to make them sound broader and more three-dimensional in the mix.
One source of ideas for the unit was the influential producer, Conny Plank, who frequently employed the Audios in his studio recordings. The best-known productions in which the Audios can be heard, on the other hand, are the multi-million selling albums of the pop duo, Modern Talking, where the pitch transposer assists in the performance of the high voices.
Today it is predominantly star DJs such as Ricardo Villalobos, Thomas Franzmann and Mark Ernestus who regularly employ the Barth Audios in their own productions.
- Future of the Audios
Klaus Fischer took up his development again in 2016 and now offers useful added functions in addition to the conventional maintenance service which optimise the Audios for work with both the DAW and with modular synthesizers. In May 2019 Klaus Fischer presented these new features at the Superbooth in Berlin.
- Further links:
• A complete list of the current added functions can be found on the Klaus Fischer website.
• A good overview of functions can be found in the original brochure from 1980.
• A good studio manual (german) for the work with the Audios from 1985 was written by Prof. Dirk Reith from the Electronic Studio of the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen.
• A contemporary test (german) by Klaus Thomsen can be found in the Studio magazine, volume 42, from 1981
- Manufacturing period: 1981-1983
- Weight: 7,5 kg
- 1 Day30 €
- 2 Days45 €
(Fr-Mo) 60 €