Fairlight CMI30A iPad

The original Fairlight CMI is heading to the iPad soon. In the past I’ve mentioned the great sounds which are definitely associated with the 1980s the CMI produces. My first sampler, a Roland S-50 had a very nice set heavily inspired by the CMI. You can read that blog post which also talks about my father buying me the S-50 here: My father and my Roland S-50 sampler. You can also get a faithfully recreated CMI Reason Refill from PowerFX. If you’re unsure of the type of sounds I am talking about the best example is the song Close to the Edit from Art of Noise (video above). Lastly, if you don’t actually want to make some noise but still want some black and green screen nostalgia there are some nice Fairlight CMI iPad cases, T-Shirts, coffee mugs and more on Cafepress: cafepress.com/fairlight. The iPad CMI should be in the App store soon with a price of 50 Australian dollars.

“In early 1983, two of Trevor Horn’s production team, programmer JJ Jeczalik and engineer Gary Langan were working on a scrapped drum riff from a session from Yes’s 90125. They sampled it into a Fairlight CMI, using the then new Page R sequencer. This was the first time an entire drum pattern had been sampled into the machine. They then added non-musical sounds on top of it, before playing the track to producer Trevor Horn… The technological impetus for the Art of Noise was the advent of the Fairlight CMI sampler, an electronic musical instrument invented in Australia that Horn was reportedly among the first to purchase.” – Wikipedia (Art of Noise)

For more info: http://au.fairlight.com.au

6 Comments

  1. My first sampler was an Ensoniq Mirage. I worked an entire summer to save the $1200 I needed for that 8-bit, 8-voice synth. One of the discs that they let me copy from the music store was Close to the Edit, someone had created a demo disc of that. I sampled the Fairlight choir off another Art of Noise cassette, they had one isolated note that I could grab. My friend had the 12-bit Roland S-10 with Quick Discs but the Mirage was cooler to me.

    I’m very much looking forward to the Fairlight app for iPad! I got an app store gift card for Christmas that will finally be cashed in on that app.

    Reply

  2. but what actually does this app copy? the vintage interface or the typical lo-fi effect?

    AFAIK the Failrlight was the only sampler to speed up or slow down its’ clock for making different notes. It’s a unique feature of its’ machinery which can’t be emulated in a program way.

    Reply

    1. No, every sampler works this way.

      Reply

      1. Since late 80’s nothing works like this anymore. Samplers (hardware or software) don’t manipulate the speed of playback, they recalculate the sound at the steady sample rate with extra interpolation. If Akai could work like Fairlight it would be x2/x3 bigger in size.

        Reply

  3. gmez!

    You are saying the truth… There seems to be many people who thinks that a ” sampler is only a sampler…

    The transposion effects on the Fairlight, and EMU II, III, are something special. The iCMI app must have special algorithms or proper multisamples to sound anything like the orginal Fairlight..

    and of course… the answer is NO!

    But one day…

    Reply

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