80’s awesome wonderful! In England in the summertime…
“Introducing the Fairlight App for iPhone & iPad, available from the Apple App Store in March 2011. Over 30 years since the original Fairlight CMI first changed the way we make music, we are proud to present the iPhone & iPad Apps, giving you the experience of a CMI Series IIx in the palm of your hand, complete with the full Series IIx factory library and expandable to include the best of the Series III library and even your own samples. Marvel at the then revolutionary Page R step sequencer, gasp at the three dimensional waveforms in Page D and bask in the wonder of some of the most famous sounds of the Eighties! The sound track of this video is also one of the app’s built-in demos. ‘Octagonalle’ was created using original Series II library sounds on the Fairlight iPad app by producer/composer Justin Shave. Shave confronted his first CMI in 2006 when he co-produced Darren Hayes’ album “This Delicate Thing We’ve Made.” Darren had decided that the Fairlight was the only instrument which could deliver the ’80s sensibility he was seeking, bought one on eBay, and handed it to Shave to tame. The rest is history.” – FairlightInstruments
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)
Nothing beats the sound of the 80s. Period. At least that’s my own view. The amazing and expensive Fairlight CMI was the sampler that defined much of the 80s sound. Bands like Art of Noise used the Fairlight extensively. I once owned a Roland S-50 sampler and it had a small copy of the Fairlight’s amazing sound set. I miss those sounds so I’m happy to report that PowerFX has released a Refill for Propellerheads Reason called Fairlight CMI Legacy.
“This library collects an awesome amount of ultra clean recordings of the original sounds from the Fairlight CMI II, the world’s first real sampling based workstation as premiered some time before 1980. And this entire Reason 4 library costs much less than 64 kilobytes of memory did in 1980. The ReFill contains somewhat more than that, too. It carries 644 Megabyte of samples. You get over 2000 sounds in all, including all of the Fairlight’s 33 precious 8 inch factory discs. To celebrate the Fairlight feel, all new samples are labeled and arranged in virtual 8 inch disks as well.” – powerfx.com
The next two days in New York be sunny and warm. My wife’s been pointing out all the holes in my favorite T-shirts. Therefore this post is for her and her wallet. Most of these prints are available on American Apparel shirts which means they fit well and are nice and soft. The classic and now fully hipsterized green Moog T? Could I be in full “Hawtin, bald, those black geek eyeglasses” Ableton T mode? Do I want to date myself with the Fairlight T? I love AD and Ohm Force but no one other than readers of this blog would have a clue what the prints mean (which is ok by me!).