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Author Topic: It's 1980 again: Fairlight CMI Returns!  (Read 4208 times)

ktownson

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It's 1980 again: Fairlight CMI Returns!
« on: January 19, 2011, 11:28:51 am »

http://mixonline.com/video/mixtv/gear/fairlight_cmi/

Check out the retro green screen! And the light pen lives! An updated take on 80's state-of-the-art samplers which will even dial down to vintage 7 or 8-bit samples if you really want to.

Synth geeks were lusting bigtime after this gem when it premiered. At about $20k in 1980 dollars, that's about all most of us could do. Dreamed of a Fairlight or Synclavier, bought a Mirage.

If you watch to the end, he says they're making 100 of the retro units for nostalgia sake, then probably a hardware card/software package for home computers after that.

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Jim Williams

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Re: It's 1980 again: Fairlight CMI Returns!
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2011, 11:36:33 am »

Saw it at Namm. I left scratching my head wondering why anyone would spend that much scratch on a 1980's synth unless they wanted to recreate 1980's pop music.
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ktownson

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Re: It's 1980 again: Fairlight CMI Returns!
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2011, 12:05:26 pm »

I think they're looking to raise some capital; notice he didn't show off what it sounded like, a fairly important detail in a sampler IMO.
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Jim Williams

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Re: It's 1980 again: Fairlight CMI Returns!
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2011, 08:05:46 pm »

To give them credit, Namm isn't the best venue to actually hear something but for many, it's their only choice.

I thought THIS was the year I would actually hear an audio mix through the Neve console, but alas, they didn't even bring one this year.
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Phil Mayor

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Re: It's 1980 again: Fairlight CMI Returns!
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2011, 09:47:31 pm »

Seems a bizarre thing to re-make to me.
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Tim Halligan

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Re: It's 1980 again: Fairlight CMI Returns!
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2011, 11:34:35 pm »

ktownson wrote on Thu, 20 January 2011 01:05

I think they're looking to raise some capital; notice he didn't show off what it sounded like, a fairly important detail in a sampler IMO.



When I was over at Fairlight last year, they told me they were going to great efforts to make sure the sound was authentic.

Cheers,
Tim
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Larrchild

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Re: It's 1980 again: Fairlight CMI Returns!
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2011, 11:48:28 pm »

Page R!
Light Pens!
96 PPB pulses!
Disks like small Pizzas!
I was there... Smile
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Larry Janus
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zmix

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Re: It's 1980 again: Fairlight CMI Returns!
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2011, 11:56:26 pm »

http://www.fairlightinstruments.com.au/history.html

If they're going to recreate the "sound" of the CMI they'll need to use an asynchronus playback system with tracking filters... (I was there, too!)

Larrchild

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Re: It's 1980 again: Fairlight CMI Returns!
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2011, 12:51:49 am »

Who amongst us can hear a "kotobend" sample today and not get somewhat misty?
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Tidewater

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Re: It's 1980 again: Fairlight CMI Returns!
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2011, 01:08:08 am »

hahaha I was just waxxing to Fibes about the FL strings.

Makes you want to drive a 308, and wear a Members Only jacket, or at least joke about it.

Wink
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Tidewater

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Re: It's 1980 again: Fairlight CMI Returns!
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2011, 01:10:31 am »

Tim Halligan wrote on Wed, 19 January 2011 23:34



When I was over at Fairlight last year, they told me they were going to great efforts to make sure the sound was authentic.

Cheers,
Tim



That is EXACTLY what the Gibson rep was explaining to me about the '59 Les Paul reissues, and the 19th version of modern PAFs. They went to great lengths! (he said a bunch)
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zmix

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Re: It's 1980 again: Fairlight CMI Returns!
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2011, 01:15:21 am »

Larrchild wrote on Thu, 20 January 2011 00:51

Who amongst us can hear a "kotobend" sample today and not get somewhat misty?

Very "Saxy"... I still have a "Page R" manual....

Larrchild

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Re: It's 1980 again: Fairlight CMI Returns!
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2011, 03:47:59 am »

I have a great Fairlight story. Working at Middle Ear (Bee Gees). Alone. Brothers are off to UK. Phone rings. "Hi, this is George Clinton. Thomas Dolby and me are at Criteria and our Fairlight is buggy. Can we use yours?
Since it's owners had abandoned it for the more svelte Synclavier, I was it's curator and quickly said "sure!". 30 mins later, a rather plain rentacar pulls in and sure as heck, an actual George Clinton is in front of me. Not the film guy, either. He grabbed the apparatus and my samples and barreled back off after some short and pleasant conversation. I was invited to drop in and visited them the next day. They seemed to be having a good time. I had not heard 2 utterly funky people use it before and came away with 'ideas', lol. Oh, also, I was watching "Howard the Duck" and heard my sample! Fame by 8" disk.
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Jon Hodgson

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Re: It's 1980 again: Fairlight CMI Returns!
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2011, 06:28:04 am »

The mad scientist in me loves it.

Thirty years of technological advances and masses of processing power (that crystalcore engine is a beast) used to emulate hardware that is less complex than the phone in your pocket.

I'd also love to see someone do the opposite, use those same advances to build something that's close to the original in circuitry, but the size of a mac mini and costing 400 bucks.

Not because it's necessary, or even because it's marketable, but just because for me it's cool, as "engineering art".
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Fran├žois Kevorkian

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Re: It's 1980 again: Fairlight CMI Returns!
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2011, 11:39:08 am »

Jon Hodgson wrote on Thu, 20 January 2011 11:28

The mad scientist in me loves it.

Thirty years of technological advances and masses of processing power (that crystalcore engine is a beast) used to emulate hardware that is less complex than the phone in your pocket.

I'd also love to see someone do the opposite, use those same advances to build something that's close to the original in circuitry, but the size of a mac mini and costing 400 bucks.

Funny you'd say this, before reading the thread the first thing that came to mind is that they probably made an iPad virtual version of the thing ....

But since coincidentally I am right in the middle of a session using a bunch of analog synths that were made around 1977~79, have to say that there's something truly awesome about old classic hardware (when it works) Very Happy

Remember seeing a Fairlight CMI at an auction a few years ago,  it went for something like $150.
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Fenris Wulf

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Re: It's 1980 again: Fairlight CMI Returns!
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2011, 01:39:45 am »

So why would anyone buy a hardware sampler in this day and age? I can think of a VERY good reason. Sure, modern software samplers can store massive multi-sampled instruments. But you can't PLAY them.

Every DAW on the market has a completely unpredictable amount of MIDI jitter, ranging from 5 ms to 20 ms, enough to affect the feel of the music. When you hook up an external controller to a sofware sampler, and it's like somebody encased your keyboard in a thin layer of rubber.

As a keyboardist, I find this to be less than acceptable.

For this and many other reasons, I am
FINISHED
with DAW technology. I've struggled for years to make it work right and I've had enough. I'm never spending another penny on it. As soon as we have the money for a 2" machine, the DAW is getting thrown off the roof.

If I do electronic-oriented music in the future, I'll be using hardware samplers, hardware synths, and hardware sound modules. For sequencing I'll use an Atari ST chasing SMPTE off the 2".

Pianos and organs will be the real thing. The cost of an old upright piano, an old electric piano, or a Hammond M3 with a DIY Leslie compares favorably to the cost of software emulations.
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