The Fairlight CMI Cost $32,000 But You Can Get Its Sound For Much Less

Arturia's recreation of this classic multi-instrument makes capturing its sound a reality for almost anyone. Here, Nigel Broad explains why it is so revered among musicians and producers.  

The Fairlight CMI was one of the most revolutionary things to happen to music technology when it was first released in 1979. But it was prohibitively expensive, placing it far out of reach of most people. Now, emulation experts Arturia have faithfully recreated this legendary sampler, synth and sequencing instrument in software format and Nigel Broad is here to show you exactly what it's all about! In this short video from our online course, Arturia V 104: CMI V Explored, he explores the history of the CMI. 

Giving you some background on the creation and history of the CMI, Nigel explains that it wasn't initially a roaring success, with those who could afford one experiencing something of a learning curve. But after Peter Gabriel used one extensively on his album "Melt" in 1980, its popularity took off. The series 2 improved things significantly and addressed many of the technical shortcomings of the original. It still cost $32,000 though - luckily you can get your hands on Arturia's version for rather less. Check out the rest of the videos in this course for a complete guide to this classic system. 

Watch the full course Arturia V 104: CMI V Explored in the Ask.Audio Academy | macProVideo | Ask.Video

Arturia V 104: CMI V Explored

Designed by Peter Vogel and Kim Ryrie and introduced to the market in 1979, the Fairlight CMI (short for Computer Musical Instrument) was one of the first workstations to cover sampling, synthesis and sequencing in one package. Heard on countless pop records (Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Art of Noise, Duran Duran, Jean-Michel Jarre, Prince to name a few), this legendary instrument truly redefined the sound of music in the ’80s. And while the original instrument was far too expensive for most musicians, the Arturia’s CMI V won’t break the bank.

Before covering the Arturia CMI V plugin, trainer and producer Nigel Broad starts by giving a brief history lesson on the original Fairlight CMI instrument. The user interface is then discussed in details, including the toolbars, preset browsers and the advanced screen. Next, Nigel explores the Sound page, where you learn how to manipulate samples and how to get creative with the time synth and spectral synth modes. After covering sound editing in details, Nigel moves on to sequencing where you learn to create and edit patterns in the Page-R-inspired Sequencer page. You'll also discover new CMI V-only features such as the Mixer page, effects, keyboard mapping and more...

So forget about 8-inch floppy disks and monochrome displays… Let synthesis expert Nigel Broad shows you how to bring this unique instrument into the modern age!

Check out the CMI V from Arturia:
Watch the full course Arturia V 104: CMI V Explored in the Ask.Audio AcademymacProVideo | Ask.Video

Hollin Jones was classically trained as a piano player but found the lure of blues and jazz too much to resist. Graduating from bands to composition then production, he relishes the chance to play anything with keys. A sometime lecturer in videographics, music production and photography post production, Hollin has been a freelance w... Read More


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