Synth DB

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Fairlight CMI | Fairlight III


1985 was the year that brought home the CMI with the release of the Series III models with more features that today's synth and sampler users can look up to with 44 kHz/16 bit audio to 16 voice patches.

With additive synthesis as part of the system, the creators also introduced the new system with a graphics tablet that the user now drew waveforms on as opposed to the fatigue that set in when drawing on the monitor.

With expansion available to the unit, it now offered 16 voices of polyphony which could be expanded further. MIDI IN/OUT was now fully implemented with several enhancements to the sequencing software which was now 80 tracks.

By 1985 the Fairlight CMI was on nearly every record within the Pop and Soundtrack musical worlds. Peter Gabriel was the first artists to buy a Fairlight and was famously documented in the making of his fourth record Security.
BrandFairlight CMI
ModelFairlight III
Engine TypeDigital
Voices (max)16
Engine DetailedFast Fourier Transforming, Waveform Editing, Graphics Tablet Waveform Drawing
Sampler16-bit at 100 kHz (mono) or 50 kHz (stereo)
Memory14 MB, expandable to 32 MB and maximum 64 MB on last hard revision (RAM disk), System: 356 KB
RecordingCAPS (Composer, Arranger, Performer Sequencer), 80 track polyphonic, Musical Composition Language (MCL)
Key typeKeys
Extra infoHard drive and Tape DC600 Streamer (ESDI, SCSI), one 8-inch floppy drive
Produced:1985 - 1989
Legend: Obvious Y: Yes, N: No, N/A: Not Applicable
VCO Voltage Controlled Oscillator DCO Digital Controlled Oscillator
LFO Low Frequency Oscillator Sub Sub Oscillator
VCF Voltage Controlled Filter VCA Voltage Controlled Amplifier
Velocity As with a piano, the harder you hit a key, the louder the sound, unlike most organs which always produce the same loudness no matter how hard you hit a key. Aftertouch Pressing a key after you activated it. Channel Aftertouch, no matter which key, it will send a Channel message. Poly Aftertouch, sends the pressure per key instead of the whole channel.
Values for OSC, LFO, Filter, Envelope are per voice unless stated otherwise.

Manuals, patches etc.


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