Fairlight CMI II


In 1982, the CMI II, a slightly improved version of the CMI, was created.
The sampling rate turned from 24 to 32Khz, still in 8 bits.
The channel cards have been improved.
A MIDI card is available as an option.
But the main innovation was the inclusion of the “R page”, the first sequencer with a graphic representation of the 8 tracks and notes. It was based on a system of patterns (sets of bars) that you could repeat, copy, paste… You could also quantify the notes. The R page was a revolution in the use of sequencers. Some musicians bought a CMI only for this graphic sequencers.

  • Dual 8-bit 1 Mhz Motorola 6800 processors
  • 8 channel cards with 16kb waveform RAM = 8 voices of polyphony
  • 64Kb system RAM (QDOS)
  • Two 8″ floppy disks: double sides, simple density (512Kb)
  • Non-weighted 6 octave keyboard, featuring key velocity sensitivity, with 3 sliders and 2 switch buttons that can be alloted to various parameters (vibrato, volume, sustain… ).
    A second keyboard is proposed as an option (without the control buttons)
  • Monochrome monitor which was used to visualise waveforms and to edit parameters: resolution was 512 x 256 pixels
  • Alphanumeric keyboard
  • Lightpen
  • Additive synthesis with FFT (Fast Fourier Transform)
  • 32Khz 8-bit sampling
  • Sequencer (page C) and graphic sequencer (page R)
  • MCL: Musical Composition Language

The cards are arranged on the CMI-25 motherboard as follows:

CMI-02Master card: control of 8 channel cards, ADC sampling, timerfunctions for sequencer and MCL1
CMI-01-AChannel card with 16Kb waveform RAM
CEM3320 (Rev 1 & 2) or SSM2045 (Rev 3 & 4) Filter
3 to 10
CMI-07Analog interface card (optional): 16 inputs/outputs to control analog synthesizers11
Q148 Lightpen card12
Q09664Kb system RAM card13 to 15
Q032Processor control card16
Q026Dual 6800 processors17
QFC2Floppy disk controller18
Q045Graphics card19
Q02516Kb video graphics RAM20