The Fairlight CMI is based on the architecture of the Qasar M8 (Multimode 8), created by Tony Furse in 1975. In the early 70’s, Tony Furse, a consulting engineer for Motorola, created his first prototype of hybrid analog/digital synthesizer, the Qasar I. In 1972-1973, Furse created his second prototype, the Qasar II, with the financial […]

Fairlight CMI IIx

In 1983, a major CMI update appeared: the Fairlight CMI IIx. Several internal cards were modified. The two 6800 processors were replaced by 6809 processors, the random access memory changed from 64Kb to 256Kb, the control panel of the central unit was modified, a MIDI/SMPTE interface was proposed as an option, as well as a […]

Fairlight CMI II

In 1982, the Fairlight 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 Page R, created by Michael […]

Fairlight CMI I

The Fairlight CMI I is marketed in 1979.CMI stands for Computer Musical Instrument. It is based on the architecture of the Fairlight Qasar prototype, and it has most of its features: Layout on the CMI-25 motherboard ID               DESCRIPTION SLOT     CMI-02 Master card: control of 8 channel cards, ADC sampling, timerfunctions for sequencer and MCL 1 […]


Summary In 1971, in Australia, Kim Ryrie creates the magazine Electronics Today International (ETI) in which are published the diagrams of two hybrid analog / digital synthesizers available in kit and designed by Trevor Marshall, the ETI 3600 and 4600 . These two synthesizers will be marketed in England by Maplin Electronics Ltd. But frustrated […]


Vintage SynthesizersMark VailEd. Miller Freeman Books Text + photos: p214-219 The SynthesizerMark VailEd. Oxford University Press Text + photos: p72-73 Digital SamplingThe Design and Use of Music TechnologiesPaul HarkinsEd. Routledge208 pages Synth Gems 1Exploring Vintage SynthesizersMike MetlayEd. Bjooks Text + photos: p128-133 The Musician And The MicroRay HammondEd. Blandford Press Text + photos: p126-146 Synthesizer […]


Peter vogel instruments The Peter Vogel’s web site, one of the founding members of Fairlight Instruments with Kim Ryrie The Holmes Page One of the first sites about the Fairlight K.M.I Klaus Michael Indlekofer’s web site. A comprehensive and very technical section on the different Fairlight models Mustudio The site of my friend Jean-Bernard Emond, […]


In the early 80’s, the Fairlight CMI, a new instrument created by an unknown Australian company, was about to start a revolution in the field of sonic and musical creation, with the introduction of sampling and a brand new conception of sequencing. Most of the records of these times featured the very distinctive sound of […]


Dumps by my friend Jean-Bernard Emond = Download .bin file CMI I MAINFRAME Q032 – Processor Control Card 4 EPROMs 2708 CMI IIx MAINFRAME Q219 – Lightpen / Graphics Interface Card 1 PROM Harris 7603 2 PROMs Harris 7611 CMI-02 – Master Card 2 PROMs Harris 7611 Q133 – Processor Control Card 2 EPROMs 2516 […]


Demonstration FOR THE CMI II – 1980 Text by Michael Carlos The Fairlight C.M.I. Demonstration Tape – No. 1 – 1981 There are 3 missing audio files for this tape: Nine Dimensions | David VorhausDad’s Army | Duncan McGuireSphera | Jill McGuire David Vorhaus Sleight of Mind – 1982Notes on rear sleeve:Electronic flights of fantasy […]