The Sound of the CMI Fairlight

The sound quality of the Fairlight's samples was extremely crude, but the Fairlight was nevertheless initially hailed for its capacity to emulate real instruments 'perfectly', the 'orchestra-in-a-box' syndrome. This was partly due to the fact that Fairlight presented the machine with a collection of orchestral samples (they were obviously still thinking along their original real instrument simulation lines), stored on 8-inch 500KB floppy disks, that could contain 22 sounds each. Coming across like a piece of science fiction, the machine initially drew as much interest from the world of science (it was featured on the UK TV program 'Tomorrow's World') as from the musical community.

Sunday, April 19, 2020