fairlight

CMI II

  • years of production : 1982 - 1983
  • dimensions (cm) W x H x D and weight (kg)
      . mainframe : 75 x 33 x 44 - weight : 40
      . music keyboard : 123 x 10 x 44 - weight : 20
      . graphics monitor : 49 x 35 x 37 - weight : 15
      . alphanumeric keyboard : 42 x 8 x 17 - weight : 3





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In 1982, the CMI II, a slightly improved version of the CMI, was created. The sampling rate turned from 24 to 32 khz, 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 - its 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

All the models of the Fairlight CMI line featured a central processing unit, a 73 note keyboard, a monochrome monitor, a lightpen and an alphanumeric keyboard. The central processing unit featured two floppy disk drives and several cards plugged in a motherboard (CMI-25). The cards could be accessed by lifting the front panel. The cards were placed this way :

  • CMI-02 : master card : control of 8 channel cards, ADC sampling, timerfunctions for sequencer and MCL (slot 01)
  • CMI-01 : channel card with 16Kb waveform RAM in which sounds are stored (slot 03 à 10)
  • Q045 : graphics card (slot 09)
  • CMI-07 : analog interface card (optional) : 16 inputs/outputs to control analog synthesizers (slot 11)
  • Q148 : lightpen card (slot 12)
  • Q096 : 64Kb system RAM card (slot 13 à 15)
  • Q032 : processor control card (slot 16)
  • Q026 : dual 6800 processors (slot 17)
  • QFC2 : floppy disk controller (slot 18)
  • Q025 : 16Kb video graphics RAM (slot 20)