fairlight

CMI IIx

  • years of production : 1983 - 1985
  • 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 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 64Ko to 256Ko, the control panel of the central unit was modified, a MIDI/SMPTE interface was proposed as an option, as well as a hard disk drive (one or two CMI, including Queen's, featured the latter).

  • dual 8-bit 1 Mhz Motorola 6809 processors
  • 8 channel cards with 16kb waveform RAM : 8 voices of polyphony
  • 256Kb system RAM (QDOS)
  • two 8" floppy disks - double sides, simple/double 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
  • MIDI/SMPTE interface card (optional)

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-28 : general interface card : MIDI/SMPTE (slot 02)
  • CMI-01-A : channel card with 16Kb waveform RAM in which sounds are stored (slot 03 à 10)
  • CMI-07 : analog interface card (optional) : 16 inputs/outputs to control analog synthesizers (slot 11)
  • Q256 : 256Kb system RAM (slot 13,14)
  • Q014 : 4 port ACIA module (optional) (slot 15)
  • Q133 : processor control card (slot 16)
  • Q209 : dual 6809 processors (slot 17)
  • Q219 : lightpen/graphics interface card - 16Kb Video RAM (slot 18)
  • QFC9 : floppy disk controller (slot 19)
  • Q077 : hard disk controller (optional) (slot 20)