Fairlight CMI

Battle ended 2014-06-22 14:38:51

43 Entries

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43 Entries
Level 23 Chipist
post #43963 :: 2014.06.01 1:34pm
  Savestate, Xaser and goluigi liēkd this
Well I'm sure not floppy.
Level 26 Mixist
post #43975 :: 2014.06.01 2:33pm :: edit 2014.06.01 2:36pm
  mootbooxle liēkd this
purely informational speculation:

it's my understanding that we are to simulate the original environment as closely as possible. and i've been led to believe that it looks as follows:
  1. a monophonic sample-based sequencer with 8 channels. only note on, note off, and volume
  2. 8 sends, one for each channel
  3. samples can be cropped and such (maybe?)
which means that anything from the 8 channels to the final mixdown is pretty much fair game, and that anything on a per-instrument or per-sample basis is probably NOT okay. if it sounds like something you could do with a setup like this should be fine. i imagine excessive automation of the effects is frowned upon, but i can't say for sure.

mootbooxle or puke7 or somebody should confirm this
Level 23 Chipist
post #43978 :: 2014.06.01 2:37pm
  mootbooxle liēkd this
Also no pitchplay.
Level 30 Mixist
post #43987 :: 2014.06.01 3:17pm
  Tilde, Moose, Chip Champion, Flaminglog, goluigi, Xaser and Slimeball liēkd this
YAY we're doing it! Thanks puke ;)

When I got hold of all the original samples and started playing around with them, I thought this would make a great compo: to try and mimic the sound and "feel" of music that was created on the original machine, especially since it's so tracker-friendly. Puke7 graciously agreed, so here we are.

aji, your speculation was correct. It's 8 monophonic channels, with no effects (pitch, vibrato, etc) support. Just note on, note off, and velocity (volume).

You can't mangle the samples except for looping them and/or cropping/trimming them - but whatever you do, it has to still retain the character of the machine. I don't expect to hear chip-loops.

Pretend like your 8 channels are being fed into 8 channels on a mixing console, and you have at your disposal outboard effects. You can EQ the sounds, add external effects, add reverb, and whatever. As long as the original machine's sound is intact, what happens post-Fairlight is up to you. (This means, tracker users, that you can duplicate tracks to create delays and stuff and that doesn't count as one of your 8 "channels".)

Remember, the point of this is to emulate the sound of a machine, and people used that machine in conjunction with outboard effects to "sweeten" it up. BIG PLUS if you make it sound like the track was made somewhere between 1983-1986.

I took the time to batch convert the whole lot to 16-bit 44.1kHz for ease of use in some systems. Only problem is they are not sorted into the nice categories anymore. They sound identical to the originals, it's just that some DAWs and stuff don't like 8-bit samples.
Here you go if you want them:
Level 22 Chipist
post #43994 :: 2014.06.01 4:09pm
  DimWiddy, Flaminglog, Moose, raphaelgoulart, mootbooxle and Slimeball liēkd this
Would it be illegal to use a real Fairlight CMI?
Level 25 Mixist
post #43998 :: 2014.06.01 4:25pm
  DimWiddy, raphaelgoulart and Slimeball liēkd this
I'm seriously pulling for at least one person to do exactly that. That'd be an extra helping of awesome-sauce.
Level 30 Mixist
Automatic DQ for anyone using a real Fairlight.
That is, I will take you to Dairy Queen and while you're eating your Blizzard I will be putting your Fairlight in my car.

Seriously, if anyone has access to a real machine, DO IT!
Level 24 Chipist
post #44003 :: 2014.06.01 5:09pm
  architect1, Slimeball and raphaelgoulart liēkd this
so the entries are entirely based around composition, and sound design freedom is minimized by the outlawing of effects?

this is exactly the kind of thing i'm good at, i'm definitely entering this.
Level 29 Chipist
post #44005 :: 2014.06.01 6:01pm :: edit 2014.06.01 8:39pm
  DimWiddy liēkd this
OK this is how I think the routing goes if not please correct me!
thank you b00daw for all the help understanding!
Level 27 Renderist
post #44008 :: 2014.06.01 7:06pm :: edit 2014.06.01 10:34pm
:) sure


Here are the schematics for the 8 waveram channels and the mono DAC out. :)


Thanks for that picture of the unit, moot! :D Without the actual PCB or unit, not all the "materialness" is there. ;D

So basically you do your own mixing too.
Level 30 Mixist
post #44020 :: 2014.06.01 8:17pm :: edit 2014.06.01 8:20pm
  Slimeball, b00daw and Savestate liēkd this
Well what you guys are talking about is a whole nother ball of wax.
You are talking about taking a mono summing out from the CMI unit, and that's technically correct, but that disallows any of the real post effects that would normally be used on a professional recording of the unit.

Understand that there is an individual output for each voice, which would normally be input to 8 channels on a mixing console and panned / EQd / send FX added / etc.

If you want to be a "purist" you can make a mono recording that sounds like the raw output of the machine, but that's not what I'm advocating - I'm talking about how the machine was used in 99% of the records it was used on, which is with effects post-Fairlight, stereo mixing.

Look at this diagram. This is a basic idea of how a real recording would work with the Fairlight.


All the panning / EQ / volume mixing happens after the signal leaves the machine. This example shows 2 effects sends - any of the 8 tracks can be sent to either the reverb, delay, or both. The whole thing gets summed to a stereo 2-channel mix inside the mixing console, which gets fed to any master FX, and then to the master recorder.
Every bit of this can be simulated in any tracker or DAW. I hope that helps.
So, while you're technically correct in what happens inside the machine, the tracks we are attempting to produce in this compo should be more like what happens in a studio setup with a Fairlight. The machine supplies the sounds, the mixing happens after that.

Here's a pic of the back of the machine which shows the individual outputs.
Level 23 Chipist
post #44024 :: 2014.06.01 8:28pm :: edit 2014.06.01 8:31pm
Both you and puke are saying that the Fairlight has 8 physical outputs, but b00daw says they're summed within the machine, leading to one DAC (mono), and the FX are proprietary modules.

So...I don't know what to believe in anymore.

(that picture is pretty good evidence though)
Level 28 Chipist
post #44025 :: 2014.06.01 8:28pm :: edit 2014.06.01 8:30pm
  Slimeball liēkd this
so panning envelopes/individual notepans wouldn't be allowed but channel pans would be allowed?????

frying pans??????????
Level 26 Chipist
post #44026 :: 2014.06.01 8:28pm
haa nice! :D
what about the Oxx effect (set offset)?
Level 29 Chipist
post #44027 :: 2014.06.01 8:40pm
  mootbooxle liēkd this
O: oh wow! I thought that there wasn't outputs for each channel! Now that I know that there is that makes things A LOT easier!!!
Level 30 Mixist
post #44028 :: 2014.06.01 8:59pm
  tothejazz and Tilde liēkd this
Tilde: We're both right. If you are making a song *on the Fairlight itself* you would be summing to a single output, but that is not how 99% of the records that use the Fairlight were made. The individual outputs would be used in a way similar to what I showed in the diagram.
We're making songs that adhere to the limitations of the hardware sound and sequencer, but making productions.
If you want to make a raw unprocessed Fairlight sequence go right ahead, but no one uses that machine that way.
Level 30 Mixist
post #44029 :: 2014.06.01 9:02pm
  tothejazz and Tilde liēkd this
You can do anything with panning that could be physically done with a pan knob on a mixing board. If that means envelopes, great. But you cant have that as part of the note itself, does that make sense?

This is simple! Don't overthink it! Make good music with the samples!
Level 28 Chipist
post #44030 :: 2014.06.01 9:58pm
  cce, tripflag, Xaser, raphaelgoulart, DimWiddy, Savestate and mootbooxle liēkd this
i guess you have to be pretty smart to figure this stuff out in the first place...
Level 10 Mixist
post #44033 :: 2014.06.01 10:21pm
  mootbooxle liēkd this
"You can do anything with panning that could be physically done with a pan knob on a mixing board."

this sounds kinda tricky to enforce. what you can do with panning automation on a mixing board and what you do with per note pan envelopes end up sounding the same don't they?

"This is simple! Don't overthink it!"

so basically, "make a song. 8 channels max. monophonic. panning ok, pitch bends not ok. go crazy with fx channels. have fun!" ?
Level 30 Mixist
post #44035 :: 2014.06.01 10:31pm
  tothejazz, Slimeball and goluigi liēkd this
Yes gymsunderscore. Exactly. It was all in the original rules!
The deal with the pans is simply, pan automation FX through the song, not "whoosh from left to right pan envelope programmed into the sample itself". That's what I mean.
Level 30 Mixist
post #44039 :: 2014.06.02 2:38am
  tothejazz, Slimeball, Savestate, Moose and goluigi liēkd this
The original Fairlight could not switch instruments so if you want to sound authentic, load your 8 sounds and don't change them!
8 instruments only!
Remember you can duplicate channels to create delays and other FX, but they have to be copies, not cheaty extra notes!

You can do volume FX all you want, you can do pans, but the sample instruments can't contain allsorts of crazy pan envelopes and stuff! You can also do filtering and EQ and stuff, but not in the samples themselves; only as an insert or send FX!

And of course, any post processing you do is up to you, but the idea is to get an 80s sound.
Level 23 Chipist
post #44041 :: 2014.06.02 2:53am
  Moose and goluigi liēkd this
Level 18 Chipist
post #44042 :: 2014.06.02 3:23am
  Slimeball and mootbooxle liēkd this
Quick question: Does this mean even different drum samples (i.e. snare, kick, hat) will have to be migrated across different channels?
Level 30 Mixist
post #44043 :: 2014.06.02 3:33am
  tothejazz, Slimeball, 9999HP and Moose liēkd this
Yup, unfortunately. That's how they did it back in 1983!
Level 23 Chipist
post #44048 :: 2014.06.02 5:09am :: edit 2014.06.02 5:10am
  tothejazz, Slimeball, Moose, goluigi and mootbooxle liēkd this


and I can't decide on just 8, they're all so good
Level 30 Mixist
post #44051 :: 2014.06.02 5:23am
  goluigi liēkd this
This is one compo where I wish we could submit multiple entries!
Level 22 Chipist
post #44053 :: 2014.06.02 7:46am
  tothejazz, tripflag, goluigi and Slimeball liēkd this
"[...]alts..." - bob marley
Level 25 Mixist
post #44063 :: 2014.06.02 9:34am
  goluigi and mootbooxle liēkd this
Can we load the same sample more than once?
Level 30 Mixist
post #44070 :: 2014.06.02 12:48pm
of course!
Level 23 Mixist
post #44071 :: 2014.06.02 1:03pm :: edit 2014.06.11 4:49pm
  goluigi and Slimeball liēkd this

Eh, I think I'm gonna sit out this time.
Level 30 Mixist
post #44073 :: 2014.06.02 2:12pm
  Savestate, goluigi and Slimeball liēkd this
Level 23 Mixist
post #44075 :: 2014.06.02 2:43pm :: edit 2014.06.11 4:49pm
  goluigi and Slimeball liēkd this

I just don't think I have enough restraint to be able to do something for this. Like, a limit of 8 tracks and 8 samples? No thank you. Plus I'm severely lacking motivation, as well as ideas, when it comes to making music at this point.
I may or may not change my mind at some point, but right now this is just too much for me to handle.
Level 28 Chipist
post #44077 :: 2014.06.02 3:13pm
  Moose and mootbooxle liēkd this
zillah, it is very similar to pandatracker except it's better because you can spam effects still to fill up the sound, like you can make delay channels and stuff so it's not really 8 "tracker channels" it's more like 8 "content channels" (ie: delay channels don't count to your 8 channel limit) with their own instruments but you can use more channels for stuff like delays, effects, etc etc etc etfcerfjverhgwef

just imagine making a pandatracker song with a good user interface and having a bunch of buttons u can press that add effects like reverb and delay and eq and compressor etc. you also get pick the hardon programmed instruments beforehand. then just make a song.

it's a lot easier than you think!
Level 28 Renderist
post #44078 :: 2014.06.02 3:21pm
  Moose, goluigi and Savestate liēkd this
Zillah, you should watch out for all the people here who are willing to blackmail you into submission!
Level 23 Mixist
post #44082 :: 2014.06.02 3:40pm
  tothejazz, Slimeball and mootbooxle liēkd this
What have I done?
Level 22 Chipist
post #44084 :: 2014.06.02 3:44pm
  tothejazz, Tilde, Slimeball and mootbooxle liēkd this
We found the bodies.
Level 22 Mixist
post #44146 :: 2014.06.03 4:01am
  tothejazz, MovieMovies1, mootbooxle and Lukas Eriksson liēkd this
I'm down for this.

I'm so, so SO down for this you don't even believe.
Level 24 Chipist
post #44199 :: 2014.06.03 5:20pm :: edit 2014.06.03 5:22pm
  sc, MiDoRi, cce, goluigi, Moose, Baron Knoxburry and mootbooxle liēkd this
Anyone who has a working Fairlight 2 is lying.

Repeating some things I said in IRC and elsewhere for hints and documentations' sake:

- Most "good" examples of Fairlight use are in sync with a linndrum and/or playing with a band.

- EQ and reverbs were used liberally because the raw sound really was that bad, even in the day because its memory was tiny; despite that it cost more than a house

- If you want to sound like Art of Noise you'll need to use automations because they'd do stuff on the desk while it played too

- Turn down the sample rate and/or bitcrush musically, some of the characteristic sound is actually nyquist noise

- Sometimes they'd play through a speaker and mic it. (Got a guitar cab sim you can set for "clean?")

- Some things that were thought to be Fairlight actually weren't

- You will find much of Pet Shop Boys' catalog in the pack

- We have it way better now
Level 23 Chipist
post #44200 :: 2014.06.03 5:22pm :: edit 2014.06.03 5:42pm
Eh, I'll just stretch the rules as I see fit. Screw authenticity.


(not that I won't follow the strict rules of course)
Level 15 Playa
post #44278 :: 2014.06.04 10:03am
Is multitracking legal? I don't think it is, but I just wanted to ask before starting to (try) to make a song :0)
Level 30 Mixist
post #44290 :: 2014.06.04 2:55pm
Depends what you mean by multitracking.
You can have 8 samples on 8 channels/tracks, and any of those can be copypasta'd to create delays and stuff.
Level 15 OHCist
post #44436 :: 2014.06.06 4:25pm
  mootbooxle liēkd this
Great cover art 10/10.
Level 23 Chipist
post #44454 :: 2014.06.06 6:43pm
Does this being a remix compo mean you can't incorporate any sort of microphone, such as using a Fairlight sample as a vocoder carrier?
Level 27 Chipist
post #44651 :: 2014.06.12 7:14am :: edit 2014.06.12 7:21am
  mootbooxle and Slimeball liēkd this
I just got tempted to make one just for fun, and I'm planning on doing mine raw. Speaking of raw... this feels almost like my classical composition method when making psuedo-SNES music back in 2007-2008, except for no sample switching per channel... and lots more limitations.

The way these samples are set up have me tempted to re-use them as actual SNES samples, actually, sometime in the future.
Level 30 Mixist
post #44663 :: 2014.06.12 11:40am
  Tilde and Slimeball liēkd this
@Tilde - I thought about this and I think that using a mic, even as a vocoder modulator, would constitute non-bitpackness technically. Surely you can come up with something good without it! I hope you enter!

@KungFuFurby : So glad to hear this. I was thinking about this just the other day, and wanted to mention to you that I thought these samples (and the Page R format with its 8 channels) would be very well suited to SPC format.
If you did a quasi-SPC (or even real SPC) thing for this compo I would be delighted! :)
Level 27 Chipist
post #44673 :: 2014.06.12 1:02pm :: edit 2014.06.12 1:11pm
  Slimeball liēkd this
I'm going to pass on real SPC this go round (the biggest problem is that the Fairlight CMI probably does NOT have a resampler on hand... which means these would be going in full quality. Plus... the SNES didn't exist until 1990 (that's if you count the SFC, the SNES's Japanese counterpart).). But believe it or not, at least one of these samples has already been used in a real SNES game. Just listen to the Hispanola Jungle track from The Hurricanes... and then you'll see what I mean.

Technically it's an automatic qualifier for me to go quasi-SPC because the 8 channel limit is automatically imposed. But the trickery I'm using requires higher than usual pitches (I'm emulating high-hats by using real high notes on the cymbals), which disqualifies the song from real .spc format.

I have my channels allocated with three of them using the same sample. The other five are unique, three of them being the drums.
Level 24 Chipist
post #44855 :: 2014.06.15 4:13pm
  Slimeball, 9999HP and kfaraday liēkd this
I missed Spring Tracks 3 and Fairlight CMI, but I won't miss Summer Chip 12!!
Level 19 Chipist
post #44859 :: 2014.06.15 4:31pm
  Slimeball liēkd this
Summer Chip 12 wow! cya in 8 years!
Level 28 Renderist
post #44860 :: 2014.06.15 4:34pm
  kleeder, DimWiddy, Interrobang Pie, Xaser, Savestate, mootbooxle, architect1 and goluigi liēkd this
Interrobang Pie will probably have fermented to Interrobang Cheese by then....
Level 27 Chipist
post #44871 :: 2014.06.15 7:05pm
  Slimeball, raphaelgoulart, mootbooxle and goluigi liēkd this
Well... the song ended up incomplete. I started work on the song, and ultimately abandoned ship. Doesn't help that the song was started three days before the deadline.

Actually, that's two of them for me, too. I attempted to make an entry both times, and failed to finish them. Actually, I started on a possible beta for my Spring Tracks 3 entry before the compo even started! Luckily for me, I made up my mind for what I'm going to enter for Summer Chip 4... but only for the SNES.

I'm a bit burnt out in real life, honestly... I'm currently in a bit of a vacation mode here.
Level 30 Mixist
post #44879 :: 2014.06.15 9:45pm
  KungFuFurby liēkd this
It's ok KFF, I know the feeling!
Level 30 Mixist
post #44975 :: 2014.06.17 8:39pm
  sc, DimWiddy, MS and Cessor Safari liēkd this
Very good interview with the inventor of the Fairlight CMI, Peter Vogel (and Fairlight aficionado Thomas Dolby):
Level 24 Chipist
post #44983 :: 2014.06.18 8:07am
  mootbooxle liēkd this
"I wasn't watching TV, at least not from the front..."

Thomas is quick to dismiss the interviewer's lead to "better in my day," demonstrates Orch Hit 5.
Level 30 Mixist
post #44984 :: 2014.06.18 10:59am
  sc and tothejazz liēkd this
Thomas Dolby is a very smart guy and expresses himself well. I liked his observations on using good taste...Couldn't agree more!
Level 19 Chipist
post #44988 :: 2014.06.18 1:16pm
  sc liēkd this
Thomas Dolby is one of my favorite artists.
Level 24 Chipist
post #45034 :: 2014.06.19 5:18pm :: edit 2014.06.19 8:57pm
  mootbooxle and Slimeball liēkd this
Unless I get enough peace tonight to finish voting, I'm moving house tomorrow and won't have interwebs back on until Monday

False alarm, I finished voting and the cable will be activated when I move in.
Level 24 Pixelist
post #45134 :: 2014.06.22 2:51pm :: edit 2014.06.22 5:38pm
  tothejazz liēkd this
Congrats on winning your contest moot~

Update: Mayyyyybe~! The Botb love thingy does say we're grave enemies, doesn't it!

Nah, `course not. Gratz, dude!
Level 30 Mixist
post #45135 :: 2014.06.22 2:53pm
  DimWiddy and tothejazz liēkd this
Was that a shot? :O
Level 10 Chipist
post #45136 :: 2014.06.22 2:55pm
congrats moot!
Level 19 Mixist
post #45139 :: 2014.06.22 3:04pm
  tothejazz and stepfilter liēkd this
o my doge
i am so exited ROOF ROOF tanks u
Level 18 Mixist
post #45141 :: 2014.06.22 3:14pm
  DimWiddy and mootbooxle liēkd this
i honestly didn't expect to place overall! tin can game still strong.
Level 31 chipist
post #45399 :: 2014.06.30 5:27pm
  puke7, mootbooxle, MiDoRi, Savestate, aji, DalekSam, Baron Knoxburry and stepfilter liēkd this
it wouldnt be FAIR if this wasnt on bandcamp to LIGHT up everyones lives

Level 22 Pixelist
post #81146 :: 2017.03.21 10:26am
  pedipanol, stepfilter, RazerBlue6, Flaminglog, Dimeback, MovieMovies1, Zillah, mootbooxle, Quirby64, NerdMcBoon and DalekSam liēkd this
Fairlight vol. 2 when
Level 22 Mixist
post #81149 :: 2017.03.21 11:21am
  pedipanol, MovieMovies1, MiDoRi, Quirby64 and mootbooxle liēkd this
yes pls
Level 30 Mixist
post #81157 :: 2017.03.21 12:50pm
  MovieMovies1, MiDoRi and Quirby64 liēkd this
Level 24 Chipist
post #81172 :: 2017.03.21 3:33pm
  MovieMovies1 liēkd this
I'd try to enter it anyway, but why is this a thing?
Level 22 Pixelist
post #81174 :: 2017.03.21 4:06pm
  pedipanol and MovieMovies1 liēkd this
Because why not ;D
Level 27 Chipist
post #81175 :: 2017.03.21 4:39pm
  pedipanol, null1024 and MiDoRi liēkd this
yes fairlight vol 2 pls yes good
Level 24 Chipist
post #81181 :: 2017.03.21 7:39pm
  mootbooxle liēkd this
Why not? Revisit the "Anybody who has a Fairlight 2 is lying" post. If we do it again, I'd want to have linndrum samples and Dexed available for the full Pet Shop Boys effect.
Level 24 Chipist
post #81186 :: 2017.03.21 8:53pm
  mootbooxle liēkd this
shit i'd enter it
Level 11 Chipist
post #81199 :: 2017.03.21 11:51pm
  sc and mootbooxle liēkd this
I'd buy that for a dollar
Level 30 Mixist
post #81255 :: 2017.03.23 2:08am
  MiDoRi liēkd this
Actually I think including LinnDrum samples in the pack and letting that be added to the mix would be a great thing. Rules being that you can change the pitch of the samples and the hi hat decay but otherwise the LinnDrum sound must remain as-is. That guarantees that the music will have "that" sound and prevents someone from circumventing the (somewhat stringent) Fairlight Page R rules by chip looping the Linn samples.
Besides that addition, same rules as last time!
If our dear Dr. Puke7 sees fit to greenlight a second Fairlight major, that is my proposal. (thanks chunter)
Level 30 Mixist
post #81256 :: 2017.03.23 2:15am
  MiDoRi liēkd this
(Just to clarify, on a real LinnDrum you have volume and pan per drum sound, variable decay for the hi-hat sample, and pitch controls for select instruments such as kick, snare, and toms. That's it!
There are also individual outputs for each drum (some sounds are grouped though) so you can, for example, put a reverb on just the snare, or a compressor on certain individual drums and still sound authentic.)
Level 27 Chipist
post #81257 :: 2017.03.23 2:17am
  stepfilter, shinichi, MiDoRi and mootbooxle liēkd this
fairlight + linndrum major

can we get any more 80s even
Level 30 Mixist
post #81258 :: 2017.03.23 2:49am
  shinichi liēkd this
If the guidelines are followed, this would produce a number of pretty solid 80s Chart Topping Hitsssssssss!!

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