The New Fairlight CMI 30A: Start Saving Your Money, It’s Going To Cost $5K

fairlight-cmi-30aFairlight‘s Peter Vogel has shared more info about the 30th Anniversary Fairlight CMI 30A:

The CC-1 can perform very complex algorithms and lots of them, with almost no latency. So yes, we are modelling the quirky hardware of the CMI. The sound of each CMI was subtly different, due to their analogue bits, so it won’t sound exactly like any one CMI, but lined up with a few CMIs you won’t be able to tell the difference.

The sound will be user selectable, to be like a series I,II,IIX, III etc. Or you can dig deeper and make it sound like nothing else.

One of the many nice things about the CC-1 is that it has no inherent bit width. “Normal” processors generally offer say 32 or 64 bit operations, where as the CC-1 can be configured to any number of bits. So if something works most effectively as 33 bits, so be it. And the bit widths can be mixed within the one signal path.

The “n” polyphony is achieved by “n” individual circuits set up in the FPGA working in parallel, as opposed to the software emulation model which is necessarily sequential. The channels can have different configurations is required; in any case there will be subtle coefficient differences between channels to reproduce the individuality of outputs that has often been cited.

How much polyphony? All we know at this time are the extremes – it will certainly be at least 16 like the original Series III but given that the Crystal Core when used in a DAW delivers up to 230 channels of mixing ALL of which have full processing (8 bands EQ, 3 stages Dynamics), you can safely assume a lot more than 16 will be possible.

Re pricing: yet to be finalised, but the choice to go with the CC-1 does come at a price. Although the CC-1 is not sold currently as a separate card (it would be no use without the software etc that goes with it), the retail price would be around the $5,000 mark. So you can do the sums, the CMI 30-A is not going to be price competitive with the mass-market synths which abound.

In case you’re wondering why anyone would get excited about a $5,000 recreation of a 25 year old synth, check out this video of Herbie Hancock jamming on the Fairlight CMI.

via Peter Vogel in the Fairlight User Group, via Failed Muso.

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