Deadmau5 Buys A Classic Fairlight CMI

Retro-tastic lux sampler   19-Feb-13

Deadmau5 Buys A Classic Fairlight CMI
Snagged the holy grail of all samplers today! Fairlight CMI! Time to bring back the 80s ;)

If you've been envious of the Deadmau5 setup - his lovely wall of Eurorack modulars and other tasty synths has already featured in his highly viewed "i normally do this on sundays" (approx 1.3 mill views). A great synth spotters training ground - I lost count...

Of course, with his ongoing massive success, the setup has been poshed up a bit, with some cool furniture, cases and the like. There's also been some acquisition going on.  The most recent addition being a Fairlight CMI 30A - the sound of Trevor Horn, Peter Gabriel, defining sounds of a generation that was originally  yours for the price of a three bedroom house in 1980.

Even after all this time and the fact that technology has moved on so much that your iPhone now has more power than a Fairlight, there's something about the sound and the actual physical presence of the object that makes it say "I'm serious about sound" and of course it looks like it should belong in a laboratory - who could resist?

I must confess, for me though that's where the allure ends,  though  for some reason the light pen and the laborious step time sequencer of the legendary Page R still get some folks misty eyed. And lets not forget the large, slow loading, hard to source floppies, all this stuff we've left behind in the last century and while I'm a big fan of the physical interface, some things are better consigned to the past for good.

You can if you desire, as Deadmau5 did at NAMM this year, skip all the hassle of buying an antique and get a 21st Century model  in the form of the CMI 30A from Peter Vogel Instruments - the original inventor of the Fairlight - a snip at around $20,000 - still way less than the original went for. Or you can get a an iOS App for around $50

I'll be listening out for some Shakuhachi samples on Deadmau5 releases from now on - I wonder if he could slip one in without anyone noticing....


Thanks to Failed Muso for the update - that Deadmau5 bought the CMI 30A.


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6 Comments... Comments are closed while we transition to Disqus

CD    Said...

Maybe he can tell now that he invented sampling

19-Feb-13 10:19 AM

RP    Said...

Kinda like buying a cassette walkman really, there's a reason that some things...though vital in the evolutionary chain....should remain nothing more than a memory (or lack thereof in this case)

19-Feb-13 04:28 PM

The Guvnor    Said...

Wait till he tries to use the thing and gives up. It will soon end up on eBay.

19-Feb-13 05:47 PM

JB    Said...

Yes, but the 30A is much more than a CMI emulator (ignoring the original sales pitch and physical design) plus there are significant updates in the pipeline which could be very interesting considering the sound engine that it's powered by.

19-Feb-13 05:52 PM

raphus    Said...

Jeez, so much snark. Leaving aside its updated capabilities, retro is perpetually in fashion, right? The original Fairlight had a particular sound that nothing else--modern or old--has ever nailed. Were all the bitchy comments here made by people who lust after vintage analogs? Has Deadmou5 done something (other than invent a stupid name) to deserve the insults?

20-Feb-13 05:18 PM

gridsleep    Said...

"...consigned to the past for good." That got me thinking of writing with a quipu on a clay tablet, or playing a lyre at an Athenian pantheon. How is the music industry and today's musicians going to handle it when the oil runs out and there's no more electricity? Although I suppose more sensible people (read: mundane) will be more concerned with what to eat after polishing off the house pets, what with the neighbors having gotten so protective of their children and all. Maybe they'll go after the musicians.

03-Mar-13 02:04 AM

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