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Fairlight Zone

Welcome to our Fairlight Zone! Here you can find useful products, documents or service hints for equipment manufactured by Fairlight. The following matrix shows the three main categories and all new items are marked with a little asterisk *.

  Accessories / products: Download: Service Hint:

Quick reference manual 

Defective Voice Card 

  The Fairlight_files * System- and Audio-floppies
    VirtualMusic´s Utility Disk *

If you have any suggestions or questions, we look forward to your e-mail or your telephone call! For ordering please click on the appropriate navigation field.

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ICMI IIX: Virtual Music´s Utility Disk  

All useful utilities on one disk: Diagnostics, copy, format, audio format...

We have prepared a utility disk for the IIX which contains following applications:

  • Diagnostic tool for the sound section

  • Diagnostic tool for the CPU section

  • Formatting tool for audio disks

  • Copy & Format command for making system copies

  • Duplication tool for a 1:1 copy of the utility disk

You can have this disk for free and copy it to share it with other users. If you want this utility disk, please contact us and prepare an empty disk which we use as destination disk.

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iCMI I, II and IIX: Quick reference manual 

This compact document shows all commands of the Fairlight CMI I, III and the CMI IIX

Besides the right notation of the commands you find also concrete examples and short explanations. This document is an alternative to the user´s manual and it accelerates the daily work with the fantastic Fairlight CMI.

Here you can download the CMI manual for free. 

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iCMI I, II or IIX: Defective Voice  

If one voice fails then most commonly a channel card is defective

There is no reason for worrying
If one of your channel cards seems to be broken, there is absolutely no reason for worrying! We have a lots of experience at Fairlight equipment. We can repair your defective sound card fast and efficiently, and there is no need for you to send your whole CMI mainframe. We only need your defective voice card, which will be tested and repaired in our internal testing system. And: We can repair Fairlight channel cards of CMI Series I and CMI Series II / II X.

Finding the problem

First of all you need to find out which of the eight cards are defective. Reboot your CMI and load a sound (polyphony: 8). Play eight keys at once, and check the individual outputs. The number of the outs are the same as the number of the cards. (e.g. output 3 is channel card 3).

Removing the defective channel card 

Open the front door of your CMI. There are many cards. They will countered from the left. The first two cards are system cards, then you can see the eight channel cards. The sequence order is:
X-X-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8...; the "X" stands for the both slots (master card, midi card, if CMI IIX). 

Remove the respective card and wrap it into antistatic foil first. If you need technical assistance or support, please contact us. The Fairlight CMI is a complex and sensitive device and should be treated with respect.

Service order

If you want us to repair your defective channel card, please get in contact with us before sending any equipment. After clarifying all details please fax us the completed customer order form for synthesizer service , or put it into the card´s package. 

Other problems with the C.M.I?

Of course we are able to repair other defects, too (CPU section, floppy disk drives, cables, etc.) fast and effectively, too. If you have any problem with your sampler, please contact us. We are happy to help you!

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iDaily work with system- and audio-disks 

How to format and copy sound- and audio-disks with the CMI

The Fairlight CMI and it´s floppy disk formats

The CMI´s system architecture uses two different floppy disk formats: 

  • System disks

  • Sound disks

The system disk
The system disk contains the operating software. This disk is for operation always in the left hand disk drive. For the serious work with the CMI the user needs following three disks: 

  • The Fairlight Boot Disk: Operating system for using the CMI as a musical instrument

  • QDOS-Boot Disk: For formatting and copying of system disks 

  • Audio Formatter Disk: For formatting of sound disks 

System disks cannot be formatted nor copied within the CMI Page 2. Consequently, sound disks cannot be formatted within Page 2, too. Therefore please follow following examples:

Formatting of system disks
First you´ll need a formatted disk which may hold the later system. Please follow this procedure:

  • Start your CMI with the QDOS disk in the left hand floppy drive

  • Insert an empty disk into the right hand floppy drive

  • Enter following command: FORMAT (enter)

  • The CMI will format the floppy in the right hand drive

Copying of system disks
After formatting the disk you can copy various operation systems:

  • Start your CMI with the QDOS disk in the left hand floppy drive

  • Enter following command: BACKUP (enter)

  • Follow the instructions on the screen

The sound disk
This kind of disks contains only audio data, like samples, instruments, sequences. These audio files can be copied under normal operation with the relevant Page 2 commands. Sound disks cannot be formatted within Page 2, so the special Audio Formatter Disk is needed.

Formatting of sound disks 
First you´ll need an empty disk. Please follow this procedure to format it:

  • Boot your CMI with the Audio Formatter Disk in the left hand floppy drive

  • Insert an empty disk into the right hand floppy drive

  • Enter following command: CHAIN FORMAT (enter)

  • Follow the instructions on the screen

Copying of sound disks
After formatting the disk you can copy various audio files:

  • Start your CMI with the Fairlight Boot-System in the left hand floppy drive

  • Enter Page 2 

  • Copy the relevant files with the particular TRANSFER command 

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iThe Fairlight Files 

Interesting PDFs - long time ago....

With one click you may download the complete series of "The Fairlight explained", published in the E&MM magazine in 1984 and 1985. The documents have been collected and provided by a former Fairlight employee. Thank´s to Simon Peters from Australia.

Additionally with another click you may download the original Fairlight pricelist from those days..

...and here you can get the list of the factory sounds completed by Peter Wielk in Sydney.

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