Sampling Sounds: Fairlight CMI

Sampling Sounds: Fairlight CMI

The Fairlight CMI was the world’s first polyphonic digital sampling synthesizer, invented in 1979 by Peter Vogel and Kim Ryrie, based on a dual-6800 microprocessor created by Tony Furse in Sydney. The Fairlight grew to become one of the most widely-used synthesizers in music, being used by musicians from Kate Bush to Brian Eno, and film and television composers such as Peter Best.

The four sounds featured in this clip, with examples of 1980s hits in which they were used, are: