Products, documents and service tips for the Fairlight CMI I, II and IIX Sampler

Of course, we offer more than you can see here. If you have any further questions, please contact us.

  • Fairytale - Smart SD-Card-System for CMI I, II and IIX

    Fairytale is a smart solution for quickly archiving and managing your entire 8" Fairlight Library on a compact SD card.

    Why SD Cards?

    Working with the SD card is simple, fast, quiet, comfortable and free of wear and tear. You can copy your 8" floppy disks to SD card, archive to an PC and download samples from the Internet. At the push of a button you have access to literally thousands of samples. For the Fairlight, it makes no difference whether she loads data from the real or a virtual floppy.

    Just another HxC solution or what makes Fairytale so special?

    Fairytale is not just another HxC solution on the market. It is rather a combination of a modified HxC controller and the new intelligent Fairytale interface:

    Fairytale Controller Fairytale Interface The Controller emulates two 8" drives using removable SD cards as storage. With the buttons and the large display it is easy to select the desired file. The two additional toggle switches define whether the Fairlight accesses the 8" floppy or the SD card.

    The Fairytale Interface provides the computer driven logic for floppy disk communication, drive address selection, and controller power.

    Fairytale Controller Backside The Benefits of the Fairytale System:

    The Controller stands handy in reach: The long connection cable allows ergonomic positioning next to the Alpha keyboard.

    Just one cable: There is just one connection cable to the Controller which contains all signals for floppy communication, drive select and also power supply. No additional USB connections, power cords etc. are needed.

    Both 8" Drives are retained: You can still work with your proven 8" floppy drives if required. This is especially important when you are in a creative musical process and you want quickly save your work. Just insert an empty disk and store everything - no need to search for an empty SD file, you can do that later.

    Four Floppy Drives: Fairytale uses a hidden feature of the Fairlight to address four drives (Disk 0 - 3). Therefore you can use both 8" drives with the two virtual SD-drives simultaneously.

    Floppy-Select is at the Controller: The toggle switches are handy to reach. Using them specifies the access to the 8" floppy or SD card, each for Disk 0 and 1. By the way, e.g. if Disk 0 is active as "SD-A", then the left 8" floppy becomes automatically Disk 2.

    Easily duplicating System and Sample Disks: The included Virtual Music Utilities Disk 2 offers new applications for quick cloning of system or sound disks in all variations (8“ to 8“, 8“ to SD, SD to 8“).

    Automatic Update in Page 2 Directory or File Transfer: When changing a floppy select switch, "Page 2" automatically updates the directory of the new selected disk or starts the file transfer. This is done by the intelligent communication of the Fairytale interface as the CMI recognises the floppy disk change.

    Easy Installation Fariytale Installed

    The installation is Plug & Play. All components are plugged in, the cable to the controller is led out at the back of the CMI and is pluggable. The Fairlight remains unchanged in its optical state.

    Scope of Delivery

    • Instructions for installation and operation
    • Fairytale SD-Controler
    • SD card with system software, sounds and applications
    • Fairytale computer interface
    • All cables and plugs

    Order and availability

    Code:      Fairytale System for CMI I, II or IIX (please specify your CMI model)
    Price:      495,- Euro net / 594 Euro gross

    Status (May 4th 2023):  Fairytale is available again with a new controller. For more information or your order please send us an e-mail with your current address and (if available) your european VAT number to  Open contact page (no Javascript).

  • Fairytale Upgrade for MuStudio´s Flash-Kit

    Smart Floppy and SD-Management System for the Fairlight CMI

    Fairytale Upgrade for Flash Kit Are Fairytale and Flash Kit combinable?

    The start of the Fairytale system has generated the question if our Fairytale System and MuStudio´s Flash Kit are combinable. The short answer is: Yes! With just little modifications all the advantages of Fairytale can be used with an already installed Flash Kit.

    Prerequisites for the Fairytale Upgrade

    • The CMI is equipped with the slim disk drives
    • The Flash Kit is from the revision 2; with two toggle switches beside the LCD
    • Both original 8” drives and the original 50pin floppy cable are on hand
    • Little soldering is required to connect the switches with the interface (4 wires will be soldered on)

    What are the benefits of upgrading the Flash Kit?

    Two 8" Drives: You can work with both 8" floppy disks again. Great for making copies of 8” floppies or converting and building your own libraries. Also in the musical process it´s geat to switch from SD card to real 8" for instant access. All done with a sinlge operation of one switch. 

    Four Floppy Drives: Fairytale uses a hidden feature of the Fairlight to address four drives (Disk 0 - 3). Therefore you can use both 8" drives with the two virtual drives simultaneously.

    Logic operation of the toggle switches: The built-in toggle switches are changed in their function which now allows a logical and consistent work. The swiches specify the access to the 8" floppy or SD card for each Disk 0 and 1. For instance if Disk 0 is active as "SD-A", then the left 8 "floppy is automatically Disk 2.

    Easily duplicate System and Sample Disks: The included Virtual Music Utilities 2 offers new applications for quick cloning of system or sound disks  (8“ to 8“, 8“ to SD, SD to 8“).

    Automatic Update in Page 2 Directory or File Transfer: When changing a floppy select switch, the Fairytale interface communicates with the CMI, which recognises this measure as a floppy disk change. The directory is updated or the file transfer starts.

    Installation Fariytale Installed

    The installation of the Fairytale Upgrade is quite easy. Some parts of the Flash Kit will be extracted (adapter cable, power supply), some reinstalled (original floppy cable, second floppy drive), four wires need to be soldered on and a sticker needs to be attached. Finally the Fairytale interface will be plugged in.


    The work with the upgraded Flash Kit is as easy as with the Fairytale System. Just that the Controller is installed in the CMI.

    Scope of Delivery

    • Instructions for installation and operation
    • Fairytale computer interface
    • Cable for data and power supply
    • Sticker with new toggle switch functions
    • Virtual Music´s Utility Disk V2.0 as Download Option

    Order and availability

    Code:      Fairytale Upgrade for CMI I, II or IIX (please specify your CMI model)
    Price:      295,- Euro net / 354,- Euro gross

    Current Status:  Fairytale Upgrade is available in small quantities.

    For ordering please send us an e-mail with your delivery address to Open contact page (no Javascript).

  • Fairlight CMI IIX Sample-Libraries in SD-Card Format

    After completing the Fairytale project, I started systematically converting our 8" floppy disks into SD format. To maintain and preserve these sounds, I would like to share these treasures with the Fairlight community. This is just the beginning, so you'll find new libraries here on a regular basis.

    How to use these files?

    Download and unzip the particular file to your PC. Copy the folder to SD Card. Your CMI IIX can load the samples via "Page 2" in the usual way with the MuStudio Flash Kit or with our Fairytale system.

    Optimally, you boot the Fairlight from the system diskette which is contained in the folder. It manages the respective samples under "Page L", which gives you a quick overview of the entire library.

    CMI IIX Sample Libraries:

    If you have also interesting libraries to share or just want to say "thank you", I'm looking forward to your email Open contact page (no Javascript). Please mind that we cannot give any support how these files are used in any software product - we only do CMI support.

  • Virtual Music´s Utility Disk for CMI IIX

    Virtual Music´s Utility Disk All useful utilities on one disk:

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

    • Diagnostic tool for the sound section
    • Diagnostic tool for the CPU section
    • Formatting tool for generating empty 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 share it with other users. If you want this utility disk, please write an e-mail to Open contact page (no Javascript) and prepare an empty disk which we can use as destination disk.

    Here you can find the Utiltiy-Disk as Download for the SD-Drive.

  • Quick reference manual for Fairlight CMI IIX

    This compact document shows all commands of the Fairlight CMI I, II 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 PDF-Document .

  • Broken Voice-Card in a CMI I, II or IIX

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

    There is no reason for worrying!

    CMI_IIX_front 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

    CMI IIX Voice 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).

    Disconnect the little blug and 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. Just send us an e-mail to Open contact page (no Javascript). After clarifying all details you will get an e-mail with all necessary information.

    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!

  • The Fairlight Files

    Interesting PDFs - once upon a time....

    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 our colleague Peter Wielk in Sydney.

  • Fairlight CMI IIX: Four Floppy-Drives

    After the announcement of the Fairytale system, several people asked how to work with four floppy drives and what advantages it brings.

    Four diskdrives in the CMI Benefits of multiple floppy drives

    The Shugart bus used by Fairlight supports four floppy drives. By default, the CMI works with two drives, which is sufficient for normal operation. However, with only two drives the swift copying of floppy disks becomes time-consuming: Samples can be copied only under "Page 2" with the "Transfer" command. Furthermore, when copying system floppies, Q-DOS always crashes at the end and the CMI has to be rebooted.

    With additional drives, the duplication of sound and system disks is extremely swift. Even disks with samples can be copied with QDOS and there is no crash after finishing the backup process. By the way in our daily routine the extended bus makes it efficient to repair defective 8" drives as they are added as a third drive to the testing system.

    The CMI with four 8" drives – Hardware

    For upgrading to four drives, the CMI requires the following components:

    • A 50-pin floppy cable with a total of 4 floppy connectors (1: 1)
    • Additional 8" drives (e.g., Mitsubishi 2896-63, QumeTrak 242,..)
    • The jumpers of the drives are set according to the CMI service manual
    • The IDs of the two new drives must be set to ID 3 and ID 4
    • Without metal covers the CMI has room for four drives
    • An external power supply with 24 volts and 5 volts - as supply for the new drives

    The CMI with four 8" drives - Software

    The CMI starts the drive addressing with Disk 0. So, the left system drive is Disk 0 and the right side drive is disk 1. Under Q-DOS, the drives are addressed in exactly the same way, for example with DIR: 1 for the directory of the right-hand drive.

    With additional drives the address range is expanded with Disk 2 and Disk 3:

    • DIR :2  -> Directory of Disk 2
    • BACKUP :3 :2 -> Backup from source Disk 3 to destination Disk 2

    Practical application of multiple drive

    The CMI boots with Q-DOS in Drive 0.

    Duplicating system floppy disks:

    • Put the empty destination disk in Drive 1
    • Place the source disk in Drive 2
    • Enter FORMAT to format the blank floppy disk in Drive 1*
    • Enter BACKUP: 2: 1 to duplicate the entire system disk from Disk 2 to Disk 1

    Duplicating sample floppy disks:

    • Put the empty destination disk in Drive 1
    • Place the source disk in Drive 2
    • Enter CFG :1 O to put Drive 1 in the mode for samples
    • Enter CFG :2 O to put Drive 2 in the mode for samples
    • Enter FORMAT to format the blank floppy disk in Drive 1*
    • Enter BACKUP :2 :1 to duplicate the entire sample disk from Disk 2 to Disk 1
    • If finished enter CFG :1 and CFG :2 to put the two drives to the default mode

    * Q-DOS only formats disks in drive 

    Four drives in the Fairytale system

    The concept of four drives is also realized in the Fairytale system: Two 8" floppies and two virtual drives are available simultaneously. While Q-DOS is booted from the SD card you can quickly duplicate sample and system disks as well as converting them to the SD card. It is even easier with the new Virtual Music Utility Disk V2.0. This disk contains ready to use applications for every imaginable duplication situation.

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