This song fits into the social and political climate today as much as it did in ’85.

  1. Artist: ABC
  2. Album: How To Be A Zillionaire
  3. Song: How To Be A Millionaire

I love the production.  It sounds like a Fairlight CMI to me!  Maybe it was a british thing back then as many records from over there at the time were programmed with that machine…

Much like the work of Yello, Peter Gabriel, Herbie Hancock, and others. These Fairlight produced songs have such a specific ‘space’ to their sound.  A nice balance of bright and forward but with a very specific soft and mushy to them.  I’m curious about their analog side voice design.  I think the style of writing on these systems was determined greatly by the limited voice count and digital architecture ( 8 bit and 8 voice ) as well as the unique and quite possibly the original implementation of graphical sequencing and musical editing.

Most images people conjure at the thought of a Fairlight CMI are of the 3D monochrome green screen waveform views.  Sorry for the low res scan ( it is from the original brochure!! )

The CMI started it’s life as a Polyphonic Digital Synthesis device but that was too DSP intensive at the time.  Once they introduced previously recorded waveforms to the memory THE SAMPLER WAS BORN! Believe it or not, this is the first computer based music workstation as well.  MANY years before even the Korg M1 that made keyboard workstations famous.  the CMI truly embodies the ‘design of the future’ esthetic.  Light pen and all…

LOVE IT!

PS: I haven’t tried the Fairlight Pro iphone ipa but it’s probably fun!  Some day i will rescue an old CMI and make some music with it!



IF…