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Closest thing to a fairlight CMI Series III emulation.

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion

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KVRAF
 
3764 posts since 3 Jul, 2012

Postby V0RT3X; Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:50 pm

So i know this is somewhat off topic, but this article basically talks about emulating a Super Nintendo system as accurately as possible.

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2011/08/a ... -emulator/


Anyhow just going over this article i think i can see what another poster had said in how it is not possible right now to create a VST version that is 100% accurate.


Basically if it takes this much power to try and emulate a Super nintendo entertainment system, then trying to recreate a fairlight 100% accurately is pretty far off still.
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KVRAF
 
1561 posts since 17 Apr, 2001, from At the boundaries of time

Postby crimsonwarlock; Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:12 pm

V0RT3X wrote:Basically if it takes this much power to try and emulate a Super nintendo entertainment system, then trying to recreate a fairlight 100% accurately is pretty far off still.

There's a big difference between building a system that can run all the original software (like a Ness emulator), and a system that reproduces the same result as the original without any backward compatibility.

Creating a software version of the Fairlight is more like recreating a Ness game so it can run on a PC (for example), instead of building a Ness emulator. Without taking the amount of needed code into account of course, a Fairlight is obviously a 'big game' :hihi:
CrimsonWarlock aka TechnoGremlin

Using: Reaper and loads of freeware plugins
KVRer
 
1 post since 16 Feb, 2014

Postby Amanray; Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:56 pm Re: Closest thing to a fairlight CMI Series III emulation.

Fairlight cmi sound is at 80% analog sound processing . analog filters, analog vca, analog converters + many other exciting things. Some people are completly ignorant of this and as the fairlight has some 6809 inside , they just believe they can get the same sound in their pc/mac . Lol
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fmr
KVRAF
 
2768 posts since 16 Mar, 2003, from Porto - Portugal

Postby fmr; Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:32 pm Re: Closest thing to a fairlight CMI Series III emulation.

Amanray wrote:Fairlight cmi sound is at 80% analog sound processing . analog filters, analog vca, analog converters + many other exciting things. Some people are completly ignorant of this and as the fairlight has some 6809 inside , they just believe they can get the same sound in their pc/mac . Lol

What the hell are you talking about? Where did you see a Fairlight with analogue filters? Or analogue VCAs?

Of course it had Analogue-to-Digital converters (it's a sampler), and it had to have Digital-to-Analogue converters, otherwise it could not produce a sound. Besides that, it was basically a computer (it was named Computer Musical Instrument - CMI - for a reason).

So, yes, we could have an emulation of a Fairlight inside our computer. Actually, they did one for the iPad. I believe it does not pay justice to the original, but hey, it's an iPad. In a modern desktop, I believe we could house a complete emulation of it's engine, with the same sampling capabilities, Fast Fourier Transforming and Graphics Tablet Waveform Drawing (provided we have something like a Wacom Tablet). Waveform editing is not necesary, since we have much better tools in our computers nowadays. And in what concerns ADCs and DACs, we have far better ones now too. So, what we would need is a transcription of the software code to run in a modern OS, in a supported format. As someone putted it - it would be like porting a game from a Nintendo DS to a PC.

BTW - The series III already had a Motorola 68000, which is much more powerful than the 6809, putting it in the same plane as the Macintosh SE, for example.
Fernando (FMR)
KVRist
 
169 posts since 6 Jul, 2013

Postby beely; Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:43 pm Re: Closest thing to a fairlight CMI Series III emulation.

fmr wrote:BTW - The series III already had a Motorola 68000, which is much more powerful than the 6809, putting it in the same plane as the Macintosh SE, for example.


Sure, but that was just the overall processor for the machine, it didn't do the actual sample playback - for each voice, the Fairlight had dedicated voice cards with fairly hi-spec circuitry (this is why it does not transpose in the way modern software does, by resampling - it actually can vary the playback sample rate of the individual voice cards.)

Emulating the Fairlight is not as simple as just emulating the main CPU in software - however, that's not to say it can't be done, just that it would seem to be less trivial than some people seem to think.
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fmr
KVRAF
 
2768 posts since 16 Mar, 2003, from Porto - Portugal

Postby fmr; Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:49 pm Re: Closest thing to a fairlight CMI Series III emulation.

beely wrote:
fmr wrote:BTW - The series III already had a Motorola 68000, which is much more powerful than the 6809, putting it in the same plane as the Macintosh SE, for example.


Sure, but that was just the overall processor for the machine, it didn't do the actual sample playback - for each voice, the Fairlight had dedicated voice cards with fairly hi-spec circuitry (this is why it does not transpose in the way modern software does, by resampling - it actually can vary the playback sample rate of the individual voice cards.)

Emulating the Fairlight is not as simple as just emulating the main CPU in software - however, that's not to say it can't be done, just that it would seem to be less trivial than some people seem to think.

You are right about that. Differently to what happened in later samplers, the Fairlight had a card for each voice (that changed too in later versions). Nevertheless, I think that also could be emulated (not porting code anymore, but by circuit modelling perhaps). It's being done for analogue synths, why not for the Fairlight?
Fernando (FMR)
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KVRAF
 
2485 posts since 18 Jul, 2008, from New York
  

Postby Frantz; Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:57 pm Re: Closest thing to a fairlight CMI Series III emulation.

fmr wrote:What the hell are you talking about? Where did you see a Fairlight with analogue filters?


Peter Vogel, the creator of the Fairlight, explains:

http://petervogelinstruments.com.au/history/

The reason for this is that the CMI’s unique sound was the result of the limitations of the technology of the eighties. A-D and D-A converters were very primitive by today’s standards — the 1979 model CMI used eight bit audio, and even the top-notch Series III used only 16 bits (which performed more like 14 bits in reality). The variable pitch of the sample playback was generated by very crude hardware which approximated the pitch but introduced significant artefacts. To compensate for the noise and distortion introduced into the samples, the CMI used analogue low-pass tracking filters. The “tracking” involved dynamically setting the cuttoff frequency to just above the note being played.

The end result was a complex set of colourations which made the CMI sound so distinctive. To make it even more interesting, because of the large amount of analogue circuitry involved, the sound of each channel was subtly different, and these differences were quite variable and unpredictable.
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User avatar
fmr
KVRAF
 
2768 posts since 16 Mar, 2003, from Porto - Portugal

Postby fmr; Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:13 am Re: Closest thing to a fairlight CMI Series III emulation.

Frantz wrote:
fmr wrote:What the hell are you talking about? Where did you see a Fairlight with analogue filters?


Peter Vogel, the creator of the Fairlight, explains:

http://petervogelinstruments.com.au/history/

The reason for this is that the CMI’s unique sound was the result of the limitations of the technology of the eighties. A-D and D-A converters were very primitive by today’s standards — the 1979 model CMI used eight bit audio, and even the top-notch Series III used only 16 bits (which performed more like 14 bits in reality). The variable pitch of the sample playback was generated by very crude hardware which approximated the pitch but introduced significant artefacts. To compensate for the noise and distortion introduced into the samples, the CMI used analogue low-pass tracking filters. The “tracking” involved dynamically setting the cuttoff frequency to just above the note being played.

The end result was a complex set of colourations which made the CMI sound so distinctive. To make it even more interesting, because of the large amount of analogue circuitry involved, the sound of each channel was subtly different, and these differences were quite variable and unpredictable.


Ah... "those" filters. Notice he mentioned "analogue low-pass tracking filters." , and also: "The “tracking” involved dynamically setting the cuttoff frequency to just above the note being played."

So, these were not traditional filters, as we see in synths, but filters that are there to avoid aliasing and other artifacts well known from anyone used to digital audio. and are dinamically transposing according to the note played (but they were filters, and they were analogue).

Brickwall filters to avoid artifacts like aliasing were mandatory in any sampler in the eighties. They all had some kind of brickwall filter for avoiding aliasing (and there were others that even had a kind of subtractive synthesis engine, like the Emulator II). Fairlight filters were different, since they were dynamic, which contributed for a better quality of the result, I guess.

But they are not filters as we understand them from synthesizers. Anyway, yes, if those are the filters referred, they are indeed present in the Fairlight, because "A-D and D-A converters were very primitive by today’s standards". Using today standards, they probably would not be needed, unless we wanted to emulate the behaviour of that old components (which could be done in software, anyways - but I would let go that part of the job without a problem).
Fernando (FMR)
KVRer
 
1 post since 4 Jul, 2014

Postby Dogstar; Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:15 am Re: Closest thing to a fairlight CMI Series III emulation.

It's always fun arguing about the easiness vs complexity of something that no-one involved in the discussion is actually capable of doing :D

The Fairlight isn't a 'sampler' in the modern sense, although it's what coined the term. It's an additive synthesizer with the ability to record in external sounds, which are digitized into multi-segment wavetables, with each segment broken into individual sine-wave components (FFT) for manipulation by the additive synth engine (similar concept as the Alchemy Plugin)

For something similar (manipulating samples with an additive engine) you could try the Alchemy Plugin.

If you don't care about additive editing, and all you want is something that uses a similar concept for sampling (i.e, digitize sounds into multi-segment wavetables for playback), you could try one of the newer PPG Wave plugins.

On the other hand, if all you are after is just the classic sounds from the Fairlight (not the synth/sample engine) then try Hollow Sun, or the UVI library. Or there are bound to be free downloads elsewhere on the net if you prefer to spend time over money.
KVRAF
 
3440 posts since 16 Dec, 2002, from over there

Postby VariKusBrainZ; Fri Jul 04, 2014 6:05 am Re: Closest thing to a fairlight CMI Series III emulation.

Maybe Aly James is the man to approach, he seems pretty good at emulating hardware

http://www.alyjameslab.com
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