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Lost In The Fairlight Maze

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Lost In The Fairlight Maze
Lost In The Fairlight Maze by Bitley Sounds & ReFills is Soundware (samples or presets that load into other products).
Kontakt 5
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Customized Per Customer
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Lost In The Fairlight Maze

Back in 2010 I began my long journey into Fairlight land by releasing Fairlight CMI Legacy for Propellerhead Reason, this with kind permissions from both Fairlight AU and Peter Vogel. This has been updated many times now; Way Beyond Fairlight R2 for Reason is the 10th major release, made for Reason 7 and up. Older releases like Fairlight II+, XXL and Platinum work perfectly for Reason 4 (the last Mac G4/G5 version of Reason), 5 and 6 respectively so they are still active products as well.

Work began by sampling a vintage Fairlight IIX machine using various interfaces; Motu 828 MKII, Digidesign Digi 003, etc, depending on studio. As the project expanded many hours of experimenting led us to realize that no so-called "Fairlight studios" back in the 80s had the instrument as an exclusive synth / sampling sound source. We liked this thought; since we had lots of other gear at our disposal, we added many other synths, drum machines etc. It all became much more interesting when we could combine the CMI sound with other sources, creating layers, adding more elements to the sounds. JX8P pads, DX7 harps etc did fit well into the entire concept and provided exciting ways to spice up the sometimes overly lofi CMI sound. We always try to find a good balance between the raw CMI sound and the more luxurious layered sound. What drove us to this was not just the excitement for the Fairlight itself, but rather the question: How did people use it? Well, Art Of Noise for instance, famous for their CMI work, combined it with various analog and digital synths so we have been doing the same thing more or less. Having said this we still value the Fairlight as the precious and historic instrument it is; our quest has been like exploring why it was so mythical. Fond memories of watching old Vince Clarke and Pet Shop Boys interviews, regular journalists often asked: "Didn't you use the Fairlight too?". This wasn't for musicians or nerds; it was for everyone. Fairlight was this secret hit factory ingredient everybody was talking about. That has been, and still is, one of the driving forces behind our enthusiasm in this work; in these sounds. It has also led us to get contacted by people like Scritti Politti and Tears For Fears wanting to get access to those patches once again which of course is incredible.

During the process, many customers asked for a Kontakt version, and that's where the Kontakt Project started in 2011. It was updated later on to Fairlight Kontakt in 2013. People liked the Kontakt versions despite the fact those were converted pretty much straight off from the NNXT sampler in Reason, using Kontakt itself for that, albeit with tons of hands on edits to fix issues like glide, polyphony, effects and so on. What was missing: Combinator patches, drumkits (which were made for ReDrum) and so on.

Now, the new Lost In The Fairlight Maze is a bit of a different design, where the patches are being divided into separate $10 packs; currently 12 of those are available but I hope to be able to deliver many more shortly. A number of options are possible for ordering by the way; updating from Fairlight Kontakt, ordering all current and coming packs or ordering the packs separately. Ordering a couple of banks to try it all out is possible too; we will happily deduct that cost for people wanting to "switch" to the full enchilada later on.

For "LITFM" the mission is to reach deeper sounds, touching what can be done with Reason's combinator module (which can layer everything with everything). We have been doing this for a while now and realized many customers don't really tweak the sounds a lot, so we are creating pre-patched FX and filter edits to create "up to date" sounds. With a balance so that the CMI sound is there. We rather create variations of patches than leaving those out, so a patch like SARARR for instance, comes in nearly 20 different versions.

For the different banks we have been trying to create individual demos, not all banks are covered yet but this will be fixed. A YouTube playlist of all demos tries to answer questions like what sounds are included in a pack and how do they interact. Some packs are instrument specific; others are designed to a certain style of music but no patch exists on more than one place, at least not that version of it (versions; a slow Sararr pad vs a short Sararr sequencing synth kind of sound for example).

We are still very small and we deliver each order manually which can take 2-12 hours from ordering. We are true enthusiasts and "we" is actually mostly myself, Patrick Fridh, but I also get occasional assistance from graphic designers (Reason versions) and signature patch programmers.

These are the current packs available
- we picture the Fairlight maze as a large city with many areas to explore:

  • Mallet And Chime.
  • Flutarian Hills.
  • Inside Synth City.
  • Outside Synth City.
  • Gates Of Sararr.
  • Beat Dis Hills.
  • Sea Of Bass.
  • Birdland Airport.
  • A Maze In Strings.
  • Synthwave 101.
  • Bitley's Hitkeys.
  • The Old Library.

Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 4.00 from 1 review

Lost In The Fairlight Maze
Reviewed By NullDevice
December 1st, 2016

These banks are seriously fun. And despite being samples of a nearly-cliche vintage system, they're well-enough put together to have modern applications. The samples are clean and...well, I don't know if they're processed in some way but they do sound more "hi fi" than some of the other Fairlight banks I've encountered. While there's nothing fancy about the stock-kontakt interfaces there's really nothing that needs to be, unless you're expecting to reprogram Page R or something (I suspect they'd cost more than they do in that case).

At $10/bank, it's pretty easy to pick-and-choose just what you want or need and not break the bank.

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