Fairlight IIx library, floppy conversion! UPDATED 13.01.13

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Fairlight IIx library, floppy conversion! UPDATED 13.01.13

Postby D-Collector » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:00 pm

This is an update of my Fairlight CMI IIx library that I posted almost 2 years ago. I was not pleased about the lack of filenames, and the fact that there were a lot of duplicates. So again I read up on some of Madtheorys posts here, about CMIOS9 and its capability to export samples from the .bin files, thus eliminating all the audio conversion and editing processes I spent so much time on back then. Fortunately I still had all the .bin files from before, converted from the .imd disk images with ImageDisk Utility. The original disk images can still be found over at the Fairlight US website.

CMIOS9 exports Fairlight .VC (voice) files directly to .wav with correct bit/hz specs, length, names and pitches. And it can do it in batches, a whole disk at a time. I wish I knew this 2 years ago, but then there were only uncompiled files around for CMIOS9, at least that I could find. And I don't know squat about such things. Luckily, now there is a windows executable available for CMIOS9 that I was able to figure out. After that it was a breeze to batch export the samples to wave files, a whole disk at a time! Still, it does not export loop points, but I presume they can be done better in Kontakt or whatever sampler you prefer.

All in all this is a much better version than before. Thanks to Madtheory for clues and advice! Have fun!

- Every voice file exported 1:1 to .wav using CMIOS9, from the original factory disk images!
- All samples now have names, correct length and pitch, and are of course 8 bit!
- 513 classic Fairlight CMI IIx samples in consistent quality.
- Neatly organized in folders after the original floppy disk structure.
- It only takes up 7.8 MB on your hard disk.

-----------------------------------------DOWNLOAD--------------------------------------
I took the Filesend link down, because it created problems for some.

MIRRORS:
http://synthpop.com/FAIRLIGHT.CMI.IIX.LIBRARY.zip
http://alexmauer.com/dl/FAIRLIGHT%20CMI%20IIX%20LIBRARY.zip

Watch on youtube.com
Last edited by D-Collector on Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:35 pm, edited 18 times in total.
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Re: Here is the Fairlight IIx library, straight from floppy!

Postby madtheory » Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:15 pm

Wow! Well done, very generous to share. Only 20 Megs for the whole library in 16 bit, so that's twice the size of the original, LOL!

Demo track sounds great, very punchy sounds.

I used CMIOS9, which now has source code available. It can batch convert CMI samples to WAV, again without loop points, but at least you get the correct sample name and duration all in one go, and you don't have to deal with file headers as audio. I also left them as 8 bit because Kontakt can handle that.
Last edited by madtheory on Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Here is the Fairlight IIx library, straight from floppy!

Postby nathanscribe » Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:18 pm

Sterling. Thank you!
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Re: Here is the Fairlight IIx library, straight from floppy!

Postby Yoozer » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:44 pm

First of all: this is awesome, you're awesome.
D-Collector wrote:After that I began the real challenge (read: headache) of saving the samples to their individual files. This was a LOT of work and I have spent the better part of my weekend doing it. For this task I imported the wave files into Audacity, which converted them nicely into 16 bit, but maintained 32 Khz:

Image


What's the weird stuff at the beginning and end of the file? Program data?
"Part of an instrument is what it can do, and part of it is what you do to it" - Suzanne Ciani, 197x.
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Re: Here is the Fairlight IIx library, straight from floppy!

Postby madtheory » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:38 am

Yoozer wrote:What's the weird stuff at the beginning and end of the file? Program data?

Yes, because he used disk image files loaded into Audacity as raw data. This works if you know the format of the PCM data, in this case 8 bit mono, and 32kHz works fine as the sampling rate.
D-Collector wrote:the data in between the samples is interpreted as sound and often sound interesting
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Re: Here is the Fairlight IIx library, straight from floppy!

Postby tryan225 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:31 am

Fucking sweet. Thank You.
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Re: Here is the Fairlight IIx library, straight from floppy!

Postby Syn303 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:55 am

Superb, i was looking for better Fairlight sounds for use in my sampler, great job!
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Re: Here is the Fairlight IIx library, straight from floppy!

Postby D-Collector » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:23 am

Thanks a lot guys, you're all very welcome! :mrgreen:

madtheory wrote:I used CMIOS9, which now has source code available. It can batch convert CMI samples to WAV, again without loop points, but at least you get the correct sample name and duration all in one go, and you don't have to deal with file headers as audio. I also left them as 8 bit because Kontakt can handle that.


I wouldn't mind if someone with good insight into the original library could listen to the samples and write a text file for each folder with the names of the samples. Then I could maybe rename the files and update the library.

When opening an original image .IMD files with wordpad I can see all the names of the samples on that disk, but I have no idea if they are in the right order, they are kinda spread all over the place in there. And I don't like doing anything if I can't do it right.

Man, I have just micro adjusted the start/end points of 715 samples. You shouldn't talk to me about batch conversion now! ;) :lol:

UPDATE:
I was bored so I added a simple cover in the original post in case people want to put the library on CD.
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Re: Here is the Fairlight IIx library, straight from floppy!

Postby madtheory » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:34 pm

D-Collector wrote:Man, I have just micro adjusted the start/end points of 715 samples. You shouldn't talk to me about batch conversion now! ;) :lol:

LOL! I hear ya. But I'm going to go ahead and tell you anyway :)

Actually I'd forgotten that with series II discs cmios9 is still only a small improvement over your approach. It will only batch convert on one disc at a time.

But if you want names and loop points (in hex), as well as the original start/ ends, there's this:
http://sourceforge.net/search/?q=cmios9

You also get some interesting info on the mod settings (again in hex) and the odd occasional note on who made the sound and when.
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Re: Here is the Fairlight IIx library, straight from floppy!

Postby nathanscribe » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:26 pm

Quick question: quite a few of these samples are very high pitched. Is this as original, or is it an error in conversion? I saw it mentioned in the other thread that sample rates were either 15 or 32kHz - if you've done them all at 32, then those that were originally 15 will be an octave above where they should be, won't they? Is that what I'm hearing?

I'm not even sure it makes any difference given that it's pretty easy to mangle things these days, but I'd be interested to know.
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Re: Here is the Fairlight IIx library, straight from floppy!

Postby D-Collector » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:01 pm

You are right nathanscribe, I was going to write about it above but forgot it.

Yes, some of them are higher pitched because I did convert all in 32 khz, whereas the Fairlight disks contains a happy mix of both 15 khz and 32 khz. EDIT: This was a misunderstanding on my part, read madtheory's post below! But I did some testing beforehand and found that most of the 15 khz samples sounded considerably better in 32 khz and pitching them down than in 15 khz and pitching them up -if that makes any sense. So I chose 32 khz and stuck with it for the sake of consistency. Or else it would be really hard for me to keep track, as I would need to make double .BIN and .Wav files from each floppy image. By the way, the Fairlight guys obviously sampled sounds in different pitches too.

So not an error, but a choice. ;) I think the way to go now is to make correct programs in the right key and with loop points in SoundFont or Akai format maybe, at least a format that is universal to all soft samplers. That is also a big task.
Last edited by D-Collector on Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:42 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Here is the Fairlight IIx library, straight from floppy!

Postby madtheory » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:29 am

From what I can gather, regardless of the rate it was recorded at, the Fairlight still writes it to disk as 32kHz. It then changes pitch simply by altering the clock driving the converter. This is why there is an entirely separate audio path for each voice. So to avoid unnecessary sample rate conversion, which would alter the sound quality, it's best to leave them at 32kHz. I think this is a reasonable assumption, given that when you import a series II voice on the series III it always comes in at 32kHz. I know this because I have a HD from a series III.
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Re: Here is the Fairlight IIx library, straight from floppy!

Postby nathanscribe » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:15 am

Brilliant, thanks. I'll likely be resampling these into a W-30 anyway and that can only pitch up two octaves from the initial sample.
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Re: Here is the Fairlight IIx library, straight from floppy!

Postby D-Collector » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:27 am

It's all good then!

Let's celebrate with some of Trevor Horn's excellent 12" remixes of Frankie. These were uploaded by Hashmoder, you should all check out his outstanding blog dedicated to vinyl rips of rare 12" versions http://www.hashmoder.com/. To quote him:

I want you to listen to these tracks carefully all the way through … in front of big, beefy stereo speakers:






:dancer:
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Re: Here is the Fairlight IIx library, straight from floppy!

Postby madtheory » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:43 pm

Always loved 12" mixes. You get to hear how they put the song together. Every eighties artist needs to make every mix available as a download. I'd pay. :)
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