Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Fairlight and how samples changed me forever....

I mentioned the Fairlight in the last post. Most people - even today - do not realise the massive shift in audio history that took place with the invention of the Fairlight music computer. I still remember when it was first invented and I saw it demonstrated on television - I was totally shocked. I had been experimenting with two tape recorders as a kid trying to 'multi-track' guitar parts which just turned into a sorry ball of hiss with some music in the background..but the Fairlight had opened the way to sample every day sounds and real instruments and make them playable by a keyboard.

First my two odes to the early days of samplers - the first is the basic 'yard noises' turned into a rhythm:

The second is tune I wrote which I tried to use 80's sounds - especially  -some of the stock sounds that came with the Fairlight:

Bottom line: No one had invented an instrument that could sample any sound through a microphone and then make it into a playable instrument. No one. The Fairlight is the first instrument ever to provide this.

Much of the 1980's music depended on sound samples including hip-hop late which often used sampled drums.

Here's some history:

Peter Vogel (the long haired inventor in the above clip) has more history on his site:

There was no looking back after playable audio samples on a keyboard came into existence. For me, to be able to sample sounds and instruments I had been hearing all my life and making 'instruments' out of them was a breakthrough I still respect. Not that I have ever owned Fairlight - some of us use what ever we can.

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