In 1980, the Fairlight CMI turned heads with the introduction of digital sampling. Now our software homage lets you turn some heads yourself.

With exotic new sound of digital samples, the promise of an all-in-one digital workstation, and a physical design right out of a sci-fi movie, the Fairlight CMI was an object of desire for most self-respecting ‘80s keyboardists. Countless musicians and producers weighed the risks of bank robbery in order to afford one. No need today. Our faithful recreation gives you the same tools that many MTV stars used to make a cannonball splash into the pool. We’ve even made lots of improvements and additions that bring added power to this keyboard legend, including an alternate additive synthesis engine and tons of new modulation options. No vintage keyboard collection is complete without the CMI V.

Now it’s your turn to experience the sound and power of the digital workstation that started it all.

The unique musical architecture of the CMI

The CMI V isn’t just a digital instrument. It’s a complete digital workstation.

Our enhanced reproduction of this keyboard superhero lets you work with 10 digital instruments of your choice at once—mixing, layering, splitting and sequencing them as you please. Each instrument can draw from three different means of sound generation. The most obvious is the sampling engine that literally first defined the term in the industry. You can also shape sounds with the original additive synthesis engine where you control each of the component harmonics over time. We’ve even spun up the propellers and introduced a newer, simpler means of exploring additive synthesis like you’ve never heard it before named Spectral Synth. You also get around 300 expertly designed presets to get you going—including the original library of sounds you’ll recognize from countless hit recordings.

The CMI V has everything you need to explore the intersection of sampling and digital synthesis.

The original digital sound design powerhouse

If you want to sculpt sounds in the digital domain, the CMI V brings you a complete artists toolbox.

There are a zillion ways to shape sounds with the CMI. Work with a sample from the included library, or load in one of your own. Set the start and end points for the sample and loop. Modify the resolution to juice some interesting side effects. Resynthesize the sample into the additive synth domain for a harmonic representation. Create custom envelopes to control how each harmonic behaves over time. Change the sine waves that make up those harmonics to more complex waveshapes. Add multiple custom modulations to just about any sonic parameters you can think of. Heck, turn those modified additive harmonics back into a sample and sculpt your sound more back in that domain.

The CMI V gives you limitless creative options and sonic variety that are completely unique to this legendary sound design workstation.

Paul Frazier

Artists Corner

I couldn't afford this when it came out but now Arturia has made it possible. Incredible!
Paul Frazier
( Arrested Development, St. Vincent, Chaka Khan )
Mark Ayres

Artists Corner

I used the original a lot… and here it all is, including the original sound library. It takes me back. The future is 8-bit.
Mark Ayres
( Radiophonic Workshop )

The sound heard around the world

Many cutting edge ‘80s songs were fueled by the equally cutting edge sounds of the CMI. Now you can relive the glory days of MTV.

You know the sound of the CMI because it was everywhere—and still is. Consider the ear candy on Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill”. The rhythmic frenzy of Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit”. Peter Gabriel’s exotic “Sledgehammer” shakuhachi. The impossible horn line on Yes’ “Owner of a Lonely Heart”. The breathy vocal-flute on Tears for Fears’ “Shout” and “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”. Trevor Horn’s pulsing Page R bottom-end collage on “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Speaking of Hollywood, there’s Duran Duran’s “View to a Kill” Bond theme. How about Jan Hammer’s pitch-processed drums on his weekly “Miama Vice” TV scores? And MTV favs like “Close (to the Edit)” by Art of Noise and Yello’s “Oh, Yeah” are poster children for all things CMI.

Whether for cover-gig authenticity or just basking in nostalgia, CMI V delivers the fun novelty of songs that still fill the classic rock airwaves.

Sound Corner

Moteur (Maxime Dangles)

Montclar (Ed Ten_Eyck)

Granul (Jean-Baptiste Arthus)

Epyc (Jean-Baptiste Arthus)

Ayties (Jean-Michel Blanchet)

Sehemi (Simon Gallifet)

Arturia Software Center

ASC is the central software that elegantly manages all your Arturia software licenses. It activates your licenses and synchronizes them across multiple devices (you get five instances with each instrument license). ASC also notifies you of updates and downloads them. You can even easily learn about new products, download demos versions and purchase the full products. Simple.

Download the ASC

Included in V Collection

This instrument is also part of the V Collection 6 -your complete dream line-up of the legendary synths, organs, pianos and more that made keyboard history. They’re modeled with the most advanced technologies for authentic realism, and enhanced with new creative options. Whether you use it as DAW plugins in the studio or standalone at gigs, V Collection 6 puts the greatest keys of all time at your fingertips for instant inspiration.

Learn More

Main Features

  • Software synthesizer playable through a MIDI keyboard
  • 600 presets from the original CMI library
  • 360 presets sounds made by Arturia sound designers
  • Expanded number of track to 10 with a polyphony per track up to 32
  • Perfect emulation of the analog filter response
  • Faithful recreation of the sampling and additive synthesis capacities of the instrument
  • Variable Bit Depth and Sample Rate
  • Introduction of a new sound generation mode: Spectral synthesis
  • Classic "page-R" inspired 32-step sequencer
  • 24 sources of modulations per track to apply to all "CONTROL" parameters
  • High-quality output effects
  • VST, VST3, AU, AAX, and standalone operation