CMI App for iPad and iPhone

Developed in Australia during the ’70s and ’80s, the Fairlight CMI (Computer Musical Instrument) was the first commercial sampler and screen-based rhythm sequencer. Today every sampler, digital synthesizer, sequencer and audio workstation can trace its lineage back to this legendary machine. Now you can have, in your pocket or on your iPad, a piece of history developed by Fairlight staff who worked on the CMI in the ’80s.

You can Buy and download the Pro App from the App Store, or if you are not sure you want the Pro features, you can get the Player App and play original Fairlight CMI sounds and sequences straight away. Then if you want to create your own masterpieces you can use the in-app upgrade process to get all the Pro features listed in the Features page.

You can find an audio montage of CMI App sounds, made by a Fairlight customer, on SoundCloud.

Feature comparisonFeedback, FAQ and Support

Video Guide 1
Features Overview
Video Guide 2
Player vs. Pro
Video Guide 3
Voice Sampling

Accepts input from Core MIDI devices. You can even accept MIDI from some devices that don’t support Core MIDI, such as the Akai SynthStation and the Line6 MidiMobilizer, using an app called MidiBridge.
A great way to get quality audio into the new sampling feature in version 1.1 is via iRig Mic, and the perfect support for your iPad is iKlip.

Compatible with iRig MicCompatible with iKlip



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429 Responses to CMI App for iPad and iPhone

  1. avatar Christian says:

    This App bring my dream near to own a Fairlight.I Loved this Instrument over 30 years.
    Can you tell us,what about upates in the Future?
    Sorry for my english. 🙂

  2. avatar nick says:

    Hi peter,is it possible maybe to implicate fx page in the app i like that what the cmi 30 hef thank u,maybe one day i winn the lottery en i buy the cmi 30 lol.

  3. avatar Journey Green says:

    The app is amazing! It’s got the good sound the original Fairlight had. The only problem is the price. The app costs $10, and the pro version costs $50! It’s gotta be reduced! Otherwise, the app is fine, and it goes well with Garageband as well.

  4. avatar Kenneth Barr says:

    Hi, I can’t figure out how to change the Voices to other instruments on the App: Symkick, Clap5, Tamb2, Basslap1, DirtClav and soo on. Please help?

    • avatar Thomas says:

      For the default instrument or one you created yourself, use Page 3 > Edit > channel number > Edit voice.
      You can’t edit built-in instruments.

  5. avatar Andrew Piatek says:

    The Vogel CMI app on the iPad is the only reason I got an iPad. It’s a wonderful app, with beautiful interface (sans the standard Apple widgets) and one of the most desirable sample libraries. $50 for the app is like giving it away for free. However, Apple infrastructure is so rotten, that I decided to sell my iPad. Is there a way to import the Vogel CMI sound library as wav, then convert it to say Roland S-series sample libary? I know it’s stealing, and I am against stealing, I would very much like to pay again for the CMI sound libary alone to have it on my Roland sampler. I just want out from Apple infrastructure, I think it’s reasonable.

  6. avatar nick says:

    Peter i mean English sorry.

  7. avatar nick says:

    Hi peter will in the future the app get fx en lfo’s effects ,i love the app i wise i could buy the cmi 30 but to much money .En what do you think about the new iPad pro it hef a light pen like the cmi 30, sorry for mi eagles i em dutch bye nick.

    Ps i hef the pro app version.

  8. avatar Mark says:

    Would like to see this please for a windows system

    • avatar Sérgio Frias says:

      I agree ,a pc/mac port would be great,
      to extend the market, i’m sure sales will be much higher,for example i’m not willing to invest in a ipad/iphone just to have this App. I hope that in the future the classic adc / dac emulation will be implemented,since the sounds we love from the past came from the limitations of the first units used by artists like Peter Gabriel , Kate Bush,Duran Duran etc. this sound can only be acheived by a emulation (accurate or approximation).

  9. avatar Richard C says:

    Hey Peter and company. Love the App. I’m going to write many many songs with this for my band on my iPad 3. But i do have A question/suggestion: any chance of upping the voice amount in each instrument to 16 or more in the future? It’s really the only limitation that makes things difficult. I’m going to just record multiple 8 voice parts to my sampler and then layer them that way for the time being. But it would be great to just build patterns with more than 8 voices in the app itself. Again, I love this instrument. I feel like Peter Gabriel in 1985 everytime I use it!

    • avatar Thomas says:

      Richard, glad you love the app. Yes, we would like to add more channels, but it won’t be soon. The problem is that the user interface is hand-crafted to look and function like the original CMI, and there is no easy way to expand it on the smaller screens.
      We would also like to build the missing CMI II functionality first, such as time signatures, MIDI control inputs and additive synthesis. After that we’ll get to other things on the list such as more channels. Most likely we’ll do that so as to remain compatible with the .IN instrument files, which only allow 8 voices– so to expand a song to more channels, we’ll have multiple instruments.

  10. avatar Mike Ross says:

    Very cool. How do I interface the keyboard from my original CMI I? 😉

    (Actually half-serious; the CMI keyboard is an RS232 data stream IIRC so… anyone make a Lightning-RS232 adapter?!)

    • avatar Thomas says:

      Mike, assuming you are talking about the music keyboard, what you need is an RS232 to MIDI converter, there are a few around and you can build your own. The CMI app responds to Core Midi, so any device that can input MIDI to iOS will work. That includes docks as well as USB MIDI connected via the lightning USB or camera adaptor.
      Have fun!

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