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|Founder||Peter Vogel, Kim Ryrie|
|Headquarters||Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
Fairlight is a digital audio company based in Sydney. In 1979 they created the Fairlight CMI, one of the earliest music workstation with digital audio sampler, quickly used by artists such as Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, and Jean Michel Jarre. They are now a manufacturer of media tools such as digital audio recording and mixing consoles. Fairlight became such a prominent part of 1980s pop music that Phil Collins included the text "there is no Fairlight on this record" in the liner notes of No Jacket Required.
New sounds could be created by drawing a 'sound wave' on the screen, which the computer would produce as sound. Theoretically, any sound was possible. Apart from opening up a world of new sounds, the Fairlight gave composers and performers instant playback. By changing the wave patterns presented on a screen they could tweak a sound into shape without singing or performing it all over again.
The versatility of the early Fairlight was not lost on recording artists. The first record made entirely on a computer in the United States was done by EBN-OZN (Ned Liben, who represented Fairlight in New York) and Robert Ozn) - "AEIOU Sometimes Y" made in 1981, released in 1983.
Their hybrid analogue/digital Computer Video Instrument, invented by Kia Silverbrook, debuted in 1984. The fact that the CVI was also a "computer" was transparent to its use: it did not use a conventional ASCII keyboard (though in later models one could be attached), but rather a set of sliders and a small graphics pad about the size of the palm of a hand. Menu selections were made with a stylus rather than a mouse. The CVI allowed you to paint directly over the top of video footage as well as "with" video footage via an extensive series of effects.
In April 1989, Fairlight ESP (Electric Sound and Picture) was established by Kim Ryrie, with the financial backing of Australian distributor Amber.
In August 2009, a new company called Fairlight Instruments was launched by Peter Vogel, with the objective of producing a new range of computer musical instruments (CMI) based on Fairlight.au's "Crystal Core" media engine.
In July 2012, the company Fairlight Instruments changed its name to Peter Vogel Instruments. Peter Vogel announced the company was developing a completely new keyboard synthesizer which would be launched at Winter NAMM 2013.
Peter Vogel Instruments developed Fairlight CMI 30A, a CMI which is not a product of Fairlight.au.