Updates, Fairlights and Analog Synths!

Updates, Fairlights and Analog Synths!

Well, it has been a while since I did anything over here and it ALWAYS pains me to admit that. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that no matter how hard you try, if your passion and pastimes can’t pay the bills, they will always take second place to the things that do. In the six months or so since I last posted, the day job has become more consuming than ever before, for reasons I won’t go into here, but the upshot is that at the end of a working day, or at the weekend, the last thing I feel like doing is sitting at a computer again, banging out articles or videos that, whilst satisfying my passions and desires for all things musical, don’t provide me with any income that I could pay the bills with.

It’s an awful thing to say, I know, but as the main breadwinner, I have a responsibility to my family to ensure these things are taken care of. So the blog, and other related activities, suffer as a consequence. And to those of you left who still check in and read my stuff, I wholeheartedly apologise and also thank you for sticking with me.

So I felt I should bring you all up to speed with the things I HAVE been doing in this realm that may be of some interest to you. So let’s begin with the obvious one…

Fairlights

My involvement with these machines shows no signs of abating, which is a very good thing! Since we last spoke, I have helped restore two further Series III systems, one ‘desktop’ and one rack…

Fairlight CMI Series III
Fairlight CMI Series III MFX2+

…the first of which was sold, but the rack system remains. This is sort of planned as Peter and I decided it would be useful to have a system permanently installed here in the UK for a number of reasons. Talking of Peter, he also came to visit…

Peter Wielk

…during which time we got the Series IIx another step along the road to recovery by fitting a Lotharek SD Floppy Drive Emulator and a couple of replacement cards…

Fairlight Series IIx

…which was incredibly exciting. The Series IIx will slowly, but surely, come back to life but it needs a lot more doing before we can say she is ready. I also took possession of a Series I music keyboard and an MFX+3 controller which will eventually get used somewhere. I’m also expecting to take in at least one more Series III before the end of the year, possibly more, and hopefully a very special Series III might be making an appearance, more of which as and when (and if) that happens. Peter was also kind enough to send me this mounted picture of the Series II keyboard that was signed for charity…

Series II Fairlight Signed Keyboard

All I need to do is find somewhere to hang it!

I was also invited to The Centre of Computing History in Cambridge in June where I was delighted to present both the IIx and III rack as working demonstrations at their ‘Synthesized‘ event…

The stand at Synthesized
The Interview

You can watch their video interview with me below…

Travel

I used to travel a fair bit for my job, but in recent years I have become increasingly desk-based. However, I do still make one or two trips on business every year, and shortly after the Synthesized event, I had the pleasure of going out to Minneapolis, where I was able to not only meet up with my dear friend Marc Doty (aka Automatic Gainsay) but also got to see a bit of Prince’s world too. Marc was lovely enough to drive me out to Paisley Park, as well as a couple of other Prince-related locations, all tinged with a degree of sadness that the great man himself wasn’t present anymore…

Fat bloke outside Paisley Park, Chanhassen, MN
Myself and the legend that is Marc Doty

I was then fortunate to grab a couple of weeks off of work and take a two week vacation with my family back home to Italy and the place of my father’s birth, a place i had not visited since 1986! It is safe to say, my heart was full of joy and we all had the most amazing time there…

Gran Paradiso, viewed from Frazione Pratolungo, Locana

Analog Synths

In a bizarre, yet serendipitous, turn of events, I was contacted by a friend, who had a friend, who was asking for recommendations for people who might be able to demonstrate a new analog synth at this year’s Synthfest in Sheffield. The prospect was too exciting to turn down and so I hooked up with the guys from IK Multimedia and spent the day showing people their amazing new synth, the UNO!

Demonstrating the IK Multimedia UNO Synth at Synthfest, Sheffield

IK were superb and sent me an UNO to use for about a week before the event, and luckily for me, it was both easy to learn and I discovered that my analog synth chops hadn’t withered away too much! In fact, I have become so enamoured with this little box of magic that it has seriously rekindled a love of hardware and analog synthesis again that I thought had long burned out. The way the UNO seamlessly and perfectly embraces both the hardware and software realms is perfect for the way I like to use my gear these days. And the other benefit of this whole event is that i have made some good contacts with IK Multimedia and I’m hoping this will lead to more opportunities coming my way!

UNO and Reason in perfect harmony

The Rest…

Well, I think that about covers it. My vinyl collection still grows, so much so that it will soon be moved into a room of its own! I’ve been rediscovering the joys of FM synthesis and hope to be acquiring a Yamaha TX7 module soon, so expect to see and hear some of that! I’ve also been diving into IK Multimedia’s Total Studio 2 MAX software bundle which is insanely huge and incredibly well featured, so hopefully I’ll be writing about that soon. So I very much hope that there won’t be too much of a gap between this and the next post, but please feel free to follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to keep up with the minutiae of my world!

And thank you all again for sticking with me!

  • Posted on October 24, 2018 - 7:51 pm
  • By Rob Puricelli
  • Posted in

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