Fairlight CMI News

Fairlight CMI diskettes wanted to take this opportunity to show you these rare photos of Fairlight CMI sample library diskettes. On the wonderfully large 8″ floppy disks! I’m used to seeing the libraries of classic sampling systems online, offered for download via a forum or listed on ebay. But to see and perhaps even to own the original library in its original format would be really rather special!

Fairlight CMI IIx library disks from the article Fairlight CMI diskettes by

Fairlight CMI are not alone in providing an OEM library. E-MU, PPG, Synclavier and Mellotron all produced their own library. In fact, if you read the article The Art of Discovery here at I take a look at the cost of owning one of these libraries in the context of the average living wage for the time.

Fairlight CMI IIx library disks from the article Fairlight CMI diskettes by

8″ floppy disks were later superseded by the 5.25″ “mini” diskette. And then – to the last of this format, the “micro” 3.5″ floppy disk. With a few exceptions these popular formats stored up-to and approximately 1.44MB. That’s enough to store the operating system instructions like ADSR commands and the actual recording itself. i.e. the sample/s.

Even though the Fairlight CMI sample diskettes are rare and those pictured rarely come up for auction – especially without the system itself. The library is still prevalent even today. has not only made the entire library available in its original format (VC). The site has also provided the functionality to download them in an alternative format and bit depth for use in your own DAW or sampler.

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