See the CMI in Frankfurt and London

The CMI-30A will be on show at the Frankfurt Musikmesse from the 10-13 April 2013. Visit us under the Sound Service banner, Hall 5.1,Booth B90.

After the show, the CMI-30A will be set up in London for a few days of private demonstrations.

To make an appointment in either Frankfurt or London, contact Graeme Renaud

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$1000 ‘CMI on the Bus’ Competition

Contact Form Shortcode Error: Form 4 does not exist

To celebrate the release of the Audiobus-capable version of the CMI App, Peter Vogel Instruments presents the “CMI on the Bus” competition.

We’re offering $1,000 cash prize for the most creative track made using the CMI app connected with other apps through Audiobus.

Audiobus is A Tasty Pixel’s new inter-app audio router system which connects compatible music apps together, just like virtual cables. For details see Purchase it from the iTunes store.

To enter the competition, create a video and upload it to YouTube. The video must include at least:

  • Music composed by you and performed on the CMI app using Audiobus.  It can use a sequence or live playing or both.
  • Footage of you using the app on a bus of your choice.

You are encouraged to include some explanation or exposition of the creative process on your YouTube posting.  Collaboration with other musicians is also a plus.

Entries must be submitted by 17:00 (AEST), 30th April, 2013. The winner will be a Peter Vogel Instruments staff choice, but comments posted under the YouTube videos will be taken into account. The top three entrants will also receive some great PVI merchandise.

To enter:

  • Upload your video to YouTube
  • Complete the entry form below
  • Enter the link to your video in the form where indicated
  • Allow up to 48 hours for your entry to appear on this page

Entries close 12:00 (AEST), 30th April, 2013

Please read the Competition Terms and Conditions.

Bus photo © Andy Mitchell

Competition Entries

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CMI on the Bus Terms and Conditions

1. Participation in this competition is deemed acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.

2. To be eligible to win entrants must produce a video including music, upload it to YouTube using an account of their choice, and submit via the form on the competition’s web page their name, email address and link (URL) to the uploaded video.

3. At least part of the video must be made using the Peter Vogel CMI App and the Audiobus App.

4. The video must include a perceivable image of at least one entrant on a bus of any sort.

5. Entry is open to everyone and an entry can be made by one person or more. If more than one person is involved in the entry, the persons involved must agree amongst themselves which one person will be the entrant and the prize will be given to only one entrant and entrants are responsible for their own sharing of prizes.

6. The Promoter reserves the right, at any time, to verify the validity of entries and entrants (including an entrant’s identity and place of residence) and to disqualify any entrant

who submits an entry that is not in accordance with these Terms and Conditions or who tampers with the entry process.  Failure by the Promoter to enforce any of its rights at any stage does not constitute a waiver of those rights.

7. The Promoter reserves the right, at any time, to reject an entry without giving any reason.

8. The competition ends on 30/04/2013 at 17:00 AEST. Multiple entries per person are permitted. Entries are deemed to be received at the time of receipt by the Promoter and NOT at the time of submission by the entrant.

9. This is a game of skill and chance plays no part in determining the winner.  The winner will be selected by The Promoter based on the creativity of the entry submitted.  The Promoter’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

10. The prize is one thousand Australian dollars which will be paid to the winning entrant by bank transfer or cheque.

11. The prize winner will be notified by email and their name together with a link to the winning entry will be published by the Promoter on its website and elsewhere at the Promoter’s election.

12. By submitting an entry, entrants consent to the Promoter using the entrant’s winning entry (either in full or in part) and name for an unlimited period without remuneration for promoting the Promoter or its products. All entries remain the property of the entrant but the Entrant grants the Promoter perpetual, worldwide non-exclusive licence, at no cost, to copy or use the entry for any purpose.

13. If this competition is interfered with in any way or is not capable of being conducted as reasonably anticipated due to any reason beyond the reasonable control of the Promoter, the Promoter reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to the fullest extent permitted by law (a) to disqualify any entrant; or (b) subject to any written directions from a regulatory authority, to modify, suspend, terminate or cancel the competition, as appropriate.

14. By submitting an entry, entrants confirm that their entry is all their own work and does not infringe copyright or other rights of any other person and the entrant indemnifies the Promoter against any and all actions claims damages expenses or liabilities suffered or incurred directly or indirectly by the Promoter in consequence of any infringement or alleged infringement.

15. Except for any liability that cannot be excluded by law, the Promoter (including its officers, employees and agents) excludes all liability (including negligence), for any personal injury; or any loss or damage (including loss of opportunity); whether direct, indirect, special or consequential, arising in any way out of the competition, including, but not limited to, where arising out of the following: (a) any technical difficulties or equipment malfunction (whether or not under the Promoter’s control);(b) any theft, unauthorised access or third party interference; (c) any entry or prize claim that is late, lost, altered, damaged or misdirected (whether or not after their receipt by the Promoter) due to any reason beyond the reasonable control of the Promoter; (d) any tax liability incurred by a winner or entrant; (e) any bus fares or fines relating thereto; (f) any transport-related injury whatseoever; (g) any iPhones or other property left on, or run over by, a bus.

16. The laws of NSW, Australia shall apply to these terms and conditions and any disputes will be dealt with by the NSW Courts.

17. The Promoter is Peter Vogel Instruments Pty Ltd (ABN 65 140 173 397).



Return to the competition entry form



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Audiobus with CMI App 1.5

Audiobus CompatibleThe CMI iOS App has had some serious work for the 1.5 release, so we thought we’d give you these extended release notes, including some instructions on how to use Audiobus. See below for more details on how to use Audiobus.

Please note that your compositions may sound subtly different in release 1.5, so please read the following to find out why. Also, to bring these new features to you, we had to raise the bar a little– it now requires iOS 5 or later.

New Synthesiser and Sequencer Engines

That’s right: we’ve totally rewritten both the synth and sequencer engines. They are now more accurate and use less CPU power, and allow a lot of interesting features. Page R nows loads faster on long compositions. This also fixes a Page R bug in releases 1.1.x, where a small number of notes would play for 1/24 of a beat longer than they should. So check your compositions to make sure they sound exactly as you want, and adjust the note lengths if needed.

Background Synth and Song Playing

Audiobus requires that its connected Apps be running in the background. This has some interesting side effects. For example, if you have loaded an instrument, and it has MIDI channels, MIDI events will trigger the voices, even when the CMI App is in the background. You can also have your Page R composition playing in the background while you run other Apps, check your email, whatever. There is now a setting that allows you to enable background audio even if the CMI App is not being used by Audiobus.

Polyphonic Channel Cards

The original CMI II had eight monophonic Channel Cards, and each card (or track, if you prefer) could only play one pitch at a time. So even if a voice was set with a release time, a following note in that card would cut off anything from the previous note. Some of our customers have complained that we are taking the historical accuracy too far. Well, we listened to you, and release 1.5 now behaves more like the synthesisers you are used to. In fact, you can have up to 64 notes simultaneously playing in a single track! The only limitation is that, like most synthesisers, a new note will cut off any previous note with the same pitch. But as in the original CMI, a note-on event in a track in Page R will act as a note-off event to any previously-playing note in that track.

Extra synth for Page R on-screen keyboard

Now when you play along with a song in Page R on the on-screen keyboard, it doesn’t interfere with notes in the selected track. Both the Page R notes and your keyboard touches will play.

Page R navigation while playing

Now you can use the step back/forward buttons to move between steps while the sequencer is playing.

Stereo and MP3 Voices

You can now import stereo audio files and MP3 files to create new voices. Stereo voices will play back as stereo. So now you effectively have eight stereo polyphonic channel cards instead of eight monophonic single-channel cards.

Better Voice Imports

The voice import page now displays the waveform of the selected audio file, and allows you to preview what a voice would sound like by using the keyboard, before you import the file. And both the built-in voices and imported voices now do a better job of playing at the correct pitch, including respecting the ‘cycles per segment’ setting.

Page D Display Options

The default for Page D is now to display a static waveform. If you want to tilt your device to look at it from different angles, there is now a button to allow that.

Instruments and Voices Stay Loaded

Like the original CMI, now when you load an instrument or a voice in Page 2 or Page 3, it stays loaded until it is replaced by something else. So enable background audio (or use Audiobus), load an instrument, and play it using a MIDI keyboard, no matter what page you are on, or even if the app is in the background.

Sample from Audiobus or Mic/Line

When the CMI is connected as an Audiobus output, the Sampler Page will record from the Audiobus input. If not connected as an Audiobus output, it will sample whatever is the current audio input, usually the mic. In either case, if you have sampled something but not yet saved it as a voice, the Audiobus ‘Play’ button will play this sample. You can delete the sample to go back to having the Audiobus play button play the selected song.

Skip the Startup Floppy Disk

Once you have correctly set the voltage options and have started up, next time you launch the App, a “Skip startup” button appears. The floppy disk startup process is also skipped if you launch the App from the Audiobus connection panel.


Now you can stream live audio directly to other Audiobus-compatible apps! See for great information, and the get the Audiobus App.

For a long time, many of our customers have been asking for a way to record their compositions digitally. We were never really happy with the available options for this, and it didn’t seem sensible for us to build a digital recorder into our App. Audiobus solves this problem in a delightfully easy-to use way. Use your favourite Audiobus-compatible multi-track recording App to record it!

Screenshot 2013.01.17 16.53.04

The Audiobus App provides a virtual patchbay to connect audio apps together digitally. You connect one or more Apps as inputs, possibly with an effects processing App, with the result going to an App you select. For example, here is the CMI App going through a parametric equaliser to a digital recorder.


Audiobus1Audiobus2When any App is connected to Audiobus, a little control panel appears at the edge of the screen. To the right are examples, collapsed and expanded from our App when it is connected to an effects App and a recording App. The other Apps also have their control panels to control the CMI App, as shown here: Audiobus3

These panels allow you to quickly switch between the connected Apps, but more importantly, you can control the other Apps even though they are running in the background. In this example, the CMI App has a song loaded via Page R, which is ready to play. Just tap the CMI’s play button in the panel, and the CMI song starts playing in the background, with the audio streaming into the recording App. So you could set up the recorder ready to record, tap the “back to start” CMI button in the panel, tap “Record” in the main part of the recording App’s screen, then tap the CMI play button in the panel. You might see something like this, with the CMI button changed to Pause.


Our CMI App can also act as an Audiobus destination. In this mode, a record button allows you to record the output of another App, to be used as a synth

voice. Just swap back to the CMI App to set its native pitch and save it as a voice, or delete it.

Audiobus was released in December, and already there are many dozens of compatible Apps. The synergy is limited only by your imagination!


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Deadmau5 takes home a CMI-30A

The CMI-30A we had on display at NAMM is not coming home…

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Gotye meets PVI

On Friday (14/12/2012) the PVI team and I had  the great pleasure of spending some time with ‘Gotye’ before his Sydney show and introducing him to the CMI-30A. And what a brilliant show BTW!


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A facelift for Fairlight Instruments

Fairlight Instruments Pty Ltd is changing its name in anticipation of the release of some exciting new products.

The new name, Peter Vogel Instruments, reflects the company’s transition from building on the past to inventing the future.

I am delighted to announce that we will be unveiling some amazing new products over the coming year, under the new brand. These are now in development and all I will say is that we are working hard to make the new products accessible to the average musician, unlike the Fairlight CMI which back in 1979 cost more than the average house.

The CMI-30A, which we released last year as an homage to the original Fairlight CMI, will continue to be our prestige flagship product. A major upgrade now in the works will become available later this year to existing 30A owners free of charge.

The iOS app has been rebranded and has been withdrawn from the app store pending Apple’s approval. Existing app owners will see an update offered shortly. In response to customer requests, significant new functionality is being developed for release as a free update later this year.

We are also developing an entirely new keyboard product, quite unlike anything previously made by Fairlight — or anyone else.

Exciting times!

Peter Vogel

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Thomas Dolby’s first Australian visit

Peter Vogel Instruments is proud to announce that legendary CMI-early adopter Thomas Dolby will be playing the CMI-30A on stage when he visits Australia for the first time in Feb 2012.

As well as his pop-synth hits of the 80s (e.g. She Blinded Me With Science), Dolby has had a fascinating career ranging from inventing the ringtone generator that’s been used in billions of phones to his current role as musical director of the TED conference.  Last year he released his first solo album in 20 years.  He is a keen exponent of digital media and his new album was accompanied by an online game.

The first show is on Monday 13th Feb and this will be a talk and audience Q&A with Dolby and me, hosted by Tim Ritchie (not a performance).

The second night is Tues 14th Feb and this will be a solo performance. The evening will be opened by Stephen Taberner and friends.

More details and ticket purchases here:

Thomas Dolby’s website:

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Stevie Wonder checks out the 30A

It was a special moment in musical history when Stevie Wonder played the prototype of the CMI-30A.

Stevie, who was in Sydney for the launch of the new Star entertainment venue, played a CMI for the first time in decades and discussed future directions with me and the rest of Peter Vogel Instruments team.

Fairlight team and Stevie Wonder

Peter Vogel, Lorraine Vogel, Stevie Wonder, Duncan Ross, Graeme Renaud

In 1979, Stevie was one of the first users of the Fairlight. I was thrilled to find he was still as interested as ever in exploring new technology. Of course, he was particularly keen that music technology be accessible to the blind. The original Fairlight was much more accessible than PC based instruments because it predated things like drop-down menus which rely on good eyesight. We’ve kept that original look and feel in the new model.
LaMar Mitchell enoying a taste of the eighties

LaMar Mitchell enjoying a taste of the eighties

We will be working closely with Stevie Wonder’s personal engineer LaMar Mitchell to discover ways to make the CMI products totally accessible.

Peter Vogel, 28th Oct 2011.

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TEC Award nomination

The Peter Vogel Instruments CMI-30A has been nominated for the 27th Annual TEC Awards for Outstanding Technical Achievement in the category of Musical Instrument Technology/Hardware.

Founded in 1985, the Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards is the foremost program recognising the achievements of audio professionals. Presented annually by the TEC Foundation for Excellence in Audio, the TEC Awards recognizes the individuals, companies and technical innovations behind the sound of recordings, live performances, films, television, video games, and other media.

TEC Awards nominations are made by a panel of industry professionals and voted upon by members of various professional organisations and audio industry websites. Through its Hall of Fame, the TEC Awards honors the pioneers of audio technology and the music industry’s most accomplished producers and audio technicians.

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