We contacted Peter Vogel directly as we discussed the forthcoming anniversary Fairlight CMI 30A teaser currently on the Fairlight site.
He very kindly divulged some more details about the forthcoming machine:
The 30A will look like and perform like the original CMI, although the
mainframe will be much lighter for portability. The look and feel of the
user interface will also be similar to the original, with retro green on
black graphics like the original. A replica of the original music keyboard
will also be available as an option, or you can use your own MIDI keyboard.
The software will combine the very best of the early series II and III
features, with a multitude of additional features. Sound quality of 8-bit,
16-bit, or "best quality" 36-bit floating point can be selected, and
existing Fairlight users can import their entire sample libraries. Even
better, non-Fairlight sounds, such as WAV files can be imported and
specified to play back with the classic Fairlight sound.
Internally it will be all digital, but will use FPGA technology to provide
"virtual hardware" emulation which will exactly model the original analog
circuitry. There will be 16 analog outputs and a stereo sampling input.
All I/O will also be available digitally through MADI.
For an idea of the performance to expect, see attached description of the
Crystal Core engine which the new CMI use.
We are builing a run of only 100 units, which will be available early next
year. Price is to finalised, it is not intended to be cost competitive with
other samplers, but of course much cheaper than the original CMI, even
adjusted for inflation!