A bank of faders, a touchpad, and then … it just does anything you want. Even today, the idea of a fully-integrated visual instrument is a pretty profound concept. Ableton’s creators thought about the design of the Synclavier digital synth (the rival of the CVI’s music sibling, the CMI) when designing their software. At least a couple of you have some strong ideas about the future of "visual instruments" and live visualism in general. Certainly, I’ll be thinking about the CVI as I look at the setup of my live visual rig. The effects themselves on the CVI don’t all date well, especially after the CVI itself popularized their use (and overuse) in the 80s. But the elegance of the design as interface can still inspire.

Co-creator Peter Vogel has kept satisfying our appetite for gems from his VHS library. Thanks, Peter, for saving these from permanent deterioration. Top: watch a BBC host get a kick out of turning herself into a video star. Bottom: the original demo video, which gives a good overview of the effects capabilities. (Especially interesting, as students and artists learn to recreate some of the same effects from scratch in tools like Max/MSP/Jitter and Processing.) Tomorrow’s world, indeed.

  • Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. I want to add some flash to my life.

  • oh god – maggie philbin. I thought she had been erased from my memory.

  • wes

    whats that first song on the vid???

  • Pingback: Create Digital Music » Video as Instrument: The Fairlight CMI’s Visualist Sibling, the Fairlight CVI()

  • Cort3x

    I like the VHS-esque video garble effect in the bottom movie. =)

  • felix – yeah, i'm actually quite disturbed now, i mean, critical re-evaluation time, she was actually *good* in that piece, she loved the cvi!

    wes – without playing it again to check, it was art of noise's moments in love i think. they were properly into the audio avant garde of all this 80's tech.

  • MORE video instruments NOW! we should lobby vixid.

  • Reminds me of The Presets' video "My People" by Kris Moyes.

  • *bump* Woo hoo! We have finally gotten around to uploading our Fairlight CVI resources to http://FairlightCVI.com – hope some of them are useful to fellow Fairlight fans đŸ™‚