A downloadable tool for Windows, macOS, and Linux

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This is a complete recreation of the Fairlight CMI IIx.

This has all the features of the original Fairlight CMI including 16 stereo voices, full voice editing and realtime control, harmonic additive synthesis, full Page R sequencer and much more.


Full file support for Fairlight Series I, II, IIx, III samples, plus a host of other manufactures. 


You will need to download all three files, especially the Guide which will tell you all about the very basic operations of QasarBeach.

The Fairlight CMI was a professional and complex machine, QasarBeach in no way tries to obscure this operation. So the UI is the same, the operation is the same, but there have been additions to make it a bit more user friendly.


There are four files:

QasarBeach.App: is the latest MacOS version

QasarBeachWIn: is the latest Windows version

QasarBeach.Tar: is the latest Linus version

Guide is the comprehensive PDF guide (shown on the right)

QasarBeach is the demo folder including  demo files

Cookbook is a new PDF guide giving hints and recipes for getting more out of QasarBeach

ver 1.19 update (6 February 2020)

This is a big update with many fixes and new features added from user feedback. There is no help file for the new features this will appear slightly later.

Download the accompanying documentation 119update.zip which includes demo files and a pdf of all new features showing how to use them.

Here is a list of all new features, fixes, etc.

  • minor optimization to audio out
  • initial work on FX
  • PAGE 1 index being reformatted to allow for more menu options
  • initial PAGE T: FX BUS
  • base FX1 Reverb/delay and FX2 Echo complete
  • fx1/2 sends added to PAGE 7 Controls. tested and fuly operational
  • increased buffer fill speed for faster systems
  • Disks option added to PAGE 2 to allow for openeing of external drives
  • removal of oberon ui core
  • CTRL+Q now quits app
  • reclaiming unused character from the font
  • drag and drop of files now supported
  • drag a voice file and it will overwrite the current voice
  • small modification to voice loading to prevent cut outs
  • initial coding for time signatures in PAGE R
  • PAGE R note graphics being extended to cover all notes
  • PAGE R note duration of 96 can now be entered
  • PAGE R internal graphics being reformatted
  • PAGE R note off being added
  • PAGE R note quantize being extended
  • PAGE R note off now functional
  • PAGE R quantize lengths now shown correctly with new note lengths
  • PAGE R NOTE_ONOFF now plays correctly
  • PAGE R internal track expansion complete
  • PAGE R basic time signature code started
  • PAGE R pattern display rewritten to handle new time signatures
  • PAGE R removed ^ from bottom of bar as playhead makes it not needed
  • PAGE R bar removed
  • PAGE R bpm moved right slightly
  • PAGE R bar LENGTH added
  • PAGE R 8 voice view completed
  • PAGE R 16 voice view completed
  • fx Page now has label selection of effects
  • .co now at v4 with new fx support
  • .in now at v1 with new fx support
  • .rs now at v1.10 with new fx support and variable time signatures
  • playhead modifications to keep quantize positions in record
  • PAGE D now shows current active segment in all displays
  • PAGE D segments are better highlighted
  • PAGE T Master Root note implemented. this allows for different toots +- an octave
  • fx page master tuning now has control over which voice to tune!
  • crt tv output shader added
  • PAGE S tv output option now added and operational
  • tv output settings saved correctly
  • nasty function draw error fixed that caused glitches
  • voice loading fixed when using functions that caused glitches - these have been removed on loading
  • instrument loading fixed when using functions that caused glitches - these have been removed on loading
  • voice control loading fixed when using functions that caused glitches - these have been removed on loading
  • PAGE P now displays voice names
  • PAGE 7 lfo1, lfo2, etc are now valid entries in the command line
  • 32bit uncompressed .wav files now supported
  • PAGE R pattern markers update correctly and work correctly with quantize
  • PAGE R FILL now respects time signatures and quantize
  • PAGE R load and save of pattern time/signatures checked
  • PAGE A (re)sampling page started
  • index items moved to make room for new entries
  • Original Fairlight logo now animates!
  • initial PAGE A finished

V1.18 Update (Jan 17 2020 NAMM edition)

  •  fixed command "nc" that wasn't being reccognised
  • fixed minor Series III voice load that prevented voices with functions being loaded - only one found!
  • Series IIx .VC voice loading now respects filter, and loops
  • internal std/audiodata framework extended with loop control
  • IIx loop points are now played in PAGE 2
  • IIx MODE1 is played in PAGE 2 (durations not yet loaded)
  • IIx Filter settings now loaded in PAGE 2
  • IIx Filter, Loop, and Mode now imported with correct IIx .vc
  • added fullscreen option to settings
  • initial IIx .co file reading in place
  • .co files will load to the current voice or to a number of voices picked by the load page voice boxes
  • original fairlight II/IIx .co files can now be loaded
  • PAGE 8 Nphony added clamp to stop saturated volume from showing in the horizontal volume fader
  • added null voice playback crash protection
  • ECHO LOOP control added to PAGE 7
  • ECHO LOOP control looping back when ECHO DELAY has been set
  • ECHO LOOP added to control file loading and saving
  • fixed fatal Series III voice load (where voices with functions crashed)
  • ECHO LOOP inital operation activated
  • Initial PAGE 7 expansion (making room for another line of data) started
  • PAGE 7 MOVE ACTIVE added. this activates LOOP MOVE
  • PAGE 7 LOOP MOVE added. This will make the loop start and loop end move together
  • When activating MOVE ACTIVE, LOOP MOVE will become the value of LOOP START
  • Inital internal changes for multisamples from segment to position
  • internal loading/saving of controls changed the V4 to support new multisamples
  • internal subvoice start end segments converted from ubyte to floats and checked
  • III multisample loading now corrected - doesn't have glitch at start of voices
  • internal III subvoice loading data simplified
  • new .in loading routines
  • V0 .in loading complete
  • V1 .in loading complete
  • V2/V3 .in loading complete
  • .in loads and saves correctly - keeping track of different versions of .co structures
  • PAGE 7 ECHO LOOP now operates with MODE 5 multisample voices
  • fixed very tiny but major fault in the .vc loading routine,  that caused a segment slippage giving wrong segemnt lengths - and thus clicks
  • correction to triangle wave draw PAGE 6
  • improvments to MODE 2 playback to prevent click - now has smooth wavetable scanning
  • PAGE P fatal crash when playing MODE 2 voice fixed
  • PAGE D MODE 2 voice now shows correct playing segment
  • PAGE 2 additional loading protection,  to prevent crash if voice is null


V1.17 Update

  • fixed harmonics profile edit crash in Compute!
  • C (create voice) command removed use CV instead
  • C command now compute - as with IIx
  • CV, VC,  CREATE with no parameter will now create a voice at the current one
  • COMPUTE button added to PAGE 4 Harmonics
  • HARMONICS button added to PAGE 4 when smooth, rough, volume profile is being used



QasarBeach is feature complete, but not completely documented. It is also being actively developed.


If you've ever wanted to have a go at your own music and want to know how The Art Of Noise, Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, OMD, Yes, Hans Zimmer (and many many more) accomplished this in the 80's - QasarBeach is (almost) the way they did it!


Please feel free to add comments, thoughts, suggestions, etc. Nothing is out of bounds, so don't feel you might have a question that is odd, or strange bugs.

Updated 17 days ago
StatusReleased
CategoryTool
PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux
Rating
(2)
AuthorAdamStrange
Average sessionA few seconds
InputsKeyboard, Mouse, MIDI controller

Download

Download NowName your own price

Click download now to get access to the following files:

Guide.pdf.zip 6 MB
QasarBeach.zip 25 MB
cookbook.zip 5 MB
qasarbeach119.app.zip 3 MB
QasarBeachWin119.zip 6 MB
QaarBeach119.tar.gz 3 MB
119update.zip 2 MB

Development log

Comments

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This looks very awesome. I would love for this to run on rpi. With implementation for midi and tft. The fact that this is standalone makes me love it even more. Will be getting a donation from me!! 

rpi version is in the lab, but currently not operational

Just bought your CMI emulator 

Last time I was excited to use a software was with my Fairlight II and 3.

I use an Emulator 1 , how can I get the sounds in the Qasar ? Only have .EB1 files. Need to export to wav ?

I didn' t saw the subvoice mapping of series III files, did I missed something ? I use a lot SRC in Series III to convert sound from 44.1khz to 22.05khz, they sound more alike the series II. Could we get this function ?



Don't know if we can save .VC . IN and .RS to import them in a IIX and Series III. But would be great to follow work started on laptop. I can help testing


Would be great to have RS midi clock synchro too

Fantastic job AdamStrange

thanks for the comments. currently .eb1 files are not imported - this has been sorted for the next version :)

One way is to change the extension to .em1 and they should import that way.

sub-voice mapping is possible. PAGE 7, MODE 5. show subvoices. All the sounds must be in one sample, and then you just set the segment range for each subvoice and the key range. Series II Fairlight did not have this, so this is a version of the III.

It's interesting music software!

I'd like you to be able to SAVE compatible RS, VC, CO, IN files (Can be read on actual machine) , implement Page C and read / write directly from disk image!

the current issues about saving compatible files would need access to a real CMI and a way to easily transfer files. currently this is not simple.

PAGE C (MCL) is something I can look into :) 

would be great to have the ability to switch the screen zoom like 1x, 2x, 4x etc...

just grab an edge and resize the window to the size you want :)

yes, i know but doing that in discrete manner would be also super-useful :) to retain initial fonts consistency etc...

I can look into that for you 😀

many-many thanks in advance!!!

The octave +/- setting does not work on a german keyboard (notebook, dell). The "[" and "]" are controlled by ALTGR-8 and ALTGR-9. This switches to function "8" and "9" instead of oc+-. "äöü" etc. do not replace this.

it’s written for uk/us keyboards, but I can look into this for you :)

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I tried to run it from my download folder and it immediately shuts down (W10). It runs from a folder directly under "C:", though.

I’m assuming this is a windows protection system. Nothing to be worries about. My suggestion is to make a folder in c: and keep everything there ;)

I can't tell you how long I've been waiting for a proper simulation of the Fairlight CMI.  I was able to use a preliminary build of MESS's CMI driver (which only emulates the UI at this time), and I can say that the interface is amazingly faithful yet improved and refined for modern music production workflow.  And little things like being able to see all 128 segments in Display "A" mode is just delightful!  Thank you so much for developing this, Adam!!

I made a brief video of QasarBeach show a brief recreation of the drum track from Art of Noise's Beat Box. 


I hope you don't mind but I have a few questions and suggestions for future features.  This maybe a stupid question, but I was wondering how does ADSR envelopes work in the program.  Has an envelope generator been implemented yet and if so, is it located in Page 7 or Page F?

Will there be any scaling options such as bi-cubic, etc?  A 4:3 aspect ratio option would be nice as well, along with maybe a CRT/scanline filter, however, I totally understand if this is beyond the limits of the graphics engine.

Also, it would be cool to see the Fairlight logo "animate" like in the original software, where it draws over itself several times to create that pseudo-3D effect.  Do you think it's possible for logos to support animations?

Keep up the great work!!

Excellent video - I've contacted you via soundcloud about it...

Yes, envelopes are constructed with Page 7 and functions patches into the VOLUME

CRT filters can be added as an option :)

I can look into the animated logo situation for you

Yes there is, but not in the way that ADSR operates.

the best way is to use PAGE 7 and patch either VOLUME or AUX VOLUME parameters to a FUNCTION.

Page 48 of the guide shows how to do this for PAN.

Page 41 of the guide shows how to use FUNCTIONS

Page 29 shows how to use PAGE 7

Another way is to use Page 4 and to set a VOL profile - but this is not documented in the guide as it is a more advanced feature

Awesome work Adam. I've been looking for a good Fairlight emulator for years. One question though. I can run the Fairlight perfectly on both of my Windows 10 machines, but the exe won't open on my Windows 8.1 64 bit studio computer. However, this machine is entirely offline, and hasn't been online since 2013, so I may be missing an OS update that is required by the Fairlight. 

Is there a compile that might work with this early OS version? (I'm reluctant to update windows, because the computer works perfectly with all of my day-to-day audio software and hardware. 

Thanks so much! 

it's compiled on 64bit win 7, and will be happy with win 10 64. Unfortunately I don't have access to win 8, so can't do any tests

do you have a schedule of what you're working on?  I only ask for a friend.🤭😉

There's no specific schedule, fixes and improvements are being made and then checked over. Only after i've gone through things a few times to check will I release something. Currently it's running at round 2 weeks per release. Is there something particular you are wanting?

Sampling would of course be something important so that you don't have to use other programs. Are you trying something about Rasperry PI?  If you need the library from CMI 3, I have it and could send it to you.

yep, the Pi is something that is being worked on. A lot of the back end stuff has now been finished. I am still attempting to compile the main app.

such "standalone" device would be very much appreciated i believe... especially with multichannel support etc

That's wonderful. I just wait for a touch screen and in February we want to get started so the construction of the controller.

Chris, do you have a soundcloud?

Yes,i have.

really serious work! is there any chance for an ios version to appear one day?

currently around 30% possible

This is so great! One question — I could not get it to change beat/measure to anything other than 4/4 on the R page. Is that possible and if not — will it be? Thanks!!!

yep, currently not implemented, but it is coming :)

Thanls a lot!!! And separate big thanks for the manuals, super helpful!

Excellent to know you are finding them helpful. I need to look at how the harmonics systems work next...

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That would be amazing of course. I have to say that even though my modular system is rather large I found QasarBeach an incredible tool representative of a very non trivial approach to making noises, still very usable today.

Yes, an insight on (quick) creating of harmonic series would be totally amazing!

Also — another question! Is output channel choosing support planned for multichannel audio cards?

Currently no, but I can put it onto the list for you :)

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Not just for him.😉

yass! i'd be happy whenever that's possible! thanks.

V1.19 has user defined time signatures

thanks a lot! i'm seeing that and will experiment soon!

i would like this as a vst

unfortunately QasarBeach is only possible as a standalone app

I need help! I moved the entire Qasar Beach folder, and I want to be able to load samples off of different drives..... I have limited space on my C drive, and I'd rather have everything on the D drive or the E drive. Is this possible?

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Currently there isn't a way, but I'll get onto a fix for you.

 The Next release will include a new "Drive" option on the disk page. This will allow you open other drives, networks, etc

 and also add them as favorites.

awesome!!!! I wish I could find an archive of all the CMI stuff here on the internet. I know I can, but don't know where......

what are you looking for?

Basically, I'm looking for as many sounds & instruments I can get.

The instrument files won't really help you a great deal as only Fairlights can use them. The complete library is in qasarbeach.zip

Great Work, really impressive, only problem for me, is the audio output, getting lots of clicks and dropout, I wish it could support ASIO and I could choose the samplerate.

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what os and machine specs do you have?

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Windows 10 x64 ,intel i9, RME Digiface USB

64 gb RAM

certainly the specs are very good, I'll see about doing some tests for you :)

Wow this looks very impressive!!!

Did you consider adding the master tuning function whereby one can enter the tuning of the whole system?

As an owner of an original CMI I have to say this is one of my favourite things about the system and the uber 8-bit crunchy sound of course.

That's an excellent suggestion - I'll get onto it. Let me know how you get on and if you encounter any issues :)

What a big and great Update and the new PDF looks so good.thx 🙏

Would be great to have a setting to change the "modern" sample scaling to old-style variable playback speed! And actual in-app sampling would be fantastic. But otherwise, it's absolutely great!

both are being looked at, but the variable rate playback would need a core rewrite

can you please tell me what are the minimum requirements for Windows to use the program?

a good question. It should be pretty low, it’s a very small app with low system usage. It is compiled on windows 7, so anything from that onwards

I tried to start QasarBeach on an old EeePC (Intel Atom, Windows 7.32 bit) but nothing happened.  I'm looking for alternatives to the Rasperry PI but I think that would be a suitable platform for it.  when I'm done with my project I will make it public on Facebook, for example, and when people see that there is a Fairlight Clone for a € 30 mini PC, many will follow suit.  but I have a few questions for you.  refuses do you know how the fairlight works?  do you have one  What does the sampling function do?  without them, that would only be half the battle.  😉.  What about the Fairlight 3 library?  Maybe you have them?  Thank you for your effort and I look forward to further versions.  😉

Yep. QasarBeach is 64bit - so it will won't run on 32bit platforms - one issue solved :)

Answers:

Yep I know how the Fairlight works, but Series II and III. QasarBeach does not operate in the exact same way as Fairlight have loads of custom hardware. The key difference is the Fairlight actually change speed to change the pitch. QasarBeach takes the modern approach and has a static speed with the pitch being interpolated - if you dont understand - don't worry.

The sampling function allows you to sample in incoming sound source - it is not currently operational in QasarBeach. TBH you can simply use a simple free sound editor to do this and just export to uncompressed .wav or ogg or aif. QasarBeach will load all of them.

Series III library is only available with a real Fairlight.

Yes.  I understand, at least at that time samplers worked (theoretically) but doesn't that mean that it doesn't sound so authentic anymore ?.  no idea.  Another seen in real. ;-) At the moment I am not working with it either, but I am more concerned with the hardware and plan there.  that’s why sampling isn’t so tragic, but I hope it’s coming.

Wow great...

As a lover of old synthesizer systems, that was exactly what I always wanted.
I love not only the sound, but also the original operation.
I've always wanted to work like I did in the great days of Fairlight.
even if it takes getting used to ..
is like a historian ..

if you could also create your own samples ...

I hope that comes too.?!?

Wow großartig...

Als Liebhaber alter Synthesizersysteme war das genau das, was ich mir schon immer gewünscht hatte.
Ich liebe nicht nur den Sound, sondern auch die originale Bedienung.
Ich wollte schon immer so arbeiten wie in den großartigen Tagen von Fairlight.
auch wenn es gewöhnungsbedürftig ist ..
ist wie ein Historiker ..

wenn Sie auch Ihre eigenen Muster erstellen könnten ...

Ich hoffe das kommt ..?!?

finally a reasonable clone of this dream machine but I don't think how I can sample myself ?@chris.what do you mean? do you build a keyboard with a Raspberry? That would be an idea if it would run on it.

currently QasarBeach doesn't sample - It's half way complete, but there are some issue with it. Good recommendation would be Amadeus, or audacity just to get the sample into the computer and then export and uncompressed 16 bit wav or aif. QasarBeach can read most uncompressed formats :)

Yes.I am currently planning to build a "Fairlight Clone" with a friend based on the Raspberry.  That should consist of a keyboard and a touchscreen monitor.  all in the right look, of course.

I'd be very interested in this

Unfortunately, I am now little dependent on whether it runs on the PI or not.  if not, I have to plan this Fairlight base for the PC.  Otherwise everything would fit into the keyboard.  Of course I'll post pictures of it here when we start.

I wanted to install the Linux version on my Raspberry Pi but unfortunately that is not possible.  Is it possible to compile a version for a Pi?

The Pi would need a different compile of the language. I'll see what can be done. Let's give this one a 60/40

that would be wonderful.  I would like to build my own device.  So what Behringer does with synthesizers.  😉

Absolut amazing but i have a question?is there an env?i didnt find it?

Yes there is, but not in the way that ADSR operates.

the best way is to use PAAGE 7 and patch either VOLUME or AUX VOLUME parameters to a FUNCTION.

Page 48 of the guide shows how to do this for PAN.

Page 41 of the guide shows how to use FUNCTIONS

Page 29 shows how to use PAGE 7

Another way is to use Page 4 and to set a VOL profile - but this is not documented in the guide as it is a more advanced feature

Ok.thank you.😊

Wow, looks impressive. Will there be Windows version?

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yep, both windows and Linux versions are planned for release very soon

(+1)

Good Evening or Morning fellow AdamStrange, I am pleased with what you’re doing with the quasar apps, is there any change you can make it pay-what-you-want? I would like to contribute fund to further development.

no problem. I've changed the download to a 'suggested' amount.

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🤗 great news

Version 1.17 now available with Windows and Linux. These are not fully tested, so PLEASE let me know if there are any issues :)

Thank you for a wonderful Christmas present!