Thursday, October 13, 2011
Fairlight CMI "Orchestra for sale?" 1-page advertisement from page 15 in Keyboard Magazine February 1982.
I recently got on my Fairlight kick when I started researching the Fairlight app for my iPad. I still haven't purchased either version of the app - the PRO version seems nice, but I'm a notoriously cheap bastard.Both work with the Line 6 mobilizer... right? RIGHT?
Anyways, that little spark of interest led me to track down some of the old Fairlight ads, including this first "Fairlight regional distributor opportunities" ad. A half year later and Fairlight turned their attention towards consumers (um... wealthy consumers) in Keyboard and started what would become a long string of advertisements over time.
As far as the ad design goes, I'm not really digging the black and white imagery too much, especially with the cropped-in CMI. It almost gets hidden within the image of the orchestra. But, the ad does offer a demo cassette for a buck, so I'm givin' the ad extra points. Plus, I get to see that awesome "FI" logo. That gives the ad extra extra points. But I doubt musicians unions were giving it as many points as I am now with a title like "Orchestra for sale?". But that is a whole different conversation to save for a future blog post.
This really was just the beginning for Fairlight in Keyboard - as more sampling competitors came onto the scene, Fairlight's advertising really had to get into gear. And with all those juicy Fairlight ads to come, there will be lots of time in the future to pass on more research.
So, rather than give it all up now, I thought I would mention another little piece of Keyboard history that this ad inadvertently became a part of. This February 1982 issue of Keyboard Magazine is also known for one... teensy... weensy... little... problem:
They got the year wrong on the cover. It was printed with '1981' instead of '1982'. It's not often that mistakes like this are made, even back in 1982.
Now, I'm not sure if all printed copies had that mistake, but every copy I've run across has included the wrong year. E-bay auctions also have been know to mistakenly list it as February 1981. Something to look out for if you are trying to ramp up your collection.
But, it's mistakes like this that remind me why the Web quickly became my preferred medium. I dig the fact I can change content so quickly.
Imagine printing 200,000 copies of your1987 annual report that included the wrong financial data. Ooops. "Everyone in Finance had sign-off! Really!" :)
Now, a PDF of the report just gets dumped on the Web. A PDF that can be changed on a moments notice. And only 2,500 copies of a report gets printed with half of those getting recycled before they even leave the building.
Anyways, I hope that page-layout person at Keyboard had a forgiving boss.