Bundlesrepublik Elektronika is in its total of about 7,000 patches the result of a journey beginning in late 2009 by resampling and rebuilding the original Fairlight CMI library. Wordplay; nicht Bundesrepublik – Bundles, republik! Ja!
Background We could dive into this work thanks to positive feedback from Australia and what at the time was Fairlight P.L.C. and Fairlight Instruments respectively. Here in Sweden, Bil Bryant was kind enough to connect me with the right folks at these companies and to introduce me as well, as he knew the work I had been doing prior to this, such as EPS / ASR libraries, synth patches for JX10, K4, TX81Z, VZ series, lots of work for Propellerhead (Reason and ReCycle settings and factory patch design for Malström), Clavia (preset programming and Nord Micro Modular conceptualisation) and for his own company Power FX (soundbanks like The Dream Machine, Reason Season Winter, etc). Access to a Fairlight IIx and it looked like a plan.
The vision was to first redesign (and reloop…) the building blocks seeking to emulate the raw Fairlight – and then to use that as a foundation. Combining this with all thinkable instruments that would surround a Fairlight system in studios where it was installed during its years in the spotlight.
I was simply blown away by the music of Yello, Art Of Noise, Enigma, Yazoo, Yes, Tears For Fears, Paul Young, Peter Gabriel, Scritti Politti, Howard Jones, Pet Shop Boys, A-ha, and so on. This epic old mystery of the once so magical and mythical Fairlight had to be solved. How could they have used such a seemingly lofi instrument to create such rich productions? This was something that I had thought about for many years.
The goal was therefore to not “only” recreate the Fairlight but to recreate what was really accomplishedwith it in large studio environments, building sonic bridges to what modern libraries can do. The dirty and low fidelity stuff can be married to clean multi velocity layer 24-bit and this felt interesting to work with.
My own demands were something like this
Inspiration and surprise Sounds needs to be fresh in the right sense. Tweakable. A pad must be playable with an attack time glued to modern styles. Bass sounds must cut through. Drums and percussion must get you into the groove. Elements of surprise must be there too.
Desirable vintage limitations While you may want to record many things like vocals in ultra pristine 24-bit hifi, you often want the right amount of dirt in the mix as well. Synths should sound like real synths and not too digital, virtual, clean or thin. Samplers should ideally sound like real old hardware samplers and not like a concert in G minor. Or maybe that’s nice too of course but perhaps not in something circling and hovering around vintage sampling? Still, there are some most beautiful strings available and some can even be convincing, if programmed / sequenced / mixed right.
DSP resources allowing full arrangements Sounds that loads quickly and uses the resources in a balanced and predictable way, so they can be layered and multitracked without eating up the computer. Not 85% of the DSP consumed after 8 or 16 notes of polyphony. Better to have 85% left with 85 notes already playing.
Room to grow Drums, basses, pads, bells, leads, keyboard sounds, sound effects and much more. Based and built from classic instruments. All of that broken down into sometimes just tiny waveforms with precise truncation, normalisation, looping. Many sounds have been recorded in different velocity layers and programmed using individual tricks possible with Kontakt and NN-XT. On many pad sounds you can increase the filter cutoff and there will be things happening. Because there is data there. And there must be many patches of course.
Signature patches were also kindly provided by Python Blue, Navi Retlav, EditEd4TV and many others who got inspired in the process.
I’m calling this Bundlesrepublik Elektronika Or BE. Because the sounds are inspired by music and that might loop around to make them inspire new music again.
These are the three options