CMI = POS
The writer may be wearing rose-tinted specs. My exerience with a CMI was less than fulfilling.
I worked with Vince Clarke of Yazoo, another CMI owner, and I programmed all the A/V content for the first Yazoo tour.
Vince used a Linn to trigger the CMI and also had an interface built to trigger, via the Linn, an AVL Eagle* computer that controlled all the slide projector dissolve units and a 16mm B&H film projector.
The CMI was incredibly unreliable during the programming sessions and Vince decided to hire a backup machine for the tour. I think the going rate for rental was about a grand per week. The Linn was always good and never, if you'll pardon the pun, missed a beat.
Yazoo did a warm-up gig in the band's home town of Basildon and during the first song the Fairlght played up and the Linn/AVL interface died. The bloke that had been engaged to look after the visuals on the tour didn't have a clue what to do but I had been watching the show from backstage and had to intervene. From the second song until the last I had to manually cue all the visuals from memory (my memory) and there were probably well over 30 sync points in each song.
Ultimately the CMIs were dumped before the rest of the tour and the songs were dubbed on to a TEAC A3440 four track for playback and the A/V content was triggered by AVL's native timecode. A UKP500 Jap tape recorder was more reliable than the UKP20k CMI.
Yazoo geek trivia: Vince wrote many of his songs on an acoustic guitar and did his accounts on an early IBM PC. Alf Moyet's vocals were always live and always note perfect.
*The show was programmed on an Eagle but an AVL Roadrunner was used for the tour.