Yamaha CS01

Yamaha CS01 Image

The CS01 is a very old but classic analog monosynth from Yamaha. Although originally designed for use by novice musicians or first time synth-buyers, the CS01 has been recognized by today's electronic musicians as one fat little bass machine with simple controls. In a nutshell, the CS01 is simple to use and edit but still has some great features for any situation. It's tiny and portable, it has baby-sized keys and it can run on batteries, and there is a built-in amplifier and speaker which is quite fun.

As for sounds and synthesizing, the CS01 is the perfect monosynth for bubbly and growling bass! It features a very nice 12dB resonant voltage-controlled filter. In addition to the oscillators' sine and square type waveforms there is PWM and noise. There are also LFO controls, glissando (like portamento), a typical ADSR envelope generator, pitch & mod wheels and even a breath controller input. A CS01 mkII (pictured below) was later released by Yamaha soon after the original. It featured an improved 24dB resonant VCF (filter) with adjustable slider control over resonance instead of switchable on/off resonance as found on the original. The CS01 mkII is also identifiable by its black case with green letters.

Yamaha CS01 II Image

Yamaha CS01 II

The CS01 may look simple or toy-like but it is still able to create cool little analog bass blips, bass lines and bass bubbles that are just perfect for today's electronic musicians. It has been used by the Dust Brothers, Underworld, OMD, Richard Barbieri and Chick Corea.

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48 Visitor comments
Steve Cooke
January 8, 2009 @ 8:42 pm
Like the previous poster, I sold my CS-01, in the mid-90s, and have regretted it ever since. It was my first proper synth, bought second-hand around 1985. A major step up from the Casio home keyboards I'd had before that. Lovely sounds, though I perhaps didn't appreciate them as much as I should at the time, given that the DX7 and other digital synths were all the rage around then and analogue sounds were going out of fashion. What was awkward, though, was the fact that there was no way of saving patches on the CS-01. The only way of keeping track of them was to make photocopies of the patch chart, pencil in the settings for each sound you'd developed, and then manually adjust the sliders each time you want to change patches. Certainly not very practical during a gig, though you got quick with practice.
Anthony Murphy
November 5, 2008 @ 9:42 am
I received one of these as a birthday present in 1983 (?), had it until early 1990s, should NEVER have sold it back then (when I needed- or thought I needed- the cash more than the synth)- one of my great regrets! An excellent little synth, a great way to learn about analog synthesizers. Keeping an eye on eBay for one!
Paul Jonson
October 27, 2008 @ 10:03 pm
I bought this as my very first synth in 1984 and to this day it plays like new. I ues it alongside my microkorg and together Im like Gazza Numan in Wembely 1981...hahaha...
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Rated 3.72 (459 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Monophonic
  • Oscillators - 1 VCO - triangle / saw / square / pulse / PWM
  • LFO - Sine waveform
  • Filter - 12dB Cutoff / Hi or Lo resonance with ADSR (24dB on mkII)
  • VCA - 1 ADSR envelope gen
  • Keyboard - 32 mini keys
  • Memory - None
  • Control - Breath Controller; CV/Gate via kit from Kenton
  • Date Produced - 1982, (1984 mkII)
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