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
July 28, 2009 @ 6:31 am
I was looking around in my father and law's endless workshop and found a box with among other things a totally broken in half SH101 and a pretty badly bashed MS20 that he had taken out of the back of a crashed van of his musician mate's. he and i got bothof these sort of working

most importantly though, there was also a CS01 that just wasn't working and didn't catch my attention. Later on i stumbled on an internet review that gave the CS01 some kudos. fixing a battery spring got it going. What a nasty little treasure it turned out to be. It now lives on top of my Rhodes MK1 plugged into a proco rat and fender twin. SHEIT!
June 4, 2009 @ 9:54 am
Interesting, how the silk-screening on the front clearly reads "VCO" but inside is a digital wavetable chip. At least the other CS series keyboards are all analog.
elang eby
May 16, 2009 @ 1:47 pm
yes this little machine have great big sounds...i love it...

elang eby
May 1, 2009 @ 3:11 pm
Always thought of this as a toy. Plastic case, built in speaker, batteries and small keys. But it is a real synth and could make some usable sounds. The eg is a pretty quick for punchy bass sounds and the filter is ok (I had the 12db version). Other synths I was playing at the time eclipsed this one so I don't remember it as fondly as some. I still don't think I'd drop $100 on one. Maybe $50. These used the standard Yamaha breath controller BC-01. I think there were red ones as well
February 25, 2009 @ 3:39 pm
I saw a video of this lady using it and she had some sort of whistle-like device plugged to it and she was blowing into it
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  • 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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