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 14, 2010 @ 5:51 pm
See a lot of grey ones about, mines a mk1 black and yellow version.

Great sound for such a compact unit, microkorg of it's day
March 24, 2010 @ 8:54 pm
why this synth is great isnt about how it sounds entirely.
i mean being a small real small light analog synth that you can take pretty much anywhere earns it max marks in my books.

too bad theres no magic midi sockets. i think kenton sells a kit for this.
really tho it is a fun little synth. great little synth for whatever your mind dreams up. dont expect any amazing sound design here but who cares.
i mean most of us would be first in line at the local music shop to grab it if it was rereleased.
March 22, 2010 @ 8:47 am
I upgraded mine with a Filter Q potentiometer control on the right side, still bypassable by the switch. I found that the synth was too bright stock. For massive bass I replaced the main oscillator caps with twice their value. After tuning with the inside pot, My CS-01 goes one octave lower ! GrrrooOWWWL !
March 4, 2010 @ 6:42 pm
To answer the PWM question again: PWM is easy to emulate digitally, it's not a wavetable.

Hilarious little synth, loved it except for the resonance switch on the original. A switch? Come on...
tim jones
November 13, 2009 @ 6:44 pm
I've just been to see Azymuth in Bristol UK, Jose uses one of these and it sounds soooooooo good. On a par with any of the Roland mono synths
VSE Rating


User Rating

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)
  • Resources & Credits
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