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
ronnie pudding
October 2, 2013 @ 1:14 pm
Uses the Yamaha YM10150 Digital Tone Generator IC. Says VCO in this entry and on the plastic cover, it is not. Ask dilli, he knows everything.
Will
September 12, 2013 @ 10:44 pm
The Kenton CV/Gate kit is no longer offered.. fyi.
Roger Vince Tari
July 5, 2013 @ 2:26 am
I bought the CS01 new early 80's.
I used it on the second
record release with dance group ‘Fractured Glass’-
OMNI records# FE-12 through rough trade.
This is not a toy but a full workhorse.
As a Bass synth it is amazing and probably the closest to
“Stock Aitken Waterman” bass sounds which still remains
sought after. Rich Strings can be accomplished by doubling with
reverb or delay.
I still use it on my productions and recordings.
I love this synth it has stood the test of time and still plays wonderfully.
-Roger Vincent Tari
kate
May 15, 2013 @ 4:41 pm
How much would you say a boxed CS01 is worth?
Paul FitzZaland
May 4, 2013 @ 2:18 am
I completely agree with dilli's comment below. There are plenty of vintage analogue synths like the Juno 6/60/106 who's tone source is actually a digitally controlled oscillator. The digital clock just means the oscillators keep a more reliable & predictable pitch. The rest of the signal path is analogue. Besides, who cares? What does it matter how the signal is generated if the results sound good? This is true for the CS01 which is, in my opinion, a great sounding little synth.
 
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  • 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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