Yamaha CS1x

Yamaha CS1x Image

The CS1x is Yamaha's first Analog Emulation performance keyboard for electronic and dance musicians (the CS line is back!). It's a digital synthesizer that emulates analog style, sounds and controls. All controls and parameters are real-time and MIDI controllable. As well as a superb set of quality synth bass, pads, voices, leads and arpeggiated sequences there are plenty of amazing drum sounds also with analog sound and control.

Some of the coolest features of the CS1x aimed at dance musicians will provide you with instant sonic gratification and hands-on real-time tweakability. There are 6 knobs for envelope attack, release, filter cutoff, resonance and 2 are assignable knobs. Two scene memories will remember the current state of the envelope and filters as set by the control knobs so they can instantly be recalled and you can even use the Mod-wheel to morph from one scene into the other, very cool! Scene Memory data is also stored with your synth patches. Built-in digital effects are great but the Arpeggiator steals the show with 30 inspirational patterns suited for techno, house, basslines and basic arpeg. patterns.

Plenty of memory (128 preset, 128 user) and MIDI control make the CS1x perfect for both live and studio use. Control the synth, arpeggiator and editing through MIDI control. The CS1x only has limited multitimbrality in which, when hooked up to a sequencer, MIDI channels 5-16 offer plain old Yamaha XG synth sounds but MIDI channel 1 holds the CS1x's main sounds and effects. It's already being used by Underworld, Bushflange, Jamiraquai, Skylab2000, Somatic Responses, and David Bowie.

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82 Visitor comments
April 26, 2009 @ 8:08 am
A fantastic-sounding, very aggressively voiced cheap keyboard, with maybe too many keys (49 would have sufficed) and too few controls; the onboard presets (leads, pads, basses, squelches) are excellent, and so are the arpeggios. The raltime knobs are too few to allow some serious tweaking, but this was a budget keyboard. Some programming limitations. The beefed-up CS-2X didn't really improve much, while becoming a bit too complex for immediate fun. Also, the ultra-beefed up CS6X was the lamest of the lot, and rather difficult to figure out as it seemed it would do things which in fact didn't (midi-transferred sequence playback, anyone?).
If you need generic analog synth sounds and you're strapped for cash, get the CS1X instead of the likes of MicroKorg or Alesis Micro-ion or whatever its name is: besides the missing vocoder, you'll discover it imitates analog gear splendidly and with lots of character.
April 21, 2009 @ 8:41 pm
Hey die-6-
Go to Radio Shack and buy any 12v DC power adapter (700mA or higher),and make sure to buy the "M" end plug to fit the synth power port. Make sure you set the polarity for "+ tip" or you could damage the board. The power and M plug go for about $20 total. Have fun!
March 30, 2009 @ 4:43 pm
Just picked one up on Ebay for 180 USD. My kids immediately recognized many of the classic loops which apparently are still being used in Hip-hop type music today. A little confusing to figure out at first, but kept us all riveted due to the plethora of complex, high quality sounds.
March 18, 2009 @ 4:34 pm
I bought this new way back when. This thing is surprisingly good! It has a great sound and you can create a lot of synth sounds; buzzes, bleeps - ear candy for days!

I only use it in Performance mode. You can sculpt and stack 4 voices to make some ethereal and cyclical pads. And I mean Really Good pads! It's also good with bass though I primarily use other synths for that.

I don't like synths that are workstations or so complicated you need a PhD just to turn it on. This thing will get you where you need to go in short time. The only gripe I have is the lack of order with the rom sound files and the wall wart. For that I give it 4 stars.
December 3, 2008 @ 11:43 am
this awesome synth was also used by cris clark and efecto tralalí
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Rated 4.43 (1763 Votes)

  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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.
  • Demos & Media
  • Audio Clip 1 - Hear a demo of some synth pads and drum and perc tones. From the Future Music; Issue 47 September 1996 CD.

    Patch Files - Get your hands on these easy to load CS1x Midi SysEx patch files. Lots of new sounds for your CS1x in a Macintosh or Windows/PC friendly format.

    Manual - Download the original owner's manual here.

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 32 notes
  • Oscillators - XG Format - 480 Normal Voices and 11 Drum Kits
  • #Instruments - 16 Part multi-timbral
  • Filter - YES (w/ real-time control)
  • Arpeggiator - Yes, including Hold and Split
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (velocity sensitive)
  • Memory - Preset: 128; Programmable; 128
  • Control - MIDI & computer interface
  • Date Produced - 1996
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Synthesizer Picture Gallery (site gone).

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