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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The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Yamaha CS1x? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

84 Visitor comments
JONathan Donley
June 15, 2009 @ 7:46 pm
"DISCO D" also used this board aka "David Shayman". I stumbled across an old post of his somewhere online where he had said something about how much he liked the "Cs1x" string sounds. You can see it in the studio shots of his movie trailer "Hustle Harder".
April 26, 2009 @ 10:05 am
Just got mine this week for roughly $350 AUD, This synth's build quality is not the greatest (keys have a soft flimsy feel that is far from natural), and while I initially bought this because its touted as one of the best controller keyboards around, my Korg K61P is staying where it is. That said, soundwise this is a really powerful bargain basement synth. The GM and XG sounds range from good to awful, but what you're here for is of course the Performance Mode. Its not quite as hands-on as I would have liked, but there is just enough tweaking on offer here to make this a preferred option to the all-button digital synths of the 80s. Great bass and string sounds, and the morph function on the mod wheel is a welcome addition. The talkbox preset is really good as well - great option if you don't want to pay for the overpriced DX100. For the prices these are going for these days its a steal, and I feel this could be a classic in 10 years or so.
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.
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Rated 4.43 (1785 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.
  • 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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