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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84 Visitor comments
December 10, 2010 @ 9:33 am
I play a cs1x live most weeks - it handles horn and synth sounds for our ska band! Not really what it was conceived for but it was cheap and its light to lug about. In a mix its bright, even sharp. Its channel on my submixer needs a lot of the top taken out of it. Presets are slathered in reverb as always, but other than that very playable. Shame about the external PSU but otherwise a good cheap workhorse.
December 7, 2010 @ 4:44 am
Alex, if you do so, please let us know. I'm currently looking into buying one.
October 19, 2010 @ 8:32 pm
Actually writing that has made me decide to go back to it and explore programming it in more depth than the few tweaks I've done in the past. Maybe I can even create a patch without arp timing drift on filter sweep, who knows.
October 19, 2010 @ 8:28 am
Bought one new, but it's main use was touring OS (light for its size) and as a controller. Mainly my taste – I find the patches a bit 'trance-o-matic'. Never fully explored programming it because I get more joy from one of my other boards. Some useful sounds; "Scenes" function has potential; but two big flaws: 1) arpeggiator timing drifts if you do a filter sweep. 2) filter sweeps are clunky – you can hear the steps. Also: many standard patches are oversensitive to velocity; FX thin and characterless. The upside is if you want big pillowy pads, a couple of good leads, and a shortcut to lots of familiar, bright and brash late 90s sounds it’s great. It has has an entertaining ease of use, and I agree, the arpeggiator slowed down is very cool. Super reliable too. But no way is it vintage/analogue but that’s not what it’s for. If you like it's (very specific) sound it will serve you well, as long as you don't want to sweep filters.
September 30, 2010 @ 11:04 am
I don't think "Analog Emulation" is accurate. It's basically a ROMpler - but with knobs. The AN1x came out about the same time and that is a "Virtual Analog" synth in the same mold as the Nord Lead or the JP-8000.
The CS1x was my 1st synth and I still use it as a controller keyboard (the knobs are handy) but let's be honest, the sounds [beep] , there are so many VSTi's these days that sound better.
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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.
  • 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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