Yamaha CS-20m

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The CS-20m is another of Yamaha's classic CS-series analog synthesizers of the '70's and '80's. It is a monophonic analog synthesizer with dual-VCOs that use subtractive synthesis to create superb bass, synth, lead, bubbly-squirty and percussive sounds. It has all the essential components of a classic synth: There is a resonant filter with switchable high, band or lowpass filtering with its own ADSR envelope controls. There is an ADSR VCA envelope generator which contains a third oscillator which generates a sine wave to modulate and enhance your sounds. And there is an LFO which can modulate the PWM sweep. Fortunately, the CS-20m features 8 memory locations for patch storage of your favorite or most used sounds.

Stacked up against the other CS-synths, the CS-20m appears to be a very little brother to the CS-70m (a 12-VCO and very flexible beast). The CS-20m offers more memory patches than any other CS-synth (excluding newer CS1x and CS6x models). As for other synths, the CS-20m could be considered Minimoog-like, though it sounds much brighter and thinner than the Mini. If the Minimoog's price is out of your league, the CS-20m is not just a nice alternative but it is quite a classic and solid analog synth! It is used by The Crystal Method.

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Demos & Media

Yamaha CS-20m | demo
WC Olo Garb
ManualDownload the original owner's manual from SoundProgramming.net.


Polyphony - Monophonic
Oscillators - 2 +1 sine osc. in VCA section
LFO - 1
Filter - 1 filter with low, band or hi pass; ADSR envelope
VCA - 1 ADSR; additional sine wave generator
Keyboard - 37 keys
Memory - 8 patches
Control - CV / Gate
Date Produced - 1979


Images from Dance Tech.

Thanks to Scott Rogers for providing some information.