Thursday 2012.11.08

Synthspiration - Yamaha CS-15

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Another Synthspiration post this week (looks like the other one disappeared somehow) looking at a synth I’ve had for a long time. I’ve had plenty of modest gear come and go, but my Yamaha CS-15 has been with me for roughly a decade. It’s a really cool and kind of quirky synth that has helped me better understand subtractive synthesis but still has a enough interesting features to surprise me again and again.

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Being monophonic and with only two oscillators it might seem pretty limiting, but the groovy Yamaha engineers that designed this thing in 70’s included a lot of really interesting routing options for a standalone synth. Coupled with a pair of pretty unique sounding multimode filters and two very flexible ADSR envelopes, this little synth can churn out some fun sounds.

cs15

Not only has this synth been a major source of inspiration (for narrative, UI and sound design) but it also makes quite a few cameos in FRACT OSC as well:

The Yamaha CS series synths have been used by a lot of well known Electronic musicians from Vangelis (the epic CS-80) to Aphex Twin (the ‘baby’ CS-5). In fact, it was Aphex Twin’s CS-5 that after being sold at a Vemia auction was borrowed by Solvent, an awesome Canadian electronic musician and true synth nut. He even produced an entire EP with that very Yamaha CS-5 (the little brother to my CS-15). Check it out, it’s amazing: