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Friday, October 28, 2016
Yamaha CS-60 synthesizer noodling
Published on Oct 27, 2016 raycastile
"Yay! I finally have a Yamaha CS-60 synthesizer. I went through a lot of grief to get this. It was not in good working order when I received it. Dan Manning of Gateway Music Gear LLC worked to restore it. He completed Part 1 of the restoration, then let me have it back for a few weeks. Now he has to take it back to his workshop to finish it. Before I lose it again for a month, I want to enjoy playing it a bit. There's some distortion and ghost notes, and the pitch ribbon sometimes goes crazy. All that should be fixed in Part 2 of the restoration. Dan is a good tech and I know he will bring this grand old synth fully back to life. But even with its issues, it sounds pretty good! It was not playable before Dan worked on it. (You don't want to buy a CS 50/60/80 without first identifying a good synth tech within reasonable driving distance of your house.)
This video is nothing extraordinary. I'm just fiddling around, playing with the different sounds. In the background, I have a MoroderNova (it's behind my head) playing an arpeggiated D major chord, and a Korg M1 (you can see the corner peeking into frame on the far right) playing a repeating D note using the Roland XP-30's arpeggiator. Then I have a D-50 holding a sustained D major chord.
Sorry for the poor audio quality. This was an impromptu video. I just propped my iPhone on the edge of a chair and started filming. It looks like the audio is out of sync with the video. Not sure how that happened. In the future, I'll shoot something that looks and sounds better. But at least I have a video record of this synth's existence before it leaves me again."
Yamaha CS-60 Synthesizer Noodling Part II - Knife Jogger Azures (Super Duper Audio Quality)
Published on Oct 31, 2016 raycastile
"Hello again! Here is another video of me improvising on my Yamaha CS-60 vintage analog synthesizer. Unlike the last one, which had risible audio recorded on an iPhone, this video has crisp, clear, beautiful audio recorded on a computer using Logic Pro X. This is the first time I've ever recorded anything using Logic Pro. I think it turned out pretty good, considering I had no idea what I was doing.
Obviously, this improvisation was inspired by Vangelis' "Blade Runner Blues." It's not a cover of that piece, just something in a similar vein. I wanted to demonstrate how a CS-60 can produce sounds usually associated with its big brother, the CS-80. It really has less to do with the synth and more to do with the way you play it.
There are no overdubs. The background tracks are looped patterns sequenced with the Alesis MMT8 (that gray box hovering to the left of my head), and arpeggiated rhythms coming from the Novation MoroderNova and Roland XP-30. The MMT8 is playing some electric piano noodling on the Yamaha Reface CP, a noodly doodly bass line on the Ensoniq ESQ-1, a vibe/string pad on the Korg M1, and a string pad on the Roland D-50. I'm playing the leads live on the CS-60.
The CS is going back to the tech soon, so I won't be able to play it for awhile. You can hear that the aftertouch is a little wonky, plus there are other issues. I edited out the most egregious hiccups. I'm looking forward to playing a fully-functional, problem-free synth! Though I suppose CS synths are never really problem free.
I hope this video satisfies people who wanted to hear a higher quality recording of the CS-60. You have almost a half hour of spacey blues noodling. So pig out!"