MATRIXSYNTH: YAMAHA CS-50 - Analog Synthesizer Review, Sounds & Demo

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

YAMAHA CS-50 - Analog Synthesizer Review, Sounds & Demo

video upload by synth4ever

"Yamaha CS-50 analog synthesizer review, sounds and demo. In this Yamaha CS50 review & demo I provide an overview of this legendary analog synthesizer, go through each of its sounds & features, and conclude with final thoughts and a synth jam.

All sounds direct from Yamaha CS-50 with no additional processing. MXR analog stereo chorus used for stereo width.

00:00 - Intro
00:58 - Overview
04:55 - VCO / PWM
07:44 - Filter
09:37 - VCA
10:38 - Ring Mod
12:35 - LFO
17:59 - Sustain / Portamento
19:08 - Noise Generator
22:37 - Final Thoughts
31:46 - Outro Jam

Released in 1977, the Yamaha CS-50 is the little 4-voice brother of the 8-voice Yamaha CS-60 and Yamaha CS-80. Even with half the voices, the Yamaha CS-50 still sounds fantastic as it comes from the same analog lineage as its legendary synth big brothers.

The Yamaha CS-50 features 13 presets, a single oscillator (square, PW/PWM and sawtooth waveforms), high-pass and lowpass filters (each with resonance, for BP shaping), sine wave, VCA and envelopes, ring modulation, white noise generator, LFO with multiple waveshapes, sustain & portamento, and aftertouch across the 49-key keyboard.

The Yamaha CS-50 is great for leads but can also do great drones, pads and textures. It is a pleasure to play and is very organic thanks to the 4 independent voice cards. Both the LFO and PWM go into audio rate which provide additional sub-osc sounds, and the LFO section provides independent modulation of VCO, VCF and VCA at varying levels. The famous ring modulator sound is also on-board, and can act as a 2nd LFO for tremolo, polyrhythms or additional texture.

The Yamaha CS-50 filters are not self oscillating, but if you push the HPF/LPF resonance + the overall synth resonance & brilliance controls to max, you can get some amazing distortion, grit and overdriven sounds. Gain staging is important with the Yamaha CS-50/60/80 and allows for subtle and extreme changes in sound.

The Yamaha CS-50 build quality is incredible -- it is heavy (70-100 lbs), the faceplate is made of metal, and it comes build-in to its own wooden tolex case w/ lid and legs. It is a performance synthesizer and designed for tweaking on the fly with its many levers and sliders. As part of the Yamaha CS-60/80 family, the Yamaha CS-50 shares the same unique sound qualities and tonal characteristics of its bigger brothers.

If you can get your hands on a Yamaha CS-50, do not hesitate. They are becoming more rare on the 2nd hand market and prices are steadily rising. It is a triumph of Yamaha's synthesizer engineering at the time, and is capable of many different analog sounds. It is a beautiful organic instrument, and full of emotion.

Thanks for watching this Yamaha CS-50 review and demo, and hope you enjoy the walkthrough and sounds along the way."

No comments:

Post a Comment


Patch n Tweak

© Matrixsynth - All posts are presented here for informative, historical and educative purposes as applicable within fair use.
MATRIXSYNTH is supported by affiliate links that use cookies to track clickthroughs and sales. See the privacy policy for details.