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Yamaha CS-80 questions

Yamaha CS-80 questions
« on: December 30, 2020, 06:30:02 PM »
i'm planning on doing some CS-80 sounds on my Rev 2, And I want to get as close to the originals as possible. i've never actually played a CS-80, But it is on some of my all-time favorite recordings. i'm confused about the oscillator section and the LFO. from what I understand from a YouTube video, the CS-80 has 2 layers, With only one oscillator per layer, But I'm not 100% sure that's the way it works. there seems to be a separate LFO for pulse width modulation, but again, I'm not 100% sure. I also don't understand whether there is only one LFO for the whole synth, Or if there's an individual LFO for each layer. if there is anyone here who has experience with the Yamaha CS-80 Who can explain these things to me, I would greatly appreciate it. I seem to do a better job emulating old sounds when I have knowledge about the original synths they were programmed on. judging by the presets on the Rev 2, And sounds I've heard from other users, I know that this synth along with a poly aftertouch controller, is perfectly capable of reproducing these sounds, And I'm really looking forward to programming them.


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Re: Yamaha CS-80 questions
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2021, 07:35:03 AM »
I’ve never played one either, so I’m here to muddy the waters. :) I always assumed that there are two oscillators per voice... I think this is what Wikipedia says, but other sites say only one! I’m now curious about this as well. I think the LFO affects both layers globally, but I read that people were able to get this modified to control each layer independently.

I agree that, with its 12dB filter, the Rev2 can get you into CS-80 territory. Sometimes the lack of a high-pass filter becomes an issue. I have numerous patch attempts myself, and two of my favorites can be heard in my cover of Five Circles by Vangelis, which you can find over in the Off Topic- Your Music section. The upper patch is more muted, like a French horn. The “lower” version has more resonance and responds to pressure to open the filter.


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Re: Yamaha CS-80 questions
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2021, 06:40:25 AM »
The Deckard's Dream synthesizer which is a currently-available "clone" of the CS-80, might shed some light on the voice architecture, as it was intended to be a (mostly) faithful replica, along with a few modern improvements like MIDI. I think the voice architecture is identical, if I'm not mistaken, so that might be a good place to do some research.
Rev2-16, Prophet 12 Keyboard, Nords, etc...


Re: Yamaha CS-80 questions
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2021, 04:52:10 AM »
You can find a PDF copy of the CS-80 manual at:

That should help you figure out exactly how it works.

You're right about the structure being effectively two VCO -> VCF -> VCA synths in parallel: Yamaha used essentially the same arrangement in the CS-15.