The Yamaha CS5 was an unremarkable synth that was released in the early 80s.

It was a one oscillator job with a single ADSR envelope that controlled both the filter and the final amplifier. A simple LFO was provided for modulation and it also had a noise generator for sound effects.

Its saving grace was the multi-mode filter that offered low, band and high pass options which was unusual on a budget synth of the time.

However, despite its obvious limitations, it packs a punch for bass sounds, lead lines and sound effects, etc., and gives a creditable account of itself sonically. The synth is all-analogue and for all I know, the synth 'engine' could well be based on the venerable CS80 and its derivatives. It certainly sounds good!

I am grateful to our donor (who would prefer to remain anonymous for his own reasons) for these useful and distinctive sounds from this obscure little memory from yesteryear. I'd also like to extend my gratitude to Stu Smith of Deep-water Recordings for lending our donor his CS5.

As a footnote.....

If you're looking for a used Yamaha CS5 on ebay or in your local paper, be careful.

As you know, Yamaha have their finger in many, many pies that extend way beyond the music business and if you see an ad in the classifieds for "Yamaha CS5 in excellent condition... one careful owner" don't get too excited - it might actually be for the product shown to the right!

That's right - back in the 70s, another division of Yamaha produced a motorcycle called, coincidentally, the CS5 !