Yamaha CS-15 drone sounds

Here are some drony kind of sounds I recorded before selling my Yamaha CS-15 with the intention of showing some of the sounds the synth is capable of.

CS-15 flowchart

The CS-15 is a pretty flexible analog synthesizer, thanks to it having two of everything – except for the one LFO (which goes up to 1000 hz – fast!). The envelopes are fast and snappy, though not as powerful as the ones on the lesser model, the one-oscillator CS-10. But you can not demand much more from such a cheap and still well built synthesizer. Of course you are left wishing for some features – for example it is lacking in inter-oscillator modulation, no cross-mod, sync or the likes despite two oscillators.

The two state-variable filters (LPF, BPF, HPF) are not exactly “creamy” and pleasant in ways like the moog filter or the Roland SH-series – but they are very competent and useful when it comes to soundsculpting. They have a distinct character, and are not really bland sounding. Highly resonant sounds are not one of it’s strong points, but it does well across board otherwise.

Modifications can remedy some issues, for example enabling the option of routing the filter both in parallell and serial. Both filters in bandpass mode, serially connected, with separate CV-sources controlling the cutoff makes for some very nice sounding vowel type sounds.

CS-15 drone sounds 01 CS-15 drone sounds 02
CS-15 drone sounds 03 CS-15 drone sounds 04
CS-15 drone sounds 05 CS-15 drone sounds 06
CS-15 drone sounds 07 CS-15 drone sounds 08
CS-15 drone sounds 09 CS-15 drone sounds 10
CS-15 drone sounds 11 CS-15 drone sounds 12

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5 Responses to “Yamaha CS-15 drone sounds”

  1. Harry Pinna Says:

    Here’s a link to some really great and easy-to-follow instructions on how to mod your CS-15:

    http://homepage.mac.com/synth_seal/html/ds_cs15mod.html

    I just finished doing mine and the difference running the filters serially is amazing.

  2. Matt Says:

    Have you actually personally verified that the CS15’s envelopes are slower than the CS10/5? This seems incredibly unlikely considering they are essentially identical internally. This statement seems to be one of those synth myths started by one reviewer who probably never had either next to each other.

  3. altemark Says:

    Matt: You are probably right that the CS-10 probably not is faster – but thanks to the added parameter of initial level, it can give the impression of a faster attack. I used to own a CS-10 before I got the CS-15 and I clearly felt that less advanced envelopes of the 15 was a step downwards.

    I think this was brought up on an AH-discussion about the nature of ‘snappiness’, how the initial level of an envelope can affect psychoacoustically how we experience the sound.

  4. a.kuhl Says:

    Hey, Im trying to open mine up for cleaning but the knobs wont come off is there some kind of trick? the manual simply says take them off.

  5. ethereal Says:

    To : a.kuhl…….To remove knobs: Here are my methods. First, get your fingernails under each side of the knob & lift/wiggle back & forth, this is the easiest way which won’t cause damage. Still won’t come off? OK, get a small piece of thin, hard plastic or strong cardboard under the knob (to protect the facing of the synth), then gently pry up with the thin side of a butterknife, turn the knob & lift again, repeat, be careful ! Nice cs-15 in action at: haltapes.com, see Tampa Noise Fest 2 on the site. Peace

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