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Yamaha CS80 - Dave Spiers' love letter

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

Re: Yamaha CS80 - Dave Spiers' love letter

Postby The Elf » Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:37 am

Dear Uli,

I am writing on behalf of a friend who would very much like a 1 octave mini CS80 with an external power supply ...
I have a reface CS. Does that almost count?! :lol:
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Re: Yamaha CS80 - Dave Spiers' love letter

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Feb 23, 2020 12:05 pm

The Elf wrote: I still find the architecture and front panel baffling!

I always found it quite logical and straightforward. More like Roland than ARP (which still baffle me to this day!)

The thing with the CS80 is to separate which controls relate to performance, and which to sound creation -- there's a lot of the former and that's where much of the apparent complexity and confusion comes from.

But aside from the Initial and Attack level controls in the filter's ADR envelope, everything else is pretty standard. And the IL and AL controls make complete sense after a little thought -- and allow sounds that other synths can't do.
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Re: Yamaha CS80 - Dave Spiers' love letter

Postby The Elf » Sun Feb 23, 2020 12:09 pm

I know what you mean, Hugh. I can appreciate it for what it is, but I never got many of the controls, most of which worked backwards, to my way of thinking - and there always seemed to be one filter too many! :lol:

It's certainly a beautifully expressive synth. One thing is for sure - play a keyboard with poly aftertouch and you never want to go back!
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Re: Yamaha CS80 - Dave Spiers' love letter

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Feb 23, 2020 4:30 pm

Quite..l'm so excited to see what Uli can do with his new bespoke poly-AT keyboard.
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Re: Yamaha CS80 - Dave Spiers' love letter

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:59 pm

desmond wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:Nice video -- thanks for the link, I hadn't seen that before.

It's new, he only posted it a couple of days ago.

And as I write this five days after it was first posted, it's already had 53,000 views :shocked: :crazy: :clap:

Wonderful video for the aficionado :ugeek:


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Re: Yamaha CS80 - Dave Spiers' love letter

Postby n o i s e f l e ur » Mon Feb 24, 2020 12:31 am

Spiers is always a worthwhile guest when he makes an appearance on the Sonic Talk weekly show too, in case any of you *don't* watch it.
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Re: Yamaha CS80 - Dave Spiers' love letter

Postby KJX » Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:30 am

fantastic video that pangs the heart by inspires sound design on other keyboards as well.

all those wonderfully quirky design elements, features that came in part from the Electone side of Yamaha. The organ console interface appealed to early players that came from organ playing backgrounds: Garth Hudson, Seth Justman to name a couple.

this is one of the best in-depth videos
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Re: Yamaha CS80 - Dave Spiers' love letter

Postby BillB » Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:13 am

KJX wrote:inspires sound design on other keyboards as well.

Hi KJX. first of all, welcome to the SOS Forum :thumbup:

Secondly, I really agree with your point above. I could not possibly afford a CS80, but the video certainly made me think more about layered sounds and pitch bend! Layering is something we can all do easily, although the CS80 format obviously makes it an inherent part of the sound design.

As to pitch bend, I have been wondering if I could press an old iPad or android phone into service as a ‘ribbon controller’... investigation ongoing, but if anyone has any ideas, please pass them on.
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Re: Yamaha CS80 - Dave Spiers' love letter

Postby The Elf » Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:53 am

BillB wrote:As to pitch bend, I have been wondering if I could press an old iPad or android phone into service as a ‘ribbon controller’... investigation ongoing, but if anyone has any ideas, please pass them on.
TouchOSC, or maybe MIDI Designer Pro?

I've been spending quite a lot of time with MDP, and it is capable of complex tasks. Creating a ribbon controller is trivial.

As a quick test I just now created four ribbons, all of which can be used simultaneously.
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Re: Yamaha CS80 - Dave Spiers' love letter

Postby The Elf » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:17 pm

I created an example of some sprung and unsprung ribbon controllers in MDP here:
https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=70435&p=650834#p650834
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Re: Yamaha CS80 - Dave Spiers' love letter

Postby Dave B » Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:34 pm

Finally got around to watching this after being prodded by Arkieboy today. Lovely, but very true - it's very Vangelis, so I'll be interested to see what people make of the Berry clone. Maybe some new blood will find new ways of using it.

I also get why Zukan isn't convinced - this is 100% a _players_ synth and really only comes alive when it is performed. From a sound design perspective, it's quite limited and a bit bland.

But the vid is a good demo and it's completely convinced me that I'll go for the Berry clone when it comes out (assuming it's as good as I think it will be). It will be pure nostalgia for me, but I'm cool with that : the CS80 was all over some of my favourite ELO tunes so I'll have nothing but fun with one - even a clone.

:D
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Re: Yamaha CS80 - Dave Spiers' love letter

Postby The Elf » Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:43 pm

Dave B wrote:this is 100% a _players_ synth and really only comes alive when it is performed. From a sound design perspective, it's quite limited and a bit bland.
That is soooo true. I saw a master play a CS80, and I thought "it can't be so hard". When *I* played it sounded like a cheap Yamaha home organ at Amateur Hour.

Eventually I did manage to understand its subtelties, but I so hated the heavily weighted keyboard that we were never going to be best pals. I *loved* the poly aftertouch, though. I never had much use for the ribbon - you can only play at Hawaiian guitar and wolf howls for so long before the novelty wears off.

I never did really understand the need for that secondary filter 'brightness' control - it was *always* set in the wrong place and just annoyed the hell out of me. When I could be bothered I recall getting some lovely leads and string pads out of it. It just seemed like a lot of hard work to get them. I still find the layout confusing, some controls were simply 'no idea, leave well alone' and what were those +5/-5 IL/AL controls?

If Uli can put a light-touch keyboard on it, then who knows?... I'm open to giving it a second chance! :mrgreen:
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Re: Yamaha CS80 - Dave Spiers' love letter

Postby N i g e l » Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:23 am

The Elf wrote:If Uli can put a light-touch keyboard on it, then who knows?... I'm open to giving it a second chance! :mrgreen:

I think he needs to address the saving of presets 1st !
:)

Lovely sound though.


For any ribbon-ista into DIY, Kurzweil ribbons can be had for £24 now, just the tricky bit of the interface to take care of.
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Re: Yamaha CS80 - Dave Spiers' love letter

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:58 am

The Elf wrote:...I so hated the heavily weighted keyboard that we were never going to be best pals.

Yes, it was quite a heavy keyboard. Beloved by formally trained pianists... Loathed by Wakeman-esque synthesiser players! ;-)

I never had much use for the ribbon - you can only play at Hawaiian guitar and wolf howls for so long before the novelty wears off.

;-) It could do some thing's you couldn't with a bender wheel, though...

...and what were those +5/-5 IL/AL controls?

They were/are an alternative approach to the Sustain control of a conventional ADSR envelope, integrated with the filter envelope's mod depth. ;-)

On the CS80, the filter envelope's attack, decay, and release controls all work exactly as normal. However, instead of a single control to set the sustain level, the sustain level is effectively fixed, at whatever filter cutoff level you set.

The IL control then determines the starting (closed) point of the filter below that (fixed) sustain level, while the AL control sets its maximum (opening) point above the sustain level. So the two IL/AL controls act together to effectively determine the overall envelope mod depth. If you set both controls to zero the filter effectively sits at the sustain level throughout the ADR envelope sequence, and there is no mod depth.

If you just push the AL control to +5, it's equivalent to setting sustain to zero, so the filter opens through the attack phase, and closes through the decay phase. Release has no effect. If you push the IL control to -5, it's equivalent to setting Sustain to maximum and now the filter starts closed, opens through the attack phase and closes through the release phase, and decay has no effect.

H
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Re: Yamaha CS80 - Dave Spiers' love letter

Postby The Elf » Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:27 am

Yyyeeeeeeeaaaaah...
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