Cherry Audio have released their latest software synthesizer, GX-80, a reproduction of the legendary Yamaha CS-80 that has long been the most popular request amongst their fans. The company say that they have also included some of the sounds and features of the GX-1, adding dual-layer functionality, additional waveforms, and unique filters, which combine to deliver the equivalent of two CS-80s in one.
The combination of the two instruments, along with some enhanced layer volume and panning controls, results in a dual-layer voicing architecture with sixteen voices per layer, with the plug-in capable of sounding two different CS-80 style patches simultaneously in either a split or stacked layer mode. Cherry Audio have also aimed to deliver the ultimate expressive performance capabilities, with the instrument supporting polyphonic aftertouch controllers, as well as offering an innovative Last-Note Priority mode which simulates polyphonic aftertouch functionality when using a channel aftertouch controller.
Oscillators & Filters
All of the voicing parameters of the GX-1 and CS-80 have been reproduced, including the oscillator-level filtered waveforms, octave-up triangle wave, and invert filter envelope control found on the GX-1, and the filters of both instruments have been precisely recreated. Each of the four polyphonic voice ranks is equipped with a voltage-controller oscillator, resonant high-and low-pass filters, a noise generator, sine wave, dual envelope generators, and a velocity-sensitive VCA.
A sub oscillator LFO for each layer then offers sine, sawtooth, ramp, square, sample and hold, and noise options, and also provides a tempo sync function. Cherry Audio have also recreated the CS ring modulator, which uses its own independent oscillator to modulate the summed output of each pair of ranks. A virtual pitch ribbon controller is present, and has been modelled to accurately deliver the behaviour of the original device. Helpfully, controls that are specific to the GX-1 functions are clearly distinguished from the standard CS-80 parameters in the GUI.
Effects and Presets
A range of built-in effects are on offer, including chorus/rotary, flange/phaser, and digital/tape delay types, as well as reverbs which include Cherry Audio’s acclaimed Galactic algorithm. The effects can be used in either global or dual layer modes.
A Tone Selector section offers each of the original CS-80 factory presets, as well as providing space for user storage, and the instrument comes with over 1000 presets that have been carefully crafted by a team of sound designers, taking advantage of each of the unique features introduced with the GX-80. Each of the instrument’s parameters can be controlled via both MIDI and DAW automation, with MIDI learn and mapping functionality available.
GX-80 is supported on PCs running Windows 7 and above, and Macs running macOS X 10.13 and above, including macOS 13 Ventura. It also natively supports Apple Silicon CPUs. AU, AAX, VST, and VST3 plug-in formats are available, and there is also a standalone version. An internet connection is required for authorisation.
Pricing & Availability
GX-80 is available now, and is currently priced at $59, reduced from a usual price of $79. A free 30-day trial is available for those wishing to audition the instrument. GX-80 is also now included in Cherry Audio's Synth Stack 3 bundle.