Synth Site: Yamaha: CX-5M Music Computer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.8 out of 5
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sjmojo a professional user writes:
i owned one back in 1986,and my previous bandmate amd i played live gig using this beast,and my bandmate kicked the power and all turned down,fxxk,it's good for home use,many cartridges,fm voice(alike dx7) cartridge,composeing software cartridge(real- and step-time sequencer,even u can drag and enter notes on staves),fm voice editing cartridge,etc...if u love fm sounds,it's for u,if u like slowly sequencing fuctions,it's for u.quite limited but a good buy for all beginners.i paid about $250 in 1986.but,sorry i've got no choices at that time tho i love substractive synths more than this.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jun-19-2001 at 01:15
I plugged in the midi out of my regular MIDI JX305 into this thing (I found it being thrown away on someones treelawn) And held down delete as I booted it and the keyboard worked fine! I think this has the seccond generation of the sound unit because the first unit was in a box next to it! Hope this helps someone`

posted Monday-Jun-18-2001 at 23:44
Cyberlion a professional user from USA writes:
My story concerning the CX5M:

I bought this computer last year (2000).... first thing I did in fact was down load both the CX5M and the CX5M 2 manuals from the Yamaha site... I found, like I'm sure you did that the support for the CX5M is very hard to find. I managed to pick up the CX5M with printer (no cable or ribbon)for $25.00. I did manage to pick up several of the cartridges (YRM-101 FM Music Composer, YRM-102 FM Voicing Program, YRM-103 DX7 Voicing Program, YRM-301 MIDI Recorder, YRM-304 DX7 Voicing Program II, YRM-501 FM Music Composer II, YRM-506 FB-01 Voicing Program) for $5.00 a piece. I found 8 cartridges two were the same. Also found a spare SGF-01 sound module. Unfortunately it did not come with the YM keyboard so I can not use it as a synth. But I was able to find ways to use the CX5M without the YM keyboard. From the manual I was able to make a video/audio cable from an old midi cable. I then send the signal to a VCR to the video in on the VCR from the Video out cable of the CX5M. This allows me to veiw the CX5M on a tv.

Through trail and error I was able to work around the fact that there is no YM keyboard connected to the CX5M.

Using the YRM-101 FM Music Composer or YRM-501 FM Music Composer II one can enter notes using the CX5M keyboard like a regular music keyboard, the following letters can be used FGHVBNM,./-CHKL; so notes can be entered via the CX5M keyboard, not just by picking the note on the scale and note duration. By being able to enter notes from the keyboard it is a lot easier to enter phrases. then if you type "mdon = n" I can send midi information to the midi out jack on the SGF-01 sound module to play external synths sounds. This is great because I'm not stuck using the preset sounds and allows me to find some better sounds. (mdon stands for "midi on" = "n" stands for midi channel. so let's say I want to play something on midi channel 5 I would type mdon=5 in the command line) Realize though that YRM-101 FM Music Composer or YRM-501 FM Music Composer II can only step record and not be used as a real time sequencer. The fact that after a note is entered the CX5M actually advance one apce over this allows me to enter note quite rapidly. I found though that by holding down the keys on the CX5M keyboard I can hear the note duration repeat so it is almost like playing in real time. The YRM-301 MIDI Recorder cartridge doesn't work like this.

YRM-301 MIDI Recorder: I was able to get the YRM-301 MIDI Recorder cartridge to work. At first I had thought it was broken but I tried several combinations like "call MIDI Recorder", "call MIDI R", "call midi r", and then I tried "call mr" *'bink'* I get this nice splash screen midi recorder v1. I cracked the code.

so for anyone not able to get the MIDI Recorder cartridge to work type "call mr" and you're in.

according to some sources the CX5M can not receive midi information from the SGF-01 sound module midi in I found this to be false. Using the YRM-301 MIDI Recorder cartridge and the SGF-01 sound module I was able to enter notes in "step record mode" and "real time" from a midi keyboard. I was shocked when this worked. OKAY again this is still a primative computer by today's standards, but it makes for a nice old time step record sequencer from the 60, 70 and 80's. I am able to save to cassette also of coarse as wav files which then I can record the CX5M information to CD and have a means of storing the data. I found when you find the right note duration ion step record it actually sounds like I played the phrases live. There are some features that are in the YRM-301 MIDI Recorder cartridge that make the sequencer quite useful like the midi channel page. this page contains a transpose, repeat, number of repeat section. It has 12 steps and for each step I can enter which bank and track numbers will play. In fact once I created a nice bass line I could use the transpose feature and repeat function to create some nice phrases. It is unlike anything I ever seen. One could create some very interesting techno effects using this page if one so desired. I intend to explore this further. I was fortunate to have the required cassette cable to dump the information from the CX5M to a cassette or computer as a wav file. The cable came with my TX7.

Okay bottom line the CX5M will never replace CAKEWALK or CUBASE by a long shot. But for $25 bucks this computer will make for a nice little sequencer. Amazingly enough the CX5M can sync or be synced to an external sequencer. I do hope this information will help some one.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-May-08-2001 at 14:13
Doug Kolmar a part-time user from USA writes:
Hello - I have a CX5M and used it during the mid-late 80's - early 90's. It pales in comparison to most keyboard based synths. HOWEVER it served a unique need for those interested in algorithmic composition at the time. Using MSX basic you can create algorithmic compositions that at the time were usually done on MINI Computers. The built in sequencer also could be used to store and play back a limited amount of material - this was sometimes interesting for live performance. The FM sounds are nothing special. You can MIDI out to other modules or synths if you create a composition that you want to realize with other sound. At the time I was using it to explore Fractals...

Examples of some pieces I created using the CX5M can be found here:

1) Islands - strictly an Algorithmic composition using the the on board FM synth. 2) Johnny Chatterbox and the Fractals, using both the keyboard and patterns generated algorithmically with the built in sounds. 3) Deja Vu Again - Using it live - playing sounds on the keyboard, storing a pattern played on the keyboard, using that pattern to supply midi note information to a sampler.

Good luck - Regards Doug Kolmar

posted Thursday-Jan-11-2001 at 16:27
Dana a professional user from California,USA writes:
I have 2 CX5MII/128s,and 3 CX5Ms.I got my first one about 11 years ago.I am very familiar with these things,and I would be glad to answer any one who is interested about how to hook them up,and use them.Feel free to e-mail me. Dana

posted Wednesday-Nov-29-2000 at 01:37
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