Synth Site: Yamaha: CS-70m: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.1 out of 5
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Adrian Corston a hobbyist user from Australia writes:
Cool synth! Yamaha's last effort just before the DX-series FM synths in the early 80s. I have an SK20 (same era, similar front panel design) which I quite like, and I was expecting a similar sound with more flexibility from the CS-70M, but it sounds noticably different.

Lots of lovely modulation possibilities, slightly unusual voicing structure. Analogue sound but digital control. Arguably one of the first analogue/digital hybrids! There is a little bit of zipper noise (most evident on the cutoff slider of the filter section) but there is no zipper noise from the filter envelope generator or the LFO when applied to the filter.

Two oscillators with 15 patch locations per oscillator - a weird way to do things, but quite cool. Basically, you select a patch for each oscillator then you can balance the two oscillator levels on the fly. Almost like two midi'd one-oscillator synths. Each oscillator can also be set to "Manual" which means the patch is taken directly from the front panel controls. A detune control for the second oscillator makes some reasonably fat noises possible (along with a sub-oscillator on each oscillator.)

Terrific control on the mod wheel - switchable to affect either of both of the oscillators. The actual modulation can affect the VCO pitch, VCF cutoff, PW or VCA volume, and waveforms available are sine, saw, "RMO" (sounds like a faster sine), Sample/Hold (yes!), and a couple of weird effects which aren't really LFO but appear in that section anyway - glide- and glide+, which add an automatic glissando (I think that's the word for it) at the beginning of each note. Rather unusually, there's an Attack/Decay envelope generator on the LFO speed.

The filter has lowpass, bandpass and highpass. The highpass is nice, allowing you to pull out some really cutting sounds that stand out a mile.

Patches can be saved (one at a time) on 1cm x 10cm magnetic strips, each holding two patches. CV/Gate output (highest note priority) is a nice touch, although it doesn't seem to respond to the sequencer :-(

In terms of sounds, it does good string pads (pleasantly different from the classic Roland string sound), excellent brass stabs, excellent effects, good drum sounds, good accoustic bass sounds. I'm yet to get a really fat electronic moog bass sound out of it yet, but that's the only area of disappointment so far.

I'm very happy with it. I paid AUD$900 (about USD$450) and for that price it is a damn fine machine. There's a lot more to this synth, I've basically touched on what I consider to be slightly unusual or particularly nice features. If you'd like to know more, feel free to email me.

It is HEAVY (28kg).

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jan-19-1999 at 20:52
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