Synth Site: Yamaha: CS-1X: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.9 out of 5
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                          22  23  24  25  26  >>>
Carl a hobbyist user from England writes:
Pretty good synth for its pricerange, sounds are good enough, and programmability is also good enough.. layout of the synth is very logical and pretty easy to program

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Mar-31-1999 at 21:01
sinaddr a hobbyist user from US writes:
Yeah uhm, I must say, after using the synth for quite a bit of time and delving deeper into the engine and its controls, that I've realized something...there's nothing deep about it. Its a toy, nothing more or nothing less. Call it a glorified DJX. I got rid of it, it was just ruined when I picked up an AN1X. Damn, now THATS a synth. 2 out of 5 for its uhm....playfulness?

ps - yeah, I already had a broken key and a crack in the side of the case after a year.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Friday-Mar-26-1999 at 17:15
jake enk a hobbyist user from the united states writes:
I've had the CS1x for nearly a year now, and that crack has yet to show up... and i doubt it ever will. I guess to prevent it, you should be a little more careful with it. But yeah I think i know what you're talking about with the keys, they get a little loose - nothing that noticeable unless you really think about it (at least in the stage it is in now). Also, after using the cutoff knob so much, it's a little looser than the other knobs, which is a pain. Advice again, just take care of her and she will hold up for another decade.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Feb-26-1999 at 22:35
J. Lohr a part-timer user from usa writes:
Of all the reviews of this synth NO ONE mentions the construction quality....... I have had my CS1X for 2 years now and have noticed problems with it allready. First of all the rear left corner where the back of the body meats the side and angle part of the body it a GIANT crack. This crack is a pressure point the design of that corner causes there to be pressure causing the crack i know 3 other poeple with the same exact crack in the same exact place. This would not have been a problem if it was a metal casing, but i guiss that would be asking tooo much for a budget synth. ALSO I have noticed the actual keyboard itself, after the first year when i press down on some of the keys there is a HORRIBLE cracking noise (NOT in the audio signal but rather the keys themselves make the sound). and the knobs are very flimsy cheep plasicy.

DONT get me wrong. I DO like the synth...as for the sounds you can crank out anything from new-age cheese to hard ebm industial to acid trance ( and still sound good (unlike the MC-303). i like the synth engine its just TOOO bad it was jammed into a cheep plasic case with bad keys.

heres a question for you........in 10-15 years will there be any of these left that still look and/or work good? my answer is no. if this synth had an aluminum casing like the MC series at the same cheep price i would give it a 5 but it dont so i give it a 3

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Thursday-Feb-25-1999 at 19:14
Bernard Roach a hobbyist user from Canada writes:
The CS1X was the first synthesizer that I purchased. For the price that I paid (825$ CDN - around 600$US, New) there was no other synthesizer that came close to offering what the CS1X offers. I am extremely pleased with it and do not intent to ver sell it. Very controllable synth. There are 6 knobs that can be assigned to any XG parameter. Performance voices are very controllable. Standard drum kits are fair, but if you tweak around with the parameters a bit (or a lot if you want to ) and you can create some unique sounding drum sets. There are about 1500 base voices which can be layered together and modified.

You must be willing to experiment with this machine. My friend, if you want to learn how to program voices and understand the MIDI protocol, you're in for a good time ( although sometimes frustrating). I think the reason why many people complain about the MIDI interface is because the CS1x let's you control any parameter through MIDI messages. There are a lot of parameters, so you have to understand MIDI in order to benefit from this feature. Some people write it off because they don't take the time to learn of the CS1x's capabilities.

For example, erik wrote:

the only good things about this synt is that you get 6 assingable knobs even though you cant assign it to anything important.

This is simply not true.

Alex Baumann wrote:

with the GM voices you are only allowed a few controls, and it would be nice to be able to use all of them, including decay, effects, portamento, etc.

You CAN actually control these parameters ( and many others ), but you need an external sequencer (cakewalk for instance) that can send sysex messages in real time.

Ralph Muller wrote:

For self made sounds you need in a the midi channels

1, 2, 3 and 4 in a external sepuencer. All other midi channels con only be used for GM sounds!

This is also flase. ANY Material voice can be used for parts 5-16. There about 1000.

The list goes on.

Factory presets are fine, ( some are great and will give you instant gratification!! ) but some are less than perfect immitations of sounds available on other synths (ex, some of the analog replicas, 808, 909 drums, hammond organ). You'll have to tweak them to give them character.

You also get decent XG sounds. I know a lot of people don't like the idea of using industry standard voices, but they're there and you can always tweak them to the point where they sund completely diffrent.

There are some limitiations. To begin with, some of the parameters for the performance voices are controlled via system exclusive MIDI messages. These messages aren't sent by the CS1x in real-time and therefore some parameter changes cannot be recorded by a MIDI sequencer/recorder in real-time. There are ways around this (software utilities such as CS1x EDIT or designing your own PANEL layout for cs1x sysex messages in Cakewalk) but you will need a computer (which I must assume you have since you are reading this review).

Also, you cannot apply the variation effects to parts 5-16 in performance mode. (you can in Multi mode).

It's difficult to get good bass sounds from the cs1x. It's possible, but you are limited. You may want to get a bass module like a novation bass station to compliment the CS1x.

Admitedly, the guitar and brass sounds are poor. They're good if you want to create totally different sounds ( that don't sound like guitars or trumpets ) but I was dissapointed with them overall.

Cutoff and resonance filters are good for the price, but I've seen better. The ADSR enveloppes are also somewhat predefined, depending on which voices you apply it to.

Please keep in mind that this is by no means an all in one synth. It's an amazing starter synth though and the control you have is impressive. If you want to sound conventional, you'll definitely have to get a drum machine at some point ( if you plan to make techno ).

I strongly suggest you listen to the cs1x before you buy it. It's marketed as a dance techno synth, but I think for some it falls short of their expectations. If you don't have the money but have the time and are curious, I believe you can work around it.

You can also get an AN1x, CS2x or Nord Lead which are similar in concept but is significantly more versatile. More expensive though.

Aside from the synth itself, there is support for the CS1X if you have a computer . (CS1X mailing list, CS1x web page, CS1X edit etc.)

There is also something called the BLUE BOOK which is a thorough tutorial about the CS1X and it's capabilities. It is an excellent compliment to the manual. The manual itself gives you all the technical data but falls very short of explaining how to use all of it. The BLUE BOOK in PDF format on the internet.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Feb-08-1999 at 16:57
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