Inside The Yamaha CS-80 Synthesizer


Composer and Synthesist Anthony Marinelli, in his latest video, talks with super synth tech Rob Rosen about the classic Yamaha CS-80 synthesizer.

The video features a demo of the CS-80 and its unique sound, along with a look inside the synth, revealing why it’s a monster to maintain.

Video Summary:

“In this video, we learn about the grandaddy of them all, the CS-80! It’s an amazing design inside and out. It functions entirely in the analog realm without any software intervention.

I’ll demonstrate the Yamaha CS-80 panel features and then Rob’s exclusive intimate and detailed tour inside the instruments begins. He starts by going inside the CS-80, “Under the Hood”, to explore miles of wiring, the rack of cards, master boards, below the keyboard, velocity, aftertouch, DAC, key code assigner, TSB boards, TKC boards, KAS boards, dedicated effects boar, output board and ring modulator.

Rob teaches us how the unique oscillator boards function, including how they regulate pitch and change waveforms, We’ll also deep dive into the sensors on each key that allow for polyphonic aftertouch. We’ll see the VCF’s and VCA’s and learn about the importance of regulating temperature to keep everything stable. Rob shows us how he matches the uniquely different voices in the CS-80 to make the instrument perform more consistently. We’ll learn why these instruments cost so much to build from scratch and what it takes to keep them thriving today.”

Topics covered:

:00 Intro

1:05 Anthony Plays he CS-80

8:01 A Trip Inside the CS-80

10:09 Under the Keyboad

18:49 Rob removes the boards

29:02 Preset Boards

29:29 Deckard’s Dream Revealed

32:05 Rebuilding a CS-80 from Scratch

35:55 Sliders and Knobs Boards

37:17 How Rob Learned to be a Technician

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