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refaceCS -> Yamaha CS61?


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Oh, we don't have to wait. It's only a matter of time before Our Buddy B releases one that's just like the original, but with digital reverb added and costing $299...


There's an ongoing debate as to whether the sound of the CS-80 could ever be adequately replaced by a Reface model, but more and more things become possible with every passing year, so who knows? The primary problem with half-assing such a design is that without all of the UX advancements of the original, a model will be less than satisfying.


At bare minimum, any sort of CS reboot would have to have polyphonic aftertouch and a ribbon controller... and players who have never handled a real CS-80 have no idea how vital it is that the real-time adjustments on the lowest part of the front panel (Brilliance, Detune, Ring Mod, etc) are controlled from a type of controller never seen on any instrument before or since (although very old Universal Audio mixing boards had them) - a buttery smooth and nuanced lever that moves in a smooth arc with the touch of a fingertip rather than being yanked up and down like a slider. The originals were all machined by Yamaha and were incredibly expensive compared to ordinary knobs or faders, but they made all the difference in playing.


Somewhere on YouTube there is a very rare bit of documentary footage of Vangelis demonstrating the power of synths in general as he plays his CS-80... watch his hand as it glides along those levers and effortlessly changes the timbre.


I know people are sick of me carping about UX where synths are concerned, but IMNSHO you can get pretty much any sound you want these days, but how you interact with it is everything.


Anyway, they'll never do it. After the CP and YC were released, they had a meeting at Yamaha HQ in Japan about what to do next. The conclusion was that they would do a DX61 and then call it quits rather than create a CS61, because they had it on good authority that Metlay would buy one if they did. So they couldn't.

Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, golly gosh) :D

Janitor and Hall Monitor, Dr. Mike's Studio Workshop


clicky!: more about me ~ my schwag ~ my radio station (and my fam) ~ my local tribe ~ my day job

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Didn't Yamaha hint at a reissue of the CS80 around the same time Behringer announced they were working on? As for those sliders you mention, they surely can't have been that expensive since they were used extensively on even the budget end of the Electone organ range. In fact, there was at least some crossover between the two lines, as evidenced by the Electone E70.


I got to play a CS80 when they first came out and was blown away, but that was in the days of fixed velocity mono synths, so a big part of me wonders how impressed I would be now, poly AT perhaps excepted.

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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