For the tiny-fingered, space-challenged mono-synth lover, the vintage Yamaha CS-01 might need to be in your collection.
It was obviously marketed to the young, first synth buyer, market. However, dispite it’s mini-sized keys, it has been since adopted by many professionals for it’s simple design, active sliders, and great sound.
Vintage Synth Explorer says:
The CS-01 may look simple or toy-like but it is still able to create cool little analog bass blips, bass lines and bass bubbles that are just perfect for today’s electronic musicians.
It was the last full-analog monosynth that Yamaha made before going digital.
They came in two colour combinations – grey with light grey lettering (pictured) or red (yes, even then) with grey lettering.
Probably its most notable feature was its breath (well, spit) controller input, as Yamaha tried to branch into ‘alternative controllers’. I’m not sure how elegant it looks to be spitting into your keyboard, controlling its VCA and VCF, and you certainly can’t sing at the same time (do synthesists sing?) -still, an interesting if underused feature.
According to Synth Heaven and Vintage Synth Explorer, this synth was played by: Barry Blue, Andy Cheetham, Chick Corea, Steve Gray, Michael Law, Adrian Lee, John Medeski, Icelandic 80’s jazzfunk band Mezzoforte, OMD, Dust Brothers, Underworld, Tim Simenon, Patrick Swayze.
Errr, hang on… Patrick Swayze?
Synthesis type: Analog subtractive
Oscillators per voice: 1
Waveforms: sine, square, triangle, PWM, narrow square, noise
Controllers: breath control jack, pitch/mod wheels, LFO
Keyboard: 32 mini-keys
Audio: 1 out
- Sonic State
- Synth Museum
- MiniOrgan demo
- Some fun bizarreness of limited relation to the CS-01
4 thoughts on “Vintage: Yamaha CS-01 – “The Mini Mono””
hellow, i recently got my hands on a red cs-01. i found it at a backwoods pawn in northern michigan for 15 dollars. in good condition can you estimate its value? also can i find an original mic for the breath option? i did find a manaul on-line
but i would still like original mic and gig bag. if you have any sugestions i could use the help, thank you.
I’m pretty sure you can still get the breath controllers from a dealer. I
got one in the late 90’s. They were
still making new boards that used them.
I’ve got two CS-O1’s. For a kicker,
I am going to mount the keys stacked
for one hand, and mount the controls
side by side in a seperate left hand box. Kinda guiboardish, control freakish, polyphonic. Huh?
does anyone know what year this thing was made?
1982 (1984 for mkII) according to Vintage Synth Explorer