Yamaha CS01 Synthesizer & MR10 Drum Machine Hands-On Demo

The latest episode of 8-Bit Keys takes a look at the Yamaha CS10, a vintage analog single-oscillator synthesizer that resembles a toy keyboard.

Also featured is the Yamaha MR10 drum machine.

If you’ve used the CS10 or the MR10, leave a comment and share your thoughts on them!

9 thoughts on “Yamaha CS01 Synthesizer & MR10 Drum Machine Hands-On Demo

  1. I had one of those back in the day. Its not one I miss. Had a Yamaha DX100 too .. same size. Both were cool for sitting on the couch watching TV and wotking out solos lol.

  2. My very first synth, bought new in ’84. alongside one of those Matel drum machines with the 4 pads. The CS01 was absolute crap with the weakest filter I have ever heard and abominable sound and features all round, minikeys and minisliders, unplayable, unlistenable. I say this as a guy who felt conned at 14 and hung onto trying to squeeze a good sound out of it for about 10 years. A bass, a lead? Nope, it’s Junk. It was the very cheapest way into synthesis at the time but It has no other redeeming features. It’s an offence to the real CS line.

  3. These are sought after, especially the MK II version because they get pretty bad ass with a midi retrofit. It is a machine that needs to be sequenced.

  4. Got a Highly Liquid MIDI kit in mine, it’s one of my favorite synths. It is small but can sound huge. Not super versatile, but very good at what it does. Also, not a full analog synth, as the waveforms are generated digitally.

  5. This was my second synth. For me the coolest thing was the breath controller input, with separate controls for filter and amp level. This made it a fairly expressive synth, along with the fact that holding it in keytar position made all the controls readily accessible to the left hand.

  6. I have a broken CS-01 and a great-condition CS01 mkII—I played the latter live, guitar strap and all (the breath controller stayed at home). On eBay in 2000-2003, the CS-01 was the cheapest analog (turns out, not completely) I could find. Very much a “my first synthesizer,” but great through effects. I wish I could get a great PWM sound out of better synths as quickly as I can the CS-01!

  7. I almost bought a CS01 with issues. Then I looked at the schematic and found that it is essentially a synth on one chip. One very important, impossible-to-find chip.

  8. I played in a band where one of my bandmates had one of these. I used it to record a decent, lyrical solo over a track we were working on, and it sounded great apart from a single-note bend I made near the end of the solo where the pitchbend controller would go almost, but not quite, a whole tone up. I loathed the track for years until I managed to resurrect it by pitch-correcting that one note during mixing. Oh, the wonders of digital. I have tried VST recreations of the CS01… – all crap. The original had that ‘edge’ to the sound which is hard to imitate properly.

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