Synth Site: Yamaha: CS-6x: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.3 out of 5
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Arie from Europe writes:
Don’t buy the CS6x. It sucks big time. Don’t let all the positive reviews fool you. I’m beginning to feel sorry I ever bought the thing. The appegiator doesn’t sync to midi clock. So all you dance producers have a major problem, unless you want to write out all your arpeggio’s. I also have a PLG-AN installed. You wouldn’t believe how long it took to figuur out how the damn thing worked and most of the stuff aren’t mentioned in the manual. I have been trying for weeks to get support from Yamaha, but they always keep beating around the bush. I finally got some positive help. Not from Yamaha, but from G.Gregson (author of the PLG-AN editor). Now that I know how it works, I discovered that it’s so difficult and time consuming, that I probably won’t use the thing. So that’s the story. I would certainly think twice before buying it. I almost forgot. The only thing positive, I guess is the sound.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Tuesday-May-09-2000 at 18:04
mr gristle a professional user from chicago writes:
There's a lot to like about the CS6X. Decent polyphony, upgradable synth engines, a nice little phrase sampler, midi sequence playback and 3.3 volt data cards- very inexpensive for the storage you get.

There's also some really annoying things about the CS6X. The manual. Man, that thing is bad. The index is terrible, information is often in three different places with confusing text all over the place. A major disappointment.

Some of the operational functions are annoying as well. It took forever to figure out how to get the VL and AN boards to work correctly. I still haven't got a clue how to get the software editors to work.

On the positive side the samples are very good, close to the EX series although lacking on emulative instrument voices. I do a lot of styles of music and so far the CS6X hasn't let me down. There's always something useful and the unit is easy to program with an intuitive onboard interface, lots of control over menus (which usually drive me nuts)and really good implementation of the controllers with sturdy data and performance knobs. Sound wise this is a good choice for many styles of music. If you don't dig the dance oriented voices, and for presets they're pretty good, it's easy to program new patches.

I haven't used the sequence playback or phrase sampler much, just enough to undertand them. But I can see them coming in handy in some live situations. The thing that bugs me about these features and in general about the CS6X is how poorly documented it's features are.

Still it's a great synth because it's filters are good, the sample data has a nice variety and the effects and arppegiator are excellent. It's a shame you can't program the arppegiator. Thankfully there's lots of configurations that have considerable control over them. The effects are great but again, I wish they would have taken multi timbral users in mind. It's a drag not being able to use the full compliment of effects for more than one midi channel.

Where the CS6X excels is in expandability. The AN plugin is superb and simple to learn. I listen to some of the stuff while programming and freak at how "right" it sounds. Yeah, it's not analog but it sure isn't sample playback. The VL is very cool as well. It might seem that you're getting the VL to do heavy duty emulations of wind, reed, brass and string instruments and to a degree you do get a lot out of it in that way even just using the keyboard. But it's the wild stuff you can do with the VL that really makes it worth the purchase. This is a vastly underrated synth engine that can do much more than emulative sounds.

In all, it's hard to not like this synth. If you spend some time with the basic unit you can get a lot of different timbres out of it. Although geared to the dance market this is a full featured synth that works in almost any kind of music. Depending on your needs there's plenty of plugins that bring new life to the board.

The CS6X is flexible for live use. It's less flexible for sequencing especially if you use certain plugins. Still, even when in performance mode the CS6X has enough character to make for good sounding mixes. Yamaha missed the boat on the FX section, for what it does it's very good, I suppose this was a cost cutting decision.

Here's the deal. Unless you are an analog freak and can't handle sample playback sound this board has something for you. If you're doing very specific genres of dance music the CS6X may not be your cup of tea, but for most users this synth does a lot of things well. I almost bought an EX5 but am glad I went this direction. If you haven't heard the FM board it's cool too. I have a FS1R so FM wasn't very important. But for me the highlight of this synth was being able to add two new synth engines. Keep in mind tastes are subjective, but if there was one thing that surprised me it was how versitile the CS6X was. I would recommend it to almost any player. If you can't get the sound out of the internal samples you can get it in the plugin synth cards. Another thing, these plugin's are cheaper than buying rom simms for a Proteus or data boards for other synths. The VL was $150 and AN $200. I can't stress this enough, you aren't just getting a bunch of new samples, you're getting entirely different synthesis techniques.

Even with the truly bad manual and some interface blunders the CS6X is a solid 5.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Apr-17-2000 at 05:26
The Max a hobbyist user from Sweden writes:
I have spent hours and hours printing out page after page in search of what synth to go for on this site. So many nights I fell asleep with those papers containing loads on info on my stomage and the bottom line is I had a really, I mean RRREEAALLY hard time making up my mind on what synthesiser to buy.

This review goes out to those who will be buying their first synth and is a beginner on this field. I would like to add that I only make TRANCE music so if you are into something else you can stop reading right here!

I've been making TRANCE/TECHNO music for a couple of years now using REBIRTH, STOMPER, ACID and SOUNDFORGE along with lots of DIRECTX PLUGINS. Allright, allright..I know...Amature software with lack of sound quality aswell as sounds you say. You know what? I totally agree! BUT....(!!!!!) That's how it all start's for many artists, just like me. You know..You are sitting there, playing around, getting more and more into it and suddenly your a PRO in those programs and you realise that you need more POWER in order to create awesome tracks.

I had so many ideas but I couldn't make them come alive unless I didn't own a SYNTH along with some other equipment. I wanted something with ENDLESS capabillities, KILLES SOUNDS and FULL CONTROLL to shape the sounds just the way I wanted it to sound like. Oh...And of course a descent price tag since I'm a musician with a budget. That's when I bought the:

Y A M A H A C S 6 X !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fredd, Lenny, Chris, Anna, Julie or whatever your name is, TRUST ME!!!!!! If your a big fan of Ferry Corsten, DJ Tiesto or Mauro Picotto just like me then THIS IS THE SYNTH FOR YOU!!!!

The specifications are truly AWESOME and this one really KICKS ASS BIGTIME!!!! It's a silver MONSTER with SUPERB sound's and an arpeggio that will make your ears bleeeeed with XTAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But I have to warn you. Before you buy a synth, know this..... It's a completely different matter to program a machine like this and to hook it up into a computer containing CUBASE/CAKEWALK or AUDIO LOGIC then it is to work with software like REBIRTH etc.

You must really dedicate 100% of your time to get the hang of it all unless you don't sign up for a music school or something like that. You will soon discover if you have what it takes and if you have that true dedication and visions of making your music in a more proffesionall way. You will stumble on TONS of problems and it will take a while for you to master the equipment. But once you get there and discover the amazing power of the YAMAHA CS6X there is NO turning back and you will become an adict to it as Iam now. ENTER THE WONDERFULL WORLD OF ELECTRONIC MUSIC.........Yamaha rules!

Again, this review is dedicated to beginners and NOT to any PROs! Oh, by the way....I'd like to thank everyone who have wrote a review and shared their thoughts and information regarding different synths on this web page. Thanx for helping me out everyone!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Apr-06-2000 at 19:20
Bryan Barrios a part-time user from New Orleans, LA writes:
After previewing the Nord II and the JP 8000, I concluded that the arpeggiators of the CS6x beat out the the Nord's and the sounds were as warm if not warmer. The JP eliminated itself by comparison, for its construction is simply inferior to the CS6x. This SILVER ANGEL is the final piece (for now) to my trance production equation.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Apr-01-2000 at 02:10
a part-time user from u.s.a. writes:
I like the keybooard a lot. I have on eproblem though and maybe someone can help. I am slaving the CS6x to an AKAI MPC2000XL. I cannot get the arpeggiator to sync with the 2000XL when recording. Once I record into my segment, The notes fall off. It is not as simple as transmitting midi clock info from the 2000XL to the CS6X. The way I know this is because when I am playing a segment from the 2000XL (while not trying to record) and hold down an arpeggiated note from the CS6X and then change the tempo in the 2000XL, the arpeggiator follows the tempo change. The problem occurs during playback after recording. On playback, the notes do not fall where the should. The problem is probably AKAI realated, but someone might know the answer. I have spent a few hours on the phone wiht tech supprot from both Yamaha and AKAI and came up empty. The only solution I have found is to sample the arpeggiated line into the 2000XL. The problem with that is then I lose the ablility to tweak the sound using Yamaha's on board knobs live. In addition, is there a way to use the arpeggiator to tweak sounds from external sources. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Mar-20-2000 at 19:38
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