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 Yamaha CBX-D5 At a Glance   arrowYamaha News(306)   Streaming Video (71)
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arrowReleased: 1993  arrowVersion: 0.00
arrowRated: 7.0/10arrow User reviews: (2)
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arrowSoftware: Win 95/98, Win XP, Mac, OSX,
arrowHardware: SCSI/Serial/MIDI
Replicant writes:
Yamaha's "Digital Recording Processor" - basically a hardware processor and audio interface designed to complement a variety of Midi/Audio software such as Logic Audio, VST etc. The CBX does all the processing when recording and playing back audio to and from a hard disk, thus taking all of the load off your computer. The CBX's are particularly good if you have a slower/older computer that would have difficulty recording/processing audio on it's own. This unit does require a software front-end though - it is not a stand-alone recording system. The CBX-D5 is an attractive cream, 3U box that is rackable with the supplied "ears". The front panel has input level controls, a headphones jack (and level pot) a variety of mode displays (source, record & playback freq) and six 12-segment level meters (2 for input, 4 for output). The back panel of the unit is an array of connectors - ins & outs consisting of analog balanced XLR's, AES/EBU, SPDIF and Yamaha's proprietry Y2 format. There is also word clock in/out, a serial serial connector (for direct connection to the host computer), SCSI in/thru and Midi in/out/thru. As you can no doubt see, this is quite a serious piece of hardware! The CBX can record up to 2 tracks at a time and playback up to 4, and up to 2 units can be linked together - doubling the aforementioned record & playback facilities. And the best thing is that none of this slows down your host computer whatsoever - it is just left to run your sequencing software. As if this wasn't enough, the CBX-D5 has internal DSP's giving you 4 bands of full parametric digital EQ per channel and 2 sends of digital effects - 82 fully editable reverb & modulation effects (the same processors found in Yamaha's popular SPX 990 units). All of the CBX parameters are controllable from your host software, and dynamic adjutments can be recorded in your sequencer! I've been using 2 CBX-D5's with Logic Audio for a few years now, and have never had any problems - they are very reliable, sound good, and allow me to record and playback audio with no lag, and no strain on my computer. I feed the AES/EBU outputs directly into my 03D digital mixer for very professional results. When the CBX-D5 was first released they were a bit expensive at around $5000 (AUS) - Yamaha quickly dropped the price to a more reasonable $2500, but the increasing processing improvements of home computers made the CBX's almost obsolete overnight - recording 4 tracks on your PC with a cheap soundcard was a far more attractive alternative for most than outlaying the cost of your computer again for a hardware box that did the same thing (albeit with far better quality ins & outs & FX). Yamaha made a juge loss on the CBX series and dealers off-loaded them at crazy prices. My first unit cost me $1800 - I bought a 2nd unit not long after for $700, and have seen them go for as low as $300! I don't see many in the 2nd hand market - people that own them don't seem to want to part with them - and there isn't much of a market for them now - todays PC's & Macs can record & playback as many tracks as you are likely to need without a hitch. BUT the CBX-D5 is about the only FULLY professional software-based direct to disk recording system/interface you can get without spending big bucks on things like Pro Tools or the Lexicon Studio series. Balanced analog XLR's & AES/EBU in's & outs and word clock set the CBX-D5 apart from the plethora of PCI cards and breakout boxes of today's budget DTD recording systems. Definitely worth getting if you spot one at a good price 2nd hand - especially if you own an older computer - these things will even run on Atari's and Amiga's! Yamaha also made a cut-down CBX-D3 with phono jacks instead of XLR's and no AES/EBU or word clock and no DSP - I saw one at a dealer for $150 once!

Good Points
Professional in's & outs 2 SPX-990 FX DSP's 4 band full parametric EQ's Takes the processing load off your computer Comprehensive metering
Bad Points
Record at somewhat outdated 16 bit, 44.1/48kHz format A/D convertors are also older 16 bit linear jobs - best results can be obtained with a better outboard A/D convertor like an Apogee

 Yamaha CBX-D5 Specifications:

Digital IOs:
AES/EBU, SPDIF, Yamaha Y2 format
Analog IOs:
2 ins & 4 outs - balanced XLR's
Midi IOs:
in, out, thru
Other IOs:
word clock in & out
Busses/Subgroups: 4
Aux sends: 2
Max tracks: 4 tracks per unit
Maximum Resolution:48k@16bits
4 band full parametric per channel
2X SPX990 equivalent DSP's
Software supported:
Logic Audio, Cubase Audio/VST, Digital Performer, Studio Vision Pro
rack ears

 CBX-D5 Links

CBX-D3/5 Driver for MacOS Soundmanager

Try the Audio Cards/Hardware links page for more..