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  CS-2x At a Glance
Click for larger view arrowReleased: January 1999  Specifications
arrowUser rating: 4.0/5 |  Read reviews (57)
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Jusst detuovhuss writes:
This is my first synth, and so far I love it. I'm just beginning to scratch the surface of what it can do. ,5/5 for price, quality. 4/5 for performance. user friendliness 2/5

I had this synth for 2 months now. I spent at least 40 hours on it trying different performances, modifying them real time than saving them. not counting the time I played just for fun. (80 hours or more) Also tried the cs2x tune em up to modifiy or create brand new performances. I was amazed and discouraged at the same time . The possibilities are limitless when using cakewalk 8 pro audio or any multitrack midi/audio sequencer

First thing I like about it, the filters. Powerful, and fhat. secondly, the samples... 16 megs, very clean noise free. the output on the cs2x is virtually noise free even at full volume. But you'll get some distortion when playing bases and cranked up patches at full volume. So quiet in fact I fell like plugging my speakers directly on the keyboard since my expensive amp can't play high volume without a bit of shhh...

third thing is 256 user performances... compare on other keyboards.... and even if you can use only one performance at a time plus 12 xg sounds or material voice which performances are composed of, it is highly useful. to be able to download sysex on user 1 (128 voice) and copy them in user 2 without having to backup every time.

And you can play more than 1 performance, you can play 4 or more But there is a big problem unless I missed something: you can't program effects for each. all the other performances will use then first one's effects. which sucks.

Thats the only downside to this keyboard. Until they put more effects processors, that won't be possible.

But the sonic possibilities are infinite. Record you're performance riff and loop it. use cakewalk 8 or better for that.

Another important issue. THE DRUMS DON'T SUCK. I thought that at first before finding kicks in material voices and making my own kick ass performance drum kits. You have a ton of sfx that sound great all tweakable through filters. The kicks and sfx can be totally altered and can't be used to create ANY groove.

ex you think the bass drum sounds good but the kick is too low. you want it to snap more. than use the wheel. if you want your snare to be softer use the cutoff. If you want weird drums. put more resonance and lower the cutoff. just a hint of things you can do to get better drum sounds.

One thing that bugs me is the material voices are often if not always not sensitive to velocity. But be reassured, most of the performance and all the xg sounds are.

Like others mentionned in previous reviews, You can make complete midi songs that sound professionnal without even having to record performances. But you'll have limited depth in your songs especially for ambient music. However, if you are a XG geek, you can program amazing songs. but you have to tweak every sound because xg sounds are disigned flat intentionaly by Yamaha. This just a glorified GM standard. To prove that download xg songs like principle_XG.mid (principle of lust by sounds just like the original) and final countdown_xg (europe) and be amazed by the programming talent needed to create such excellent replica of the original using flat sounds with xg programming.

Conclusion: Good pianos, excellent leads, basses, brass and pads, sfx. Decent drums. very good organs, amazing sfx (performance).

Ease of use: 2/5 too complex to create complex songs using only the cs2x. Functionality: 4/5 64 voices, 16 parts powerful effects, filters. Sound: 5/5 Impressive sounds, very vast possibilities, can create weird unique sounds quality: 2.5/5 Keyboard decent for the price fragile case, good knobs, small LCD ): [need a computer for full use]

NOTE: buy this keyboard if you are patient, curious and have very good learning skills. If you are all those things, go and buy it right away. If you don't have them and have already a good setup like jv 2080 or 1010 and want one more performance for thsat special techno hardcore sound, than buy it.

If you have very limited time or don't want or don't have the skills for programming than look elsewhere. Buy a Yamaha DJX or a PSR, maybe a Casio if you like nintendo sounds.

Other note: If want to complete the setup I highly recommend a JV 1010 to go with it. Remember, you can use those nifty knobs to control the JV. Watch out. That JV has even better quality sounding acoustic sounds it rocks. listen to the piano, althought thats subjective.

Comments About the Sounds:

(Thanks to Jusst detuovhuss for this info.)
and Nevada for the pic

Links for the Yamaha CS-2x
 More Synth Gear  Best US prices on many current models
Leon's computer music page info on various Yamaha Synths
Yamaha CS2x w Polsce (in Poland) Patches, Sounds, Demos only CS2x, Polish site
EGroups CS2x forum Applications, questions, discussion, and files
Dj Alb's site for CSxxx A site on CS1x CS2x and CS6x
CS2X Free Editor ! Utilities and links for CS2X
Music made with CS2X ans other stuff...
The GooD Link to Music created with CS2X... Some music made with Cs2X , ambiant and groove, and utilities for CS2X free !
internal defect an arizona industrial rock band featuring CS2X keyboards
Rude Poodel - Finnish rock band using CS2x This Finnish rock band plays music form 70's to 2002 and the keyboardist has Yamaha CS2X as one of his synths. Hear for example the Van Halen cover song "I'll Wait" in mp3 format from the "Songs" page. A finnish electronic metal band using CS2x keyboards (site only in finnish, mp3:s can be downloaded from "ääni"-section))
User reviews on Harmony Central
Future Music UK review
8 pin MIDI serial cable
RASTER music page Raster's music composed on the CS2x
CS2X in action CS2X featured on various tracks

Try the Yamaha links page for more..

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