Would you buy a CS80 if re-released?

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Re: Would you buy a CS80 if re-released?

Post by Ashe37 » Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:21 am

recordbot wrote:
Automatic Gainsay wrote:was not made with cheap components

digging around inside CS series polysynths on the KAS board you will discover that there are 3 military grade transistors developed by fairchild semiconductor for use in the apollo space program,

also the 2 microprocessors are I believe the first microprocessors ever manufactured

those synths are oozing electronics technology history even if the parts used were a bit older and no longer cutting edge by the time they were put in the synths it's still very cool to have parts designed for use in outer space in your keyboard
Nope, no microprocessor. According to OldCrow, it uses a series of 4000-series logic ICs to preform the tasks we'd use a microprocessor for. Yes, that is the same as how the Apollo Guidance Computer was built. No, its not a microprocessor, or the 'first microprocessor'... credit for that would variously be attributed to the Garett AiResearch CADC (used in the F-14), the TI TMS-1000, or the Intel 4004, all introduced in the 1970-1971 area.

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Re: Would you buy a CS80 if re-released?

Post by mini700 » Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:58 am

"Would you buy a CS80 if re-realeased ?"

The answer is: No.

Not enough money, not enough space.

But I would love to hear what people could do with/on a new CS80.

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Re: Would you buy a CS80 if re-released?

Post by ranzee » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:35 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:It depresses me that even after all of this time, people still believe that functionality defines sound.

Functionality plays in role in the definition of sound, but it doesn't define sound. Just because a keyboard has the same functionality as another keyboard doesn't mean it will sound anything like the other keyboard. The sound of a synth comes from its components and circuit design.

The CS-80 is a monstrosity of discrete linear circuit design. That is why it sounds good. You would have to change the components AND the circuit design in order to substantially reduce the size and weight of the CS-80. The minute you change the components and circuit design is the moment you have a different synth with a different sound. Even if it retains the same functionality.

Okay, you could make the case out of some different substance, you might be able to get a little more space here and there by changing the arrangement of the PCBs, etc. You could definitely knock off some weight by removing the real keys and poly AT apparatus. But ultimately, the thing might as well not change at all for the likelihood of someone authentically reproducing it.
Technically correct. But I don't think the majority of consumers would be this "OCD" about exactness to the original.

However, I think most people would be happy with something that came close - with the added benefit of newer technology implemented. I don't see why Yamaha can't try and do something like circuit emulation - there's plenty of examples of digital circuit emulation, that most people wouldn't even notice the difference ... and before everyone rages and says "but it's not analog" - you can have your analog filters etc - it could be a hybrid - there's plenty of options here to appease to the analog-only people.

Examples:

[1]Take a look at computer emulators - like the Commodore 64, which I used to play games on when I was a kid. You can play the same games today on a C64 emulator - and it has that SID sound chip sounding (to me) like the original. I'm using this example to show how 1980's tech can fit on a pin-head on today's tech.
[2]Arturia CS-80V - they've done an amazing job emulating the CS-80 - yes there's bits it can't do - but wow the bits that it can are really close, if not right on!
[3]Roland's TR-8 and "ACB" - Unless Roland are into lying, they've told us they spent a lot of research on Analog Circuit Behavior - by monitoring capacitors, resisters, heat loads, components etc to "emulate" them in a digital algorithm environment. The result is the first TR-8 is pretty bloody good. OK not a perfect TR-808 clone - but not bad at attempt #1 ... and from what I hear - there's firmware updates in the mix - and plug-outs for other drum machines on the drawing board. I have deliberately left of the System-1 because I haven't heard the SH-101 clone yet - but rumors are that it will impress.

If the linear/logical circuit design of the CS-80 is imperative in recreating the sound - then exploring this "electronically" will be the key - similar to what Roland did (as said earlier).

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Re: Would you buy a CS80 if re-released?

Post by Bitexion » Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:05 pm

What I find strange is that "the blade runner sound" isn't on ANY preset packs on the CS-80V. That is clearly the most famous sound of the synth. Yet instead there are tons of "trance" patches and weird sequences and stuffs.

Is it not capable of recreating vangelis' famous patch? I believe he was just using 2 factory presets together.

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Re: Would you buy a CS80 if re-released?

Post by Jabberwalky » Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:11 pm

Vangelis sounds are so damn simple. It's how he played them. Who was the dude here that recently recreated the patches on a bunch of synths? They all sounded good.

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Re: Would you buy a CS80 if re-released?

Post by Bitexion » Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:22 pm

Yeah indeed, but why is there NO presets in the massive CS80V library that does that sound? I certainly couldnt find any.

The VST interface isn't scalable, it's so tiny I can't imagine making my own patches with it on a 1900x1200 resolution.
You can't even use the "preset" buttons, as they are all mapped to various sounds.

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Re: Would you buy a CS80 if re-released?

Post by CS_TBL » Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:56 pm

Jabberwalky wrote:Vangelis sounds are so damn simple. It's how he played them.
Kinda, the sounds were very reactive to velocity and aftertouch, then they can be simple (in the same way a trumpet is a bit of a filtered sawtooth). I think it's mostly the responsiveness that seems somewhat missing these days in presets.
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Re: Would you buy a CS80 if re-released?

Post by Jabberwalky » Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:30 pm

CS_TBL wrote:
Jabberwalky wrote:Vangelis sounds are so damn simple. It's how he played them.
Kinda, the sounds were very reactive to velocity and aftertouch
Exactly.

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Re: Would you buy a CS80 if re-released?

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:19 pm

Bitexion wrote:What I find strange is that "the blade runner sound" isn't on ANY preset packs on the CS-80V. That is clearly the most famous sound of the synth. Yet instead there are tons of "trance" patches and weird sequences and stuffs.

Is it not capable of recreating vangelis' famous patch? I believe he was just using 2 factory presets together.
I can´t believe there isn´t any Brass 1 and Brass 2 preset patches.

After all, it´s not the CS80 that created that Blade Runner sound, it was the Lexicon 224. The rest was about playing technique and finding the sweet spot of the instrument.

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Re: Would you buy a CS80 if re-released?

Post by Bitexion » Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:38 pm

To be fair, I downloaded the original CS80 pdf manual and tried to recreate those factory "patches" (i believe they were hardwired?) according to the patch sheets at the back. Almost none of them sounded anything like the samples I had of the same patches. Maybe it could be approximated by tweaking the settings of course. But I didn't bother.

So yeah..I should spend more time with non-presets. But it's just such a cramped tiny UI that bleh.

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Re: Would you buy a CS80 if re-released?

Post by StepLogik » Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:54 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:The sound of a synth comes from its components and circuit design.
I think the more accurate statement would be, "The sound of a synth comes from its sound generating components and circuit design." A HUGE portion of the CS-80's circuitry is dedicated to mundane functions like key scanning and preset switching. Such features could be relegated to a microprocessor with no discernible effect.
Automatic Gainsay wrote: The CS-80 is a monstrosity of discrete linear circuit design. That is why it sounds good. You would have to change the components AND the circuit design in order to substantially reduce the size and weight of the CS-80. The minute you change the components and circuit design is the moment you have a different synth with a different sound. Even if it retains the same functionality regardless of circuit topology.
Yes, it is an inherently good sounding instrument as well, but that isn't solely due to discreet circuitry and that particular design approach does not guarantee good sound. The CS-80 sounds good because it was a very well-designed instrument from a sonic standpoint regardless of circuit topology.
Automatic Gainsay wrote: Okay, you could make the case out of some different substance, you might be able to get a little more space here and there by changing the arrangement of the PCBs, etc. You could definitely knock off some weight by removing the real keys and poly AT apparatus. But ultimately, the thing might as well not change at all for the likelihood of someone authentically reproducing it.
Certainly if you miniaturize the analog components to SMT, use a tiny switching power supply, use a plastic keybed with velocity and aftertouch sensors, and let the CPU generate envelopes and LFO's then you would subtly alter the sonic character of the synth, but not such that anyone would really notice or make a fuss over it. The more noticeable effect would be the change in the feel of actually playing the instrument but since so very few have had the privilege I don't see that as a factor either.

A modern update of the CS-80 is entirely possible and reasonable and something I would be very interested in.

The original CS-80 was obsolete when it was released and to release an exact replica now would be silly and a colossal blunder from business standpoint (I doubt you could even find a factory willing to tool up to even build it).

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Re: Would you buy a CS80 if re-released?

Post by Bitexion » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:23 pm

It does look like a glorified Yamaha Electone organ from the period, yes. Same coloured switches and everything.

I actually got an Electone for free off an ad once, only because the switches were the same colour and type as the cs-80s. Dumbest thing I ever brought in-house. Made of solid wood too so not exactly portable.

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Re: Would you buy a CS80 if re-released?

Post by Kidney05 » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:50 pm

StepLogik wrote:
Automatic Gainsay wrote:The sound of a synth comes from its components and circuit design.
I think the more accurate statement would be, "The sound of a synth comes from its sound generating components and circuit design." A HUGE portion of the CS-80's circuitry is dedicated to mundane functions like key scanning and preset switching. Such features could be relegated to a microprocessor with no discernible effect.
Automatic Gainsay wrote: The CS-80 is a monstrosity of discrete linear circuit design. That is why it sounds good. You would have to change the components AND the circuit design in order to substantially reduce the size and weight of the CS-80. The minute you change the components and circuit design is the moment you have a different synth with a different sound. Even if it retains the same functionality regardless of circuit topology.
Yes, it is an inherently good sounding instrument as well, but that isn't solely due to discreet circuitry and that particular design approach does not guarantee good sound. The CS-80 sounds good because it was a very well-designed instrument from a sonic standpoint regardless of circuit topology.
Automatic Gainsay wrote: Okay, you could make the case out of some different substance, you might be able to get a little more space here and there by changing the arrangement of the PCBs, etc. You could definitely knock off some weight by removing the real keys and poly AT apparatus. But ultimately, the thing might as well not change at all for the likelihood of someone authentically reproducing it.
Certainly if you miniaturize the analog components to SMT, use a tiny switching power supply, use a plastic keybed with velocity and aftertouch sensors, and let the CPU generate envelopes and LFO's then you would subtly alter the sonic character of the synth, but not such that anyone would really notice or make a fuss over it. The more noticeable effect would be the change in the feel of actually playing the instrument but since so very few have had the privilege I don't see that as a factor either.

A modern update of the CS-80 is entirely possible and reasonable and something I would be very interested in.

The original CS-80 was obsolete when it was released and to release an exact replica now would be silly and a colossal blunder from business standpoint (I doubt you could even find a factory willing to tool up to even build it).
This is why I read this forum. You're realistic. There's entirely too much pessimism in the synth world for good sounds. "It won't sound truly warm and awesome unless the circuit was made before 1990!!!!" Obviously we've had the MS-20 that proves that that's not the case.

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Re: Would you buy a CS80 if re-released?

Post by knolan » Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:45 pm

Bitexion wrote:But there is no point making a "modern cs-80" that doesn't sound and work exactly like the old CS-80. Then you might aswell buy Arturias CS-80V for 130 bucks. Or the Origin keyboard with all the presets and controls in there.
That's because the programmers Arturia used know, or seem to know, very little about the CS80. Virtually every preset program is, to me, beside the point. Some are targeted at the dance music market, but almost none exhibit the CS80 as it should be. and it's possible - I use the Analogue Experience 49 Arturia Controller with the CS80V and because I know the CS80 I can make it sound and play exceedingly like the original.

And on that point I largely disagree with Automatic Gainsay. While I understand your point and agree the discrete circuits are significantly important, the functionality is, to me, more important. In particular - the configuration of the 5 Ring Modulator levers is what gives the CS range their unique Ring Modulation performance capabilities. Set up a controller with 5 faders assigned to the CS80V ring modulator and you get virtually the same (though Arturia's rate range is too wide). Similarly, the CS80V works so well and sound SO like the original because the control surface is identical to the original - with the following being particularly important to the character of the CS80:

- dual channels with all identical control over each
- Initial and After touch assigned faders for both filter and amplitude
- levers to control aftertouch on LFO and LOF rate-
- Brilliance lever
- Channel 1-11 balance
- Feet faders.

If you assign controllers to those, you can perform the CS80 in real time very similarly to the original. You can make it sound absolutely gigantic, or as stunningly velvety as aftertocuh on a filter and LFO/LFO rate can be - and change between both of those extremes in realtime.

so this is why the Arturia presets sound like junk to me - the take absolutely no advantage of any of those features, and its as clear as the day is long that those programmers did not know the original.

That is why, to me, if a new version came out with the same control surface and quality faders and levers, it would sound exceedingly like the original, despite perhaps some harmonic variations in the 'static' sound of the oscillators and filters. The CS80 is all about the performance, and real time manipulation of the sound. And sitting at a CS80 is like sitting at a hammond organ, a piano or a fender rhodes - it's a beefy, substantial 'instrument' - meant to be sat at , played and engaged in a very organic way. That's the (perhaps only) advantage of the large, bulky frame - it 'feels' like you're pulling up to a substantial instrument and you perform accordingly. There isn't a comparable experience in synthesis as far as I'm concerned.

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Re: Would you buy a CS80 if re-released?

Post by Rezisehtnys » Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:59 pm

If Yamaha could do what Korg did with the MS-20, then sure. I don't see it happening though as KORG has been the only of the big three to make analogue equipment. KORG has really stepped up their game as of late, and I'm always on edge to see what'll be out next.

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