Thursday, December 13, 2012

Yamaha CS-5 and CS-15 "Turn yourself loose on a Yamaha synthesizer" brochure, 1979

Yamaha CS-5 and CS-15 "Turn yourself loose on a Yamaha synthesizer" brochure from approximately 1979.

Work is crazy busy. So, as usual, I'm putting into effect "protocol: dodge the blog". AKA post something really awesome so I don't have to write so much.

And I'm sure you will agree...


I'm serious.

The only thing more awesome than this CS-15 brochure is the CS-15 itself. Mine sits next to my Korg MS-20, and I have to say that the Yamaha CS-15 sees a lot more action in music production work than the MS-20. I know... hard to believe... but its true. My CS-15 tuning is a lot more stable, and the control on the front panel just seem a lot more logical to me. The sections are well laid out, and that little splash or orange in the section labels really do help a lot in finding controls quickly, especially after its been ignore for a month or four.

Enough gushing... have to think of something not so good...

Well, the only disappointing thing about this brochure is there is no print date on it. So, I've taken the liberty of giving it a date of 1979 for one simple reason - it says "New" on the front cover. In a totally different font and shade of grey. You know they mean it when its in a different font *and* shade of grey.  :)

So, to triangulate a print date to go along with "new", I decided to dig into old issues of Keyboard Magazine and find any initial appearances these two synths might have made.

Looking back at advertising, the first Contemporary Keyboard issue that included an ad for the CS-5 and CS-15 synthesizers were, in fact, December 1979. It was actually a Yamaha "How serious are you about..." series advertisement that include those synths along with the CS40m and CS20m.

But, as you can see from the photo, they were kinda pushed into the background to make room for their programmable cousins. Definitely got the short end of the stick in that ad.

Sure, I know what you are thinking. The advertising may have started in 1979, but that doesn't mean the synths were available in 1979. What other evidence do I have?

Well, turns out that the Spec Sheet section of the same issue of CK - December 1979 - also included promos for the CS-5 and CS-15. And, considering the brochure seems to be quite rare, I'm going to assume most readers got the majority of their tech specs from either this Spec Sheet promo, or someone that read this Spec Sheet. Its detailed and provides a reader with a lot of condensed information... but not as much as this brochure :)
"The CS-5 and CS-15 monophonic synths from Yamaha both feature 37-note keyboard (C to C). The CS-5 has a single oscillator with a 6-position octave selector, variable pulse width, portamento control, and an LFO amount control. The unit also feautures a mixer section, state-variable lowpass, highpass, or bandpass filter, an FLO with either sine, negative-going sawtooth, or sample-and-hold output, and ADSR envelope generator, and a VCA. Pitch-bending control is done with a slider pot. The CS-15 includes two VCOs, two VCFs, two VCAs, two envelope generators, and one LFO. The amount of portomento on each oscillator is independently variable, and LFO modulation amount is also variable independently for the oscillators, filters, and VCAs. The output of the two envelope generators can be applied to either of the two VCFs and/or to the VCAs. The envelope generators' outputs can also be reversed or multiplied by a factor of 5 times the normal voltage output. Both filters are state-variable lowpass, highpass, or bandpass. Yamaha. Box 6600. Bueno Park. CA 90622."
Okay, it may be coincidence, but with both the ad and the spec sheet promos appearing in 1979, I'm going to confidently give this a stamp of 1979. 

So there.

No comments:

Post a Comment