Synth DB

The Ultimate Synthesizer Database


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Yamaha | CS15D


This is a partially preset, partially variable monophonic analogue synth which was released in 1979. It was part of a synthesizer range that included the CS-20m, the CS-40m, and the CS-70m. It has a very solid warm sound for a single VCO synth. The preset section is divided into two channels. Channel 1 has 15 sounds with the usual array of unrealistic instrument imitations and Channel 2 has 14 synth sounds plus a button to activate the 'manual' section of the synth. There is a slider to mix between the two channels and channel 2 can be detuned.

The 'manual' section comprises 1 VCO with a variable control between pulse and saw waves. There are also controls for pulse width modulation, noise and footings (32' - 2'). The 12dB filter has cut-off and resonance plus a dedicated ADSR envelope with a control for envelope amount. It has a nice wet and warm sound. There is a separate ADSR for the amplifier.

Most controls to the left of the preset section affect the presets as well as the manual section. These include a modulation section with 1 LFO (sine and square), S/H (random) and repeat. Modulation can be routed to either the VCO, VCF or VCA. There is also a global tuning pot and a performance panel that includes portamento (which isn't very precise) modulation and pitch wheels as well as a 'brilliance' slider. Why a slider for VCF modulation instead of a wheel? God only knows. One feature of the pitch wheel that has synthesists divided is that it doesn't have a spring although a soft 'click' is felt when moved back to the center-point. It can be handy to reach the lowest possible notes without having to hold the wheel in place.

Engine TypeAnalog
Voices (max)2
LFO1 VCO per section
Engine Detailed1 VCO per section
Filter (VCF)12dB/oct (2-pole) lowpass filter with dedicated ADSR
Envelope (VCA)ADSR
Memory29 presets, no user
Key typeKeys
CV-gateCV/Gate x2
Produced:1979 - 1982
Legend: Obvious Y: Yes, N: No, N/A: Not Applicable
VCO Voltage Controlled Oscillator DCO Digital Controlled Oscillator
LFO Low Frequency Oscillator Sub Sub Oscillator
VCF Voltage Controlled Filter VCA Voltage Controlled Amplifier
Velocity As with a piano, the harder you hit a key, the louder the sound, unlike most organs which always produce the same loudness no matter how hard you hit a key. Aftertouch Pressing a key after you activated it. Channel Aftertouch, no matter which key, it will send a Channel message. Poly Aftertouch, sends the pressure per key instead of the whole channel.
Values for OSC, LFO, Filter, Envelope are per voice unless stated otherwise.


If you like to discuss or talk about synths in all forms (including VST and modular), you are welcome to join the Facebook group "The Hard, The Soft and The Modular".

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