Synth DB

The Ultimate Synthesizer Database


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Yamaha | CX5M


Bitimbral MSX compatible computer, similar to DX21, with a preset based FM sound module (SFG-01), which has limited programmability without YRM-102 cartridge. MIDI is primitive, only allowing DX7 interface or sequencer output. May be found as CX5F in Japan.

This FM synth itself has stereo audio outputs, an input for a purpose-built four-octave keyboard, and a pair of MIDI Input/Output ports that could be used for normal MIDI on the second revision called CX5MII but only management of data from a Yamaha DX7 on the first model. CX5MII doubles the computer memory (64kB), adds another cartridge slot, and swaps SFG-01 with SFG-05, allowing MIDI control.

The CX5M was built to the MSX standard, which included slots for inserting programmed cartridges. These extended the machine's capability, accepting a range of games, office applications and so on. Yamaha produced a range of cartridges including a programmer for Yamaha's DX range of FM keyboards and a real-time sequencer. Two of these, the Voice Editor and Music Composer, allowed the user to program a bank of 48 sounds for the CX5's own built in synthesizer and to sequence up to eight channels of music, controlling the built-in module or external instruments via MIDI, in step-time using a musical-stave input screen.

Available Cartridges 

UDC-01 Data Memory Cartridge
YRM-101 FM Music Composer
YRM-102 FM Voicing Program
YRM-103 DX7 Voicing Program
YRM-104 Music Macro
YRM-105 DX9 Voicing Program
YRM-301 MIDI Recorder
YRM-302 RX Editor
YRM-303 MIDI Macro & Monitor
YRM-304 DX7 Voicing Program II
YRM-305 DX21 Voicing Program
YRM-501 FM Music Composer II
YRM-502 FM Voicing Program II
YRM-504 Music Macro II
YRM-506 FB-01 Voicing Program

Engine TypeDigital
Voices (max)8
LFO1 Sample & Hold, Saw Up, Square, Triangle, Delay
Engine DetailedRuns on the 4 op FM engine inside an MSX computer. 4 OSC, Sine.
Envelope (VCA)4 Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release, Monophonic, Polyphonic, Triggered
Memory48 patches
Sequencer6 built-in rhythms: 16 beat, Waltz, S. Rock, J. Rock, Disco, Swing
ArpeggiatorBass and Chord accompany
Recording8 channels, 200 notes step
Key typeKeys
Produced:1984 - 1986
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.


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