Yamaha CS-15

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Yamaha CS-15 - Knobcon 2014.jpg
Yamaha CS-15
Price£799 GBP
$999 US
Technical specifications
Timbrality2 part [1]
Oscillator2 (Pulse, Saw Down, Sine, Square, White Noise)
LFO1 (triangle, saw and S&H waveforms)[2]
Synthesis typeAnalog[3] Subtractive
Filter2 (12dB Slope (2-pole), Band Pass, High Pass, Low Pass, Resonance)
Attenuator2 (ADSR)
Storage memoryNone
Keyboard37 keys[1]
Left-hand controlPitch bend
External controlCV/gate

The Yamaha CS-15 is a Monophonic analog synthesizer produced by Yamaha from 1979 to 1982.[4]


It features two voltage-controlled oscillators, two 12 dB/Oct multi-mode Voltage-controlled filter (Low-Pass, High-Pass or Band-Pass), two ADSR envelopes and a Low-Frequency Oscillator. It also features a White noise and an external-in for processing other sounds.[5]

The CS-15 offers a great flexibility with various routing possibilities to the filters and envelopes. You can, for example, rout VCO 1 to both VCFs and the VCFs to any of the envelopes positive or negative voltage.

It's actually a duophonic / bitimbral synthesizer but you have to connect it two separate CV/Gate controls (Hz/V like Korg synthesizers not V/Oct) to play the extra voice.

Notable users[edit]

The CS-15 was used by several bands in the early 1980s. The Human League made prominent use of the instrument on their album Dare.[5] Marillion used a CS-15 on their first full-length album, Script for a Jester's Tear.[6] It was also used by Astral Projection, Somatic Responses, Moog Cookbook, The Human League, and Vince Clarke.[2] In post-disco early 80s NYC Boyd Jarvis, through groups like Visual, extended early DJ radio NYC mixes and home made reel to reel music using drum machines and a Yamaha CS-15, began an underground musical movement that later came to be known as house music.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b SynthArk, Designed by www.1234.info / Modified. "CS-15". www.synthark.org. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  2. ^ a b "Yamaha CS-15 | Vintage Synth Explorer". www.vintagesynth.com. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  3. ^ "Yamaha CS-15 Synthesizer". Encyclotronic. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  4. ^ "Top Ten Most Underrated Synths - Page 9 of 11 - Attack Magazine". Attack Magazine. 2012-09-19. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
  5. ^ a b "Top Ten Most Underrated Synths". Attack Magazine. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  6. ^ Script for a Jester's Tear (Media notes). EMI Records. 1983. EMC 3429.