Yamaha CS2x

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Yamaha CS2x synthesizer.jpg
Yamaha CS2x synthesizer
ManufacturerYamaha Corporation
Price£599 GBP
€999 EUR
Technical specifications
Timbrality16-part in Multi mode
13-part in Performance mode
Synthesis typeAWM2
Aftertouch expressionNo
Velocity expressionYes
Storage memory256 preset plus 256 user voices (Performance mode)
779 voices (Multi mode)
EffectsThree 24-bit effect processors
Keyboard61 keys
Left-hand controlPitch bend with modulation wheel
External controlMIDI in/out/thru
foot volume/control/switch
Computer interface

The Yamaha CS2x is a sample-based synthesizer released by the Yamaha Corporation in 1999. The CS2x is designed for maximum real-time control, according to Yamaha. It is the successor of the very successful Yamaha CS1x. Enhancements include 64-note polyphony, a bigger sample ROM and a 24 dB/oct LPF/HPF filter. The CS acronym stands for Control Synthesizer.


  • 61 full-size non-weighted keys
  • 16 MB of Wave ROM with AWM2 voices
  • Multi Mode: 779 voices in XG mode
  • Performance Mode: 256 preset and 256 user performances
  • 30 drum kits
  • Arpeggiator with 40 patterns
  • 8 real-time sound control knobs
  • 2 Scene memories, for morphing between sound control knob positions
  • Three 24-bit effect processors (12 reverb, 14 chorus and 62 variations)
  • Stereo audio input, only for mixing another sound source into the CS2x, no effects applied
  • To Host serial computer interface, connecting the CS2x to a computer for sequencing purposes
  • Small backlit LCD display with 2 lines

The Yamaha CS2x has a silver body color, in contrast to the CS1x blue body. It is immediately recognized by its remarkable left chamfered edge.

The CS2x also offers a TG300B mode, for playing music created for Yamaha TG300B-compatible tone generators. Some of the sounds are derived from Yamaha's flagship EX5 series.


The left side of the front panel has a volume knob and next to that are 8 knobs for controlling the sound parameters. There are 3 knobs for controlling the envelope settings and 3 for high and low cutoff and resonance filter settings. Also there are 2 assignable knobs. In the middle there is a numeric keypad to select a specific voice program number. On the right side there is a comprehensive edit matrix visible to control more synthesizer parameters. Turn the selector knob to select the row and adjust the corresponding parameter with the up/down buttons.


The interface is handled by MIDI In, Out and Thru connections on the back of the synth. There are 3 foot control switches of which 2 are assignable. There's also a serial To Host port for direct connection to a Mac or PC. Drivers can be downloaded from the XG software page on the Yamaha website.

Yamaha CS2x display
Yamaha CS2x display


The display of the CS2x consists of 2 lines. The top line shows the sound category, e.g. Or for Organs, Pd for Pads, and Ld for Lead sounds. After that is the name of the sound, which can be changed by the user. The second line shows PΙ or PΙΙ for the preset banks, UΙ or UΙΙ for the user banks. If there is an E symbol visible, this means that the current sound has been edited and needs to be stored in the memory to keep the changes that have been made. Next to that the selected sound number, and below on the right a small indication of what layer and octave is selected. Small arrows on the top and bottom of the display show what state the CS2x is in, e.g. Performance, Multi, or Utility mode.


The Yamaha CS2x can be expanded with a small sequencer workstation module. The CS1x, CS2x and AN1x synthesizers all have a small lip on the right hand end of the front panel to accommodate a QY or SU sized module. The QY70 or QY100 module in particular were most suited in both appearance and support.

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