Yamaha CX5M

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Yamaha CX5M Music Computer set

Yamaha CX5M is an MSX-system compatible computer that expands upon the normal features expected from these systems with a built-in eight-voice FM synthesizer module, introduced in 1984 by Yamaha Corporation.[1]

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 of the CX5M, but only used for management of data from a Yamaha DX7 on the first model.


The CX5M was built for the MSX standard, which included slots for inserting programmed cartridges. These cartridges extended the machine's capability, accepting a range of games, office applications and so on. Yamaha produced a range of cartridges for the system 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 CX5M'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.

The internals of the Yamaha SFG-01 FM Synthesizer Unit:
The 8-ch 4-op FM sound chip, the YM2151, was used for multitimbral sounds and composite sinusoidal modeling (CSM) singing voice.

Three versions of the CX5M were released. The first contained as its FM module the SFG-01, which could not receive external MIDI note information; it required a proprietary keyboard and only used its MIDI port was an output to send data to Yamaha's then-flagship DX7. The second version, the CX5M II (or CX7M/128 in Japan[2][3]), upgraded the FM system to the SFG-05, which supported MIDI input and thus allowed the internal FM synth to be played by any external MIDI keyboard. There was also a later CX5M II with some smaller differences.[4]

Yamaha FB-01 FM Sound Generator,
with a pair of headphones sitting on top of it

Later in 1986, Yamaha released the Yamaha FB-01 MIDI module,[5] which was effectively an SFG-05 in a standalone, portable case.[6]


  • Yamaha Music Computer CX5M Owner's Manual. Yamaha.
  • Yamaha Music Computer CX5MII Owner's Manual. Yamaha.
  1. ^ "Yamaha CX5M Music Computer". SonicState.com.
  2. ^ "CX7M/128 (discontinued)" (in Japanese). Yamaha. — for details, see CX7/128.
  3. ^ "CX7/128 (discontinued)" (in Japanese). Yamaha.
  4. ^ Eirik Lie. "CX5M FAQ".
  5. ^ Yamaha FB-01, Vintage Synth Explorer
  6. ^ FB-01 is an independent Z80 microprocessor system that sends and receives data from YM2164. Mages; et al. (May 2010). "Yamaha FB-01".

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