Does the CS6x’s sampling allow normal melodic instruments?

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db7

Does the CS6x’s sampling allow normal melodic instruments?

Unread post by db7 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:31 pm

Excuse me if this is a silly question, but with all the jargon about Phrase Clips and talk of drum loops, etc., I can’t see a clear answer in what I’ve read so far.

So, basically, does the CS6x’s sampler allow one to load (let’s take the simplest case) a single sample of a melodic instrument and map that sample across the entire keyboard, adjusting it for pitch depending upon the key that’s being pressed?

If not, never mind the rest of my post. But if so, read on…



If the CS6x is indeed a fully-featured sampler, I’m GASing majorly… again. I think that combining the sampling with DX and AN boards would put everything I could possibly want into one place, rather than the two separate keyboards I already have – an SY77 and an AN1x – even though they’re both great. My dream machine was the SY99 for its ability to play user-loaded samples, but its sampling engine probably pales in comparison to the CS6x.

Whilst I’m glad I didn’t rush into buying a vanilla DX7 or DX7s, and think the SY77 and AN1x are fantastic (so I hope Derek is not mad at my questioning the very nice machine he sold me! :)), I somewhat wish I’d known about the CS6x and its extensibility before buying other, separate boards… I never get these things right. 8O If I had the money and space to keep them all, I would – but at my level, two boards is already excessive, and having everything in one place would be so many times better.

So, assuming the sampling is fully-featured… If anyone has a CS6x they’re looking to part with, let me know – especially if it has either of the AN or DX plug-in boards. I would consider offering one of my other boards as an exchange or part-exchange if the details were good enough (condition, expansions, case, etc.).

TL;DR: I hope the answer to the question is a yes, and I think my bank balance (and possible overall sanity) hopes it’s a no… :?



Edit: Hmmm… From VintageSynth.com:
The limited "phrase clips" sampler was disappointing. You'd only be able to pitch a sample using the pitch wheel.
Is that definitely how it is?

I saw another similar complaint elsewhere, so my guess is that it doesn’t allow automatic pitching and really is only for clips, drums, SFX, etc.

If so, this makes me somewhat uncertain about other boards: Does the SY99 do proper sampling, i.e. supporting melodic instruments? I assume so… based on my limited knowledge of AWM in the SY77. But I don’t know which answer would be best: One would just confirm how desperately I want an SY99, whereas the other would alleviate most of my GAS but would sort of feel like a miraculous dream had died. :lol:

But, SY99 aside (for now :twisted:), the CS6x being this limited would actually make me feel a lot better about the SY77 and AN1x. Which, again, are brilliant!

As a final edit to this mess of a post, I realised that, speaking about a mythical ‘does everything’ synth, I’d briefly forgotten that I’m also dangerously GASing for the Alesis Fusion… aaargh. But nope, it would probably make more sense (especially financially) to get an A3000 to use with my existing dynamic duo.

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Re: Does the CS6x’s sampling allow normal melodic instrument

Unread post by tux » Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:45 am

I researched the CS6x a while ago, and also looked at the PDF of the manual because I hoped it would allow to use samples as base waveforms for voices just like the RM50, SY85/TG500, SY99 and EX5 but sadly I found out the same that you found: the sampling capability is very limited and samples cannot be used as waveforms for synthesizer voices so to me the CS6x is useless.

The A3000 or even the A5000 can be had very cheaply, I saw a fully expanded A5000 sell for 100 euros locally recently. But remember the A series only have volatile sample RAM, you have to reload the samples each time from CD, hard disk or floppy disk.

The RM50, SY85/TG500, SY99 and EX5 are the only Yamaha synths I'm aware of that use static/flash memory (i.e. the samples stay in memory even when you switch the synth off) and allow you to use samples as waveforms for synth voices.
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Re: Does the CS6x’s sampling allow normal melodic instrument

Unread post by Clyde » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:59 am

And just to clarify, the SY99 does not have "sampling functions", in other words it is NOT a sampler. What it does do is allow you to load samples and use them as a waveform to create voices/instruments. For the long suffering SY99 Steinway piano voice I have been working on for a loooooooong time (I promise I will finish it one of these years), I took Steinway D grand samples from an internet source and converted them to SY99 wave format, I used 8 samples spread across the keyboard to create the sound (compared to the factory grand piano voices which only spread 3 samples across the keyboard). And I have a Steinway L grand here to compare the finished sound to. So while the SY99 is not a sampler, it will allow you to load samples and process them correctly to create a musical instrument.
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db7

Re: Does the CS6x’s sampling allow normal melodic instrument

Unread post by db7 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:27 pm

tux wrote:[…] sadly I found out the same that you found: the sampling capability is very limited and samples cannot be used as waveforms for synthesizer voices so to me the CS6x is useless.
Thanks for the confirmation, and it leads me to much the same conclusion as yours.
The A3000 or even the A5000 can be had very cheaply, I saw a fully expanded A5000 sell for 100 euros locally recently. But remember the A series only have volatile sample RAM, you have to reload the samples each time from CD, hard disk or floppy disk.
Yes, I saw an insanely cheap deal on an A3000 and two other bits of kit yesterday… I think it will already be sold, so I wish I’d been searching for the A3000 sooner! But the completed listings on eBay have somewhat encouraging prices.

And hey, at least you don’t have to reload the OS from floppy disk every time, as on the early Akai S models. :lol:
Clyde wrote:And just to clarify, the SY99 does not have "sampling functions", in other words it is NOT a sampler. What it does do is allow you to load samples and use them as a waveform to create voices/instruments. […] So while the SY99 is not a sampler, it will allow you to load samples and process them correctly to create a musical instrument.
Great; that would be all I would need. I tend to confuse the term sampling with simply playback, although I’m increasingly aware that it actually includes recording and processing abilities, too.

For the amount I’ll be using the function, which is very little, I’m not too worried about a small memory or even the SY99’s (bug?) inability to play the post-loop section of samples. I just want a convenient and cheap way to play stereo samples of at least CD quality, most of the time with pitching across the keyboard. So, the SY99 would suffice for that. I guess I’ll get a cheap A3000 or similar in the meantime.

The fact that the SY99’s playback of samples has a few quirks (detailed in the SY99 FAQ and the SY Programming PDF) wouldn’t make it unusable for me, I don’t think, but it does make me somewhat less bothered by the fact that I don’t have one! Besides allowing user-loaded samples, the only other features it has over the SY77 that I would like are the supposedly better converters, the 10-song sequencer, and a few speed-ups to editing – but I generally ignore comparisons of converters, I don’t foresee myself being productive enough to compose 10 songs at a time or too lazy to use a disk, and I can settle for pressing a few more buttons during editing. Yet still… I want one. :|

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Re: Does the CS6x’s sampling allow normal melodic instrument

Unread post by synthjoe » Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:19 am

What you want is probably the EX5. :evil: Just sayin'... :D

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Re: Does the CS6x’s sampling allow normal melodic instrument

Unread post by Derek » Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:08 pm

Everybody should have an EX5! :D

Yamaha's best AWM machine, with integrated sampling (from the A3000), VL, AN and FDSP to boot.
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Re: Does the CS6x’s sampling allow normal melodic instrument

Unread post by Miks » Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:55 pm

I'll second that! :mrgreen:
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Re: Does the CS6x’s sampling allow normal melodic instrument

Unread post by tux » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:09 pm

Derek wrote:Everybody should have an EX5! :D

Yamaha's best AWM machine, with integrated sampling (from the A3000), VL, AN and FDSP to boot.
I agree, although I'm quite disappointed about that ridiculously slow SCSI transfer speed, I can't understand how Yamaha released the EX5 with such a serious flaw.

One other synth that has caught my interest is the Roland V-Synth XT, the problem is it's currently still too expensive (at least for me).
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db7

Re: Does the CS6x’s sampling allow normal melodic instrument

Unread post by db7 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:44 pm

synthjoe wrote:What you want is probably the EX5. :evil: Just sayin'... :D
Derek wrote:Everybody should have an EX5! :D
Miks wrote:I'll second that! :mrgreen:
tux wrote:I agree
Haven’t you people done enough?? *points to signature* The only things by Yamaha that I had at the start of the year were two old guitars! ;)

Probably have to get rid of half of it, too… I don’t think I can justify having the A3000 and AW16G considering how money is for me at the moment. As for the 77, I’m reluctant to sell it even despite having a 99 – both simply because I’d like to hold onto any machines I can get from that series, and also because it may be useful as a source for parts for the 99. But it may not be financially viable to keep it. Especially once I start adding up the cost of SYEMBs, a new screen, fixing the drive, etc. for the SY99.

But yes, the EX5 is nice. At least in theory: shame about its limited CPU power and polyphony. I’m just going to pretend it doesn’t exist and reassure myself that the SY99 and AN1x can do everything I’d want from it anyway. La-la-la, can’t hear you! :lol:

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Re: Does the CS6x’s sampling allow normal melodic instrument

Unread post by Clyde » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:42 pm

I'd be leery of getting rid of the AW16G, I absolutely love my AW1600 and keeps me from having to bother with recording on a computer, but that's just me.
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Re: Does the CS6x’s sampling allow normal melodic instrument

Unread post by Box » Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:24 pm

The EX5 is 128 note polyphonic, just with the sample&synthesis section. Not to mention the AN, FDSP, and physical modeling engines. How is that limited? :P
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db7

Re: Does the CS6x’s sampling allow normal melodic instrument

Unread post by db7 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:00 am

I was referring to the 2-note ‘polyphony’ of the AN section and the monophonic VL section. Sure, some people would argue that VA is best for monophonic sounds (basses, leads) anyway, but the AN1x is so cheap relatively that it’s better just to get that, IMHO.

As for the VL section, since learning just now that the VL7 was monophonic anyway, that’s more reasonable in the EX5; do many people want/need bitimbrality enough to go after the even rarer and more expensive VL1?

They aren’t the kind of features that I would say no to as extras, but they aren’t really broad enough to be a big draw as main features, and their limitations sort of put a dampener on the whole thing in my mind. I guess I just imagine myself finding a patch I really like, only to be reminded that I can only have one or two notes of it.

I accept that the EX5 may well be excellent for those wanting S&S. Plus, it’s the only thing that’s ever had FDSP, so I’m sure that’s a huge draw for people who want that – and understand a word of it, unlike me. :lol:

Of course, if I had a spare £400 or so, there’s a fair chance that there’d be one already on its way… so, I guess I’ll keep downplaying it in my mind for now, just to be on the safe side. ;) But I’m getting more of an appreciation of how it would appeal to those wanting a foundation of S&S with some bonus leads on top, just from considering it here. :)

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Re: Does the CS6x’s sampling allow normal melodic instrument

Unread post by Box » Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:40 am

Yeah, that's what I ended up doing was getting the AN1x. I need polyphonic PWM and sync for instance. :P Only reason I'd get the EX5 now is for the VL engine. But usually can just go ahead and get the VL7 for the cost of the EX5. So... :o
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Re: Does the CS6x’s sampling allow normal melodic instruments?

Unread post by magic.eye » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:07 am

Just in case anyone wants to know, you can chain together PLG150-AN boards in a host to add more polyphonic voices. It's called EXPAND on the CS6x. So 2 boards will get you 10 note polyphony. In the Motif and S90 keyboards, you can install up to 3 AN boards! :D

*Note: Not all PLG boards can do this.

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