One of the things that has been the most helpful for me over the years in sort of syncing up my general understanding of electronics theory with understanding how synthesizers are actually designed is reading circuit descriptions in service manuals. A lot of the American companies especially wrote really great, detailed explanations of how their instruments worked, and reading them has helped me to both understand the specific circuits they discussed, and understand more broadly how different objectives in synth design can be achieved… and more quickly recognize what’s going on in an unfamiliar circuit.
Because I’m a nerd I guess, I thought it might be fun to make some step-by-step “circuit descriptions” like that for synth circuits that don’t have them. My first featured circuit –the system through which the Yamaha CS-80 handles preset, panel and memory switching– is sprawling, but actually fairly simple, much like the synth that it comes from. Continue reading “How Sound Selection works in the Yamaha CS-80”
I’ve been doing a lot of repairs the past couple of weeks that I haven’t posted about because there’s not much to say about the jobs or the instruments (digital workstations, modern hammer-action keyboards, etc), and I don’t have much to say about the work I did on this Yamaha CS-01 either, but wanted to share this picture of it just because it is ADORABLE. Continue reading “Yamaha CS-01”
Another DX7 needing keyboard work, this one the second version, the DX7 iiD. Unlike the original DX7, which is elegantly designed for servicing with a hinged panel, the DX7 iiD features a nightmarishly large array of different sizes of screws and bolts, and you have to take dozens of them out to work on it, and take all the boards out through the bottom of the synth. The bottom of it actually has a warning: “CAUTION: DO NOT REMOVE THESE SCREWS.” If only. Continue reading “Yamaha DX7 iiD (DX7 #3)”