Behringer to Release Yamaha CS-80 Clone
Behringer have released images of the DS-80 its version of the iconic CS-80 synth used by Vangelis in the 1982 movie Blade Runner, one of my favourite scores and films!
The score was nominated for a BAFTA and Golden Globe award. In 2007, a box set of the score was released to commemorate the film’s 25th anniversary. This box set contained the 1994 album and previously unreleased music cues and new original Vangelis material inspired by Blade Runner.
The music for Blade Runner was composed produced and recorded by Vangelis using the Yamaha CS-80 synth. The CS-80 is a polyphonic analog synthesizer released in 1976. With its 8-voice polyphony (dual layer, two independent synth layers per voice) and a very primitive sound setting memory based on a bank of micropotentiometers, (no digital programmable presets then that came later with the Prophet-5).
Vangelis used the CS-80’s ribbon controller to produce the pitch-bends and glissando that can be heard on the Blade Runner soundtrack. Wonderful!
Production of this amazing instrument ceased in 1980, so if you wanted to buy a second-hand original Yamaha CS-80 it will set you back around £5k+++! If you can get your hands on one that is! It really is the peerless polyphonic analog synthesizer of its day.
Vangelis once describe the CS-80 as; “the most important synthesizer in my career and for me the best analogue synthesizer design there has ever been. It was a brilliant instrument, though unfortunately not a very successful one. It needs a lot of practise if you want to be able to play it properly, but that’s because it’s the only synthesizer I could describe as being a real instrument, mainly because of the keyboard, the way it’s built, and what you can do with it.” Praise indeed!
The Behringer DS-80
How did the rumours of this clone come about? Well, with an enticing social media posts from Uli Behringer the boss of Behringer that showed the back of a Yamaha CS-80 and the phrase “I’ve been thinking about this”.
Maybe he was tempted by the words, “PATENT PENDING” on the label? Now we have the images of the new DS-80 detailing the very early ideas! Exciting or what!
The DS-80 will of course come with Midi unlike the CS-80 but will have the legendary ribbon controller so get your Blade Runner music scores out and practise those iconic lines!
The DS-80 Main Features
The main features of this instrument have been let out of the bag and we now know we will get a multi-timbral 8 voice Polyphonic analog Synthesizer with dual channels per voice. It will also come with aftertouch and as mentioned that great ribbon controller!
Behringer have stated that this very complex synth is at an early stage of development and it’s going to take a while to complete. But they are committed to deliver! Watch this space as they say and I will report back ASAP. Personally I can’t wait!
Please feel free to comment on this post. Thanks.