Virtual Vangelis

Cherry Audio releases GX-80 synthesizer.


24 November 2022

Cherry Audio is kicking off the 2022 holiday season with the release of GX-80 — their visionary flagship synthesizer that was over a year in the making. GX-80 is a transformative virtual instrument that combines the unparalleled sound and features of the fabled GX-1 ‘Dream Machine’ and its renowned descendant the CS-80, to create a powerhouse hybrid. Featuring the carefully crafted and intensely circuit-modelled DSP designs of award-winning developer Mark Barton, Cherry Audio has replicated every subtlety of the classics to create the most authentic emulation of its kind.

GX-80 is not just another CS-80 emulation. GX-80 adeptly integrates the GX-1’s distinctive feature set into the CS-80 architecture; most significantly, the massive dual-layer architecture that effectively made the GX-1 the equivalent of two CS-80s and then some. The GX-1’s unique resonant high-passed pulse and resonant band-passed sawtooth waves, octave-up triangle wave, and filter envelope inversion are incorporated, opening up a new universe of sonic experimentation. Most notably, GX-80 includes an expert reproduction of the legendary GX-1 filter, delivering exquisite timbres that even the mighty CS-80 cannot produce.

“With the GX-80, Cherry Audio have modelled and captured the nature of the GX-1 while bringing so much usability to it,” praises Michael Whalen, the Emmy Award-winning film and television composer, and international recording artist. “What’s interesting is that by putting the GX-1 roar under the hood, their CS-80 emulation sounds so much more realistic. The CS-80 is quirky and too many companies have ‘smoothed out’ the sound of it in trying to capture its nature. On the GX-80, Cherry Audio have really brought out the raw nature of the synth engine while giving the user so much more control. Frankly, this is the instrument that Yamaha should have built.”

A virtual reproduction of the CS-80 has long been the most popular request from Cherry Audio fans. The company began work in 2021 to make the dream a reality. DSP designer and developer Mark Barton’s extensive research of the original CS-80 and its schematics led him back to the CS-80’s predecessor, the indomitable GX-1. As a result, GX-80 combines all of the sonic characteristics of the originals with exceptional accuracy. When enhanced with GX-80’s discrete layer volume and panning controls, the result is a colossal dual-layer voicing architecture, 16 polyphonic voices per layer, capable of sounding two different CS-80 style sounds simultaneously in a split or stacked layer mode.

But Cherry Audio didn’t stop with the extraordinary sound, as the originals were also revered for their magnificent, expressive performance features. To provide the ultimate experience as close as possible to the original hardware, GX-80 adds a split keyboard mode and support for both polyphonic and monophonic aftertouch controllers. Further, Cherry Audio has added an innovative ‘last-note priority’ mode for simulated poly-aftertouch response with a monophonic channel aftertouch controller. With its dual-layer interface, over 1,000 stunning presets from expert sound designers, and integrated studio-quality effects, GX-80 is a singular effort worthy of the ‘flagship’ label.

“I have used both the both the GX-1 and the CS-80 for many years, and they are both absolute monster synths that do not sound or perform like anything else,” notes Vince Pupillo Jr, synth enthusiast and Associate Director of EMEAPP (Electronic Music Education Preservation Project). “GX-80 uncannily captures the essence of Yamaha’s polyphonic heyday in the mid-70s and the results are so powerful, expressive, and flexible. By adding so many great extra features while still staying faithful to the original hardware, Cherry Audio has untapped so much potential, essentially improving upon vintage perfection. GX-80 is a dream to play, record, and program.”

At last count, only a dozen operating GX-1s have been accounted for, and used CS-80s are rarely listed for less than $60,000. The rarity and exorbitant cost of both instruments has made it impossible for musicians to experience these legendary instruments. As such, Cherry Audio is making its flagship GX-80 synthesizer available at an astoundingly low price that anyone can afford — only $59. GX-80 is also available as part of Cherry Audio’s new and comprehensive Synth Stack 3 collection, which features all of its virtual instruments to date at an even more affordable price.

GX-80 is more than a best-of-both-worlds interpretation of the past, and far more than a replicant. Cherry Audio’s GX-80 is an unprecedented gateway to the sounds and music of an unrealised future.

GX-80 is available now from Cherry Audio and authorised resellers worldwide for Windows and macOS, with macOS 13 Ventura and native Apple M1 processor support, including Apple M1 Ultra.
GX-80 is provided in AU, VST, VST3, AAX, and standalone formats, and a free 30-day demo is available.


Cherry Audio: cherryaudio.com

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