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Jon Johnson

Topic: CE20

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The Yamaha CE20 Combo Ensemble was released in 1982. The year prior to the DX7, also from Yamaha. Like the DX7 the CE20 is an FM synthesizer and is also known to fans of Kitaro as the "Silk Road Machine" because of Japanese New Age artist Kitaro's extensive use of the instrument on that album as a lead synthesizer.

The unit has 20 preset FM sounds and offers limited real time editing of the presets using built in sliders that control the envelope and filter of the sounds. However none of your custom sounds can be saved.

The CE20 is 8 voice polyphonic and can play monophonically as well. Thanks to it's highly advanced FM tone generation all of the CE20's voices are exceptionally real and natural. The instrument has a built in symphonic effect which is Yamaha's version of a chorus effect which automatically turns on with the string and organ presets but can be applied to any of the presets including the monop[honic ones. The default preset is the string sound when the unit is first powered on.

The CE20 also has some unique features like aftertouch called "touch response" and a special "slider control" which is a button type control that lets the user player play a legato type phrase by holding the button down while playing another note after the first one played. there is a pitch wheel that works in conjunction with the slider control and also works as a traditional pitch wheel.

The CE20 has a mono line output for external amplification and a mono/stereo headphone jack. there's also a sustain pedal and expression pedal input jack as well.

View full synthesizer

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