MIDI Controller for Yamaha CS-80 emulator VST (MemoryMoon ME80)

This is so far my most complicated midi controller. I made the controller for the wonderful Yamaha CS-80 emulator VST by MemoryMoon (ME80). It features the same layout as the original Yamaha CS-80 and makes the VST so much more fun to use.

You can read about the VST more here: http://www.memorymoon.com/me80.htm .

I used an Arduino Mega for the hardware platform and the code is quite optimized to give about 10ms latency for the knobs, and 5ms latency for the ribbon controller (pitch bend as original Yamaha CS-80).


  • John says:

    Hello Mick,
    This looks very impressive. I have not heard of the Arduino Mega, does it manage all of the controller pots from a single unit?
    What sort of price would you be steeling these for?
    Regards John

    • mick says:

      Hi John!
      The Arduino Mega is a development board with a Atmega microcontroller running at 16MHz, it has 16 analog inputs and 54 digital inputs / outputs. All the pots and the ribbon are handled by one unit through eleven 4051 multiplexers. I haven’t thought about an actual price for this, the “prototype” took quite a while to finish, soldering all the wires was the most time consuming job. I will maybe sell this one unit but I need to modify some things before that, at the moment I’m designing a universal midi controller so most of my “free” time goes to that.

      • mick says:

        Another option would be that I sell this as a diy kit. The microcontroller board with the program already installed, a pcb for the multiplexers and the overlay.

        • John says:

          Hello Mick,
          Thanks for getting back to me.
          The reason i ask is that,aside from a lottery win, i know i’ll never be lucky enough to get an original CS80. However i have begun thinking about making a controller for the Arturia CS80V…..i can do the actual structural work, metal & wood work, but i am not knowledgeable enough to attempt the software/hardware interface.
          I have some CS style 10k potentiometers from ebay and would like to use them, would they be compatible with the Arduino Mega you have used?

          • mick says:

            Ok, nice! The potentiometers are compatible if they are of linear type. Maybe we should talk more about this through email or something, I’m sending you an email now so you get my main email address.

  • mike says:

    Hi Mick,
    this is great, I was searching for this for a while and you created a great controller. I too am interested in buying this (or ask you to build me a similar one). I think I would prefer sliders since it is so much more visible what the settings are, but can imagine the advantages of knobs (space needed e.g.).
    How is the latency working out for you?

    • mick says:

      When making this prototype I used knobs because I was able to get them much cheaper, even then, the total cost for the knobs was about 100€. The latency is currently at about 10ms for the knobs and 5ms for the ribbon but I’m going to change the hardware platform to Arduino Due instead of Arduino Mega, this will bring the latency down. I will also make it a USB MIDI Class Compliant device.

  • Chris says:

    Great Project. Have you more Information about this Controller?
    I Love this Plugin and this Hardware is a Dream 😉
    Greats from Berlin/Germany

    • mick says:

      Hi Chris, I don’t have much more information at the moment but I will hopefully soon be able to work on this a bit more and maybe make it available somehow.

  • Mikel says:

    Hi, wonderful work.

    Im also interested in getting this controller. As a Vangelis fan this is a must. Any kickstarter protect, DIY or sale will be welcome.

    Thanks for sharing..


    • mick says:

      I’m working on a solution to how to make this available, it needs some major planning so it won’t be too expensive, there is a lot of parts and soldering involved. I have so many other projects going on but hopefully I can make this project available to others somehow.

    • mick says:

      A DIY version would of course be the easiest option. Selling the electronics as a kit and maybe the case separately…

    • mick says:

      And yep, Vangelis / Blade Runner brought me to making this controller. 🙂

  • Mikel says:

    Great job!!!! Really there are a lot of people trying to get the best sounds of the me80. This interface is a dream for me. A DIY or kickstarter will get my money.

    Waitting for your news.


  • Mikel says:

    Ofcourse, an sliders DIY kit option will be the best!!!!

  • Stefan says:

    Oh wow! I would be very interested in buying one of these for the ME80 or CS-80v. As Mike says, I would prefer sliders too, in keeping with the original. The more like the original the better. Hopefully you can get some kind of Kickstarter campaign going on this? Great work!

    • mick says:

      I hope I can make a kickstarter or something for this, it takes time and I have several projects going on now. Sliders would be nice, I am thinking about same sliders as the ones on the Roland Boutique synths that has leds, they come in bigger sizes also.

      • Stefan says:

        I’ve heard complaints that the sliders on the Boutique’s are too small. So larger ones if available would definitely be better. Looking forward to this!

        • mick says:

          They are small indeed, well the JU-06 is ok really but the JP-08 has really small ones, 10mm full travel minus the safe zones on both ends so you end up with 8mm of usable travel. I was thinking maybe 40 or 50mm for the CS controller.

  • Robert says:

    Go for it!

    I’ve toyed with assembling a CS80 surface with Livid Elements components, but this looks like a great job!

    You underestimate the number of ppl with CS80v that would JUMP on a proper dedicated controller.

    I’m sure you’d move a few 100, probably more than enough to make it worth your while to set up a DIY kit + profit.


  • Nick says:

    Hi Mick
    What a great controller would be very interested in your diy option or indeed in the universal midi controller. One option to reduce wiring would be to offer a pcb which the sliders mount on as in the ARP 1601 clone project which also shared similar lit bournes sliders. Just an idea for you. Would be great to hear how things are progressing on this. Wishing you well, Nick

    • mick says:

      Hi Nick!
      I am planning a version with pcb-mounted Bourns sliders actually, thank you for the idea anyway! The “prototype” I have made has WAY too much wiring. The other projects keep getting in the way but I hope to advance on this this spring or summer.

      • Mikel says:

        waitting for your comments. The spring is here!!.;-)

        • mick says:

          I have actually been working on a new slider version (I’m thinking similar sliders like on the Boutique synths). I have changed the “brain” also so now (from experimenting) I think I can decrease the latency down to 1ms only.

  • Stefan says:

    I have ME80. I’ve ordered my VaxMidi. Now all I need is this controller and I have my near-as-damn-it CS-80! Looking forward to this!

  • Mikel says:

    Any news about the slider version?

    • mick says:

      I have illuminated sliders and other parts for a prototype, I will hopefully get help to design the case this summer. I also need to design the pcbs, I hope to find more time for the project soon.

  • Florent says:

    Great project ! I hope you’ll make (and sell) the slider version, I should be interested.

  • Kevin R. says:

    Do you have any idea on the selling price yet?

  • Mikel Carrion Echevarria says:

    Maybe a Kickstart project? I will buy it for sure.

  • M Globus says:

    This is good. I am interested in this.

  • Keith Barnett says:

    I’d like to be able to do something with a VL70m and the new VL-Wizard software. VL-Wizard allows you to assign controls so the idea of a custom box with about 64 pots really excites me. The hardware side of things is no problem for me, even making custom pcb’s and I’ve also a little programming experience using ‘C’. Is there such a thing as a project guide for building a MIDI controller of the type shown here?

  • Mikel Carrion Echevarria says:

    Any news???

  • Downerczx says:

    Any chance of sharing some plans or code please?

  • Skrie says:

    Please. Make this device happen. I love the ME80 plugin. I’ve done nothing but play it for the last year. All I keep thinking is… if only I had an actual CS80-shaped controller.. Because using the mouse to change the parameters really ruins the music-making mood. This device would make my dream complete.

  • Mikel Carrion Etxebarria says:

    Still Waitting for your news

  • Mikel says:

    Still waitting for you. Any video with this prototype?

  • Mikel says:

    Any news? Any video?

  • Scott says:

    Wow, I’m just seeing this and am very interested.

    Any update on a DIY kit?

  • Greg says:

    I’m looking for one these (with sliders). How’s the project going?

    • mick says:

      The project is on the back burner, not scrapped however.

      • Max says:

        YEEES! Still hope… So I’ll just keep dreaming of this!

        IMO, the softpot pitch bend control isn’t really needed that much, personally I’d rather see the controller without it! Cheaper and easier to assemble without it as well. Maybe a port for it though, so anyone could add it themselves if wanted?

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