The Yamaha RX5 was the flagship of Yamaha's RX series of drum machines in the late 80's and early 90's. It could be seen as the big brother of the RX7, as in terms of functionality it is very similar, but the big difference is the individual volume faders and separate outputs. Like the RX7, the RX5's stock sounds are very dated, but there are fairly extensive sound editing features in comparison to many similar machines from the era, so it can still be a source of some interesting and modern sounding percussion noise. The individual sound envelopes, the pitch envelope and the ability to reverse any sound on the fly with the reverse button, are particularly useful features.

Circuit bent Yamaha RX5

Theres virtually no space inside this massive machine to mount any kind of new controls. Short of totally disfiguring the front panel, the only real way of adding mods is by using an external control box, which is exactly what we've done.

The external patchbay consists of a 24 way main patching area, 2 x patching multiples, and 2 x patchable switches More details of our patchbay mods can be found HERE. It is connected to the main unit via a 25 D-sub cable and can be removed at any time.

Yamaha RX5 patchbay

Unfortunately the internal circuitry is very different to the RX7, and as a result the RX5 is a far more tame and less bizarre sounding drum machine in circuitbent terms. Where as the RX7 will spew out all kinds of utterly surreal percussion sounds and unearthly loops, the RX5 is a far more subtle machine. Every patchbay connection will have an effect, but it may be fairly minor in comparison to similar bent drum machines. Getting the most out of a bent RX5 requires the use of a lot of carefully chosen patchbay connections to slowly build up layers of bent effects. You can eventually create some hardcore circuitbent lunacy, but it'll take some time to get there. Having said that, total insanity might not be what you are looking for, and the circuit bent RX5 is certainly capable of some solid circuit bent percussion that just sounds both odd and interesting, sometimes in a completely indefinable way.

circuit bent yamaha RX5


Listen to the demos below to hear what this machine can do.