Crumar Multiman-S / Orchestrator

Crumar Orchestrator Image

In 1977, Crumar introduced the Orchestrator (called the Multiman-S in Europe), a fully polyphonic orchestral string machine. It has five basic sounds: Brass, Piano, Clavichord, Cello and Violin. The keyboard is split in the middle allowing you to play one combination of instruments with the left hand, and another combination with the right.

All five sounds are available at all times, you simply adjust how much volume you want of each sound. Feature just a single instrument, or create your own orchestral ensemble—you are the Orchestrator! With the keyboard being split, there are five separate instrument volume sliders for the left hand (lower split) and another five for the right hand (upper split).

There is also a sixth sound: Bass. The Bass sound has its own volume slider as well, but it is assigned to only the bottom 27 notes of the keyboard. It is also not the greatest of Bass sounds either, and can sometimes muddy the sound.

There is a filter section but only for the Brass. It uses some pretty old-fashioned terminology: 'Emphasis' for resonance and 'Contour' for cutoff. There are also Attack and Decay controls for the filter. There is another filter for the Cello and Violin string sounds called 'Timbre' which can adjust between a 'Mellow' to 'Bright' sound—basically it's a highpass filter. There is a 'Vibrato' effect section, basically the LFO, with 'Speed' and 'Depth' controls. The only global envelope control is a 'Sustain' length slider.

The Orchestrator's best sounds are its Brass (probably because it is the sound with the voltage controlled filter) and the Strings. In fact the Strings sound very similar to the famous ARP Solina. Unfortunately there are no built-in Ensemble effects to really sweeten them up...but that's what outboard gear is for!

Like most synthesizers of its time, the Orchestrator was built with the performing musician in mind. It is its own flight-case! Its casing is very tough and durable, it has a handle and a cover/lid to keep it protected during transport. And if it looks heavy, it is! Additional options for the Orchestrator included an organ-like 13-note (G-G) Foot Pedal Board, Sustain Pedal, and a Foot Expression Pedal controller for the filter cutoff. There are no CV/Gate options, just connectors for the external pedal controllers.

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31 Visitor comments
May 30, 2011 @ 7:38 pm
This beast is used by a well known band "Bronco" from Mexico. This crumar is there signature sound "Piano layered with strings" and these guys have made millions$$ of dollars. No joke.
May 10, 2011 @ 6:57 pm
Truly a great string machine. Like said before, best sounds are Brass, Cello and Strings. The Moog filter (yep, Bob also worked for the Crumar Brand in the 70's) for the Brass section is beautiful, taking you from whistling feedback to fearful bass inferno. The bass section is awfully powerful... This synth may sound "cheesy" at first, but with good settings and with some filter modulations, you can have the best of it. For studio, it is perfect. You can mix it anywhere, as a support for every instrument. It can sound really really cold... or really really warm. I love this one.
May 8, 2011 @ 9:51 am
Rare and versatile.
I'm in love with it. Warm analog sounds with nice and simple controls.
April 9, 2011 @ 9:39 pm
I had forgotten that I owned one of these interesting instruments -- thanks for reviving the memories! I sold it when the Yamaha CE-20, and later went to the DX7 when that came out. But it was a great "bridge" keyboard, because it was POLYPHONIC! Most synths of the time were monophonic (single note). The brass and string sounds were great! I played many nights out with this nice keyboard. The "built-in flight case" was especially nice.
mark rauch
March 30, 2011 @ 5:19 pm
Yes, an excellent keyboard. used to get majestic mighty sounds from it. Awesome feeling to put the violin/cello/ brass mixture over a bolero beat. If you ever see one with the word "MANNA" painted on the bottom, please drop me a line. It was stolen from me in 1989.
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Rated 3.38 (154 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 49 notes
  • Multitimbral - 6 Sounds: Brass, Piano, Clavichord, Cello, Violin and Bass
  • LFO - Vibrato with Speed and Depth
  • Filter - Brass Filter with Attack, Decay, Cutoff, Resonance. Highpass String Filter.
  • Envelope - Sustain length
  • Effects - None
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Keyboard - 49 keys
  • Memory - None
  • Control - Expression Pedal for the filter. Accepts Crumar's 13-note Foot Pedal keyboard.
  • Date Produced - 1977

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