Crumar Performer

Crumar Performer Image

The Performer is a polyphonic analog Strings and Brass machine produced at the end of the 1970's by the Italian synth company. It is slightly compact with just 49 keys. But it is fully polyphonic - you can play all 49 notes simultaneously! Programming is simple and clearly laid-out with just 15 sliders and a few buttons. A solid black chassis and wood end-cheeks round out this classic and often overlooked string machine.

The Performer is best remembered for its Strings. A simple 3-band equalizer with high, mid and low sliders can be used to give the strings shimmering sparkle or moody dark timbres. The Strings section uses two oscillators per voice with 8' and 16' settings. Simple Attack and Sustain sliders give you some control of your string's envelope settings.

The Brass section is less exciting. It uses a single oscillator with just a square wave to generate a weak Brass sound. It has a low-pass voltage-controlled filter with resonance, but it too is pretty weak. Simple Attack and Decay sliders control its limited envelope settings too.

The LFO is pretty nice, with delay length, rate and depth control. It can modulate both Brass and String sections and can be routed either to the VCF or pitch. There are three outputs on the back: main output, brass output and signal output (for external processing) as well as CV and Gate connections. It has been used by Duran Duran.

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36 Visitor comments
JJ Lure
December 22, 2008 @ 3:29 pm
I don't wish to simply contradict you but are you really sure about the Prophet 5? I've never read an interview where he talked about one. He did mention that "in the early days the arp sounds came from a Jupiter 4". Then jumped to the Jupiter 8. First album definitely and I think I hear the Crumar in almost every song on Rio. Intermittently on Seven.
December 19, 2008 @ 1:18 pm
... and a prophet 5 (that was what he used mostly with the Crumar), later he progressed to Jupiter 8 and then Fairlight on the 3rd album (not so much Performer). The first album (1981) is THE album to hear this synth on the best.
JJ Lure
December 17, 2008 @ 10:19 pm
Nick Rhodes used this extensively over the first three Duran Duran albums which are all very good by the way. One of my favorite games was to listen where he would sneak it in. He usually used it in the last section of a song bathed in effects. It has a distinctive whiny nasal-like but pretty tone. He had a Fairlight CMI and this Crumar. Pretty cool!
November 29, 2008 @ 6:13 pm
I also have to agree the brass section is pretty useful, gritty and dusty but more 70's than 80's sounding- definitely analog . Its just not very versatile as its a really stripped down basic synth. Great for two handed chords and can do a decent bass. Can do the Boards 'drowning synth thing' in spades. Strings are obviously very nice.
Its fun to use as its quick and easy to dial a sound in and is fully polyphonic as opposed to my other polys.
October 27, 2008 @ 10:44 am
When I first tried mine I thought the most impressive thing was the brass, when you crank the resonance it can have a moogish character to it. Add some wobble with the modulation and this thing sounds like 70s sci-fi soundtrack machine. Compliments my other monos very well. Pretty nice machine over all.
VSE Rating

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User Rating

Rated 3.3 (269 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 - Fully polyphonic 49 voices
  • Oscillators - 1 for Brass (square wave); 2 for Strings (8' and 16')
  • LFO - 1 with delay length, rate and depth controls
  • Filter - Simple low-pass with resonance for Brass; 3-band Low/Mid/Hi equalizer for Strings
  • VCA - Attack/Decay for Brass; Attack/Sustain for Strings
  • Keyboard - 49 keys
  • Effects - None
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Memory - None
  • Control - CV/Gate
  • Date Produced - 1979
  • Resources & Credits
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