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
craig blake
February 23, 2009 @ 10:53 pm
my comment is about the DS 2, however, the ad blocks access to the
comment box on your web page for the DS??? I noticed you had the average price listed at $300.00, ebay has a couple of them now fetching over a grande! but you are right about the DCO's, they are junk! everything else kicks butt though!
January 29, 2009 @ 8:37 pm
Great machine! Seems that nowadays only Gilles Snowcat (Awaken) still heavily uses the Performer. Has Nick Rhodes (DD) still his?
January 18, 2009 @ 9:27 am
Yes... as a fan of DD (and a synth nut) since 1982 I can also confirm Nick Rhodes use a lot of Prophet 5 on the early stuff. His 3 signature synths up until he went digital were the Crumar Performer, Prophet 5 and Jupiter 8. He also used Wasp very early on and various other analogs as we already know - but those 3 were his main recording synths. Then he started using more digital (Sampling/Fairlight) around Seven ATRT album.. and into Arcadia. After that he Used Roland JX10 on Notorious along with various synths from his collection... and then a Roland D50 around 88/89 - basically he always seemed to have Roland's latest 'flagship' synth as a Roland fan that he was.
January 9, 2009 @ 7:08 am
The string sound we can hear on "Anyone Out There" from the first Duran Duran is from the Crumar Performer
December 27, 2008 @ 3:47 pm
I can verify that he used the Prophet 5 all over the first two albums. I've seen it played live and there are interviews where he does indeed talk about it. Alternately, you can see it used in a lot of their earlier videos lie Girls On Film, Careless Memories, My Own Way, etc. Not that a video proves anything lol Trust me on this one :)
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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