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.

Lookup Crumar Performer Prices

The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

Related forum topics


Are you looking to buy or sell a Crumar Performer? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

36 Visitor comments
February 12, 2012 @ 3:24 pm
The Actor is fantastic! I didn't realize that was Orchestrator on those songs.

I use my Crumar to for the analogue bass rumbles and the fine crisp string sounds when I work on drone music.

It seems like a lot of the people on here that have complained about it aren't really using it for what it obviously is... a solid string generator. 90% of the string sounds I use in my music I either create and play in real time on my Orchestrator or I utilize as samples in my sampler.
January 6, 2012 @ 10:44 am
I bought my first Crumar Performer in the early eighties and loved the sound.
The strings on this are excellent with a hint of chorus and delay added.
I regrettably sold it in the early ninties. and it has taken me til 2011 to find another.
This now takes pride of place in my studio.
I haven't found a digital synth that comes close to what this little bute can produce.
It sits perfectly in any mix. ( Very underated!)
The brass maybe simple, but it's analogue and has a great warmth to it.
I won't be parting with this darling non to soon.
The Actor
November 27, 2011 @ 5:46 am
Dutch minimal synthpop band The Actor have used the Crumar Performer on practically all their songs during 1981-1985, making it their signature sound. It's rather limited, but what it does, it does it very, very well! Nowadays the Performer is still one of the main pieces in The Actor's studio, together with a Korg MS-20 & Poly-800, Roland TR-808, Yamaha DX7 and various other analog beatboxes and synths.
Click Track
November 13, 2011 @ 9:58 pm
This is the only synth ever made that was associated with only one player. Nick Rhodes wasn't the only one to ever use it but he is the only person credited for having used it. He uses it to this day and every time I hear Duran Duran I'm listening to where he sneaks it in. I bet if you go to the house of the President of the company that made this synth he would answer the door wearing a t-shirt that says, "Nick Rhodes Fingered Me" and people would think "Yea, he does" and then you would say, "Gosh, what a small house" and he would say, "Well, he only paid for the one".
November 13, 2011 @ 5:41 am
Ignacio - Tuning the Crumar Performer
Turn simply that knob, and use a digital tuner or a diapason.
All the best,
Post Comment!
VSE Rating

It’s Good

User Rating

Rated 3.29 (267 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
  • Images from

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.