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
January 1, 2013 @ 4:13 pm
I bought my Performer new during the summer of 1979 and used it until I bought my Jupiter 8 in late 1982. During the time I had it, I certainly loved its sounds. One of the neat functions that no one has mentioned about this instrument is the envelope on the string section would allow you to have long attack and release times in which you could add more notes as the former notes would decay. This feature was not present on any other string machine that I know of. IMHO, the ARP, Korg, and Roland string ensembles did not compare to its strings. Brass was OK. It could make great WOW sounds!
November 25, 2012 @ 6:26 pm
see this YT vid for a mod you can do to keep sustain on strings when brass is on! This should be done (carefully) to all Crumar Performers!
November 2, 2012 @ 4:09 am
to johnmanson : it seems that sustain never works with brass and strings when they're played together, it has always been so with my Performer too.
March 20, 2012 @ 8:18 am
Recently purchased a Performer, question about operation: When Brass is added to Strings, Sustain ceases on Strings. Is this inherent in design or a malfunction? Not using Brass much so not a big issue. EQ on Strings section does indeed offer widely varied emotive expression. Bang>buck.....
February 12, 2012 @ 3:29 pm
Oh, whoops, I posted on the wrong Crumar page.

The Actor still rules though.
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  • 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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