Posted on June 21 2018
This week we released our newest product the Roady Sample Pack Volume 2 the second edition to our Roady Pack series featuring the very rare and vintage instrument, the “Crumar Roady.” With this synthesizer serving as the centerpiece of this week’s release we thought it would be appropriate to look at a little bit of background history and features of this keyboard and company.
Crumar was an Italian company that got their official start manufacturing electric pianos and string synthesizers. The first boards in the early 70s had single functions until they were combined in 1975 with the Multiman (also known as “The Orchestrator”). The company also began getting recognition for "clonewheel" organs made in the 70's and 80's, such as the 5 Organizer Models (1974-81).
Crumar released their first official synthesizer in 1978, the DS-2 model. This was one of the earliest digitally controlled oscillators. If you’re thinking that Crumar synthesizers are similar to Moog synthesizers then you are correct. In fact the Crumar Spirit synthesizer (1983) was created by Bob Moog along with Minimoog co-designers Jim Scott and Tom Rhea. By 1984 Crumar began manufacturing polyphonic synthesizers, and the Roady was a part of this number.
Crumar grew to create some collaborative efforts with distributors and other big names in music technology to produce state of the art instruments that used additive synthesis and phase modulation. Unfortunately this infrastructure became hard to manage and tough Japanese competition came on the scene with the iconic Yamaha DX7. The original Crumar company called it quits in 1987. Nevertheless in 2008 the brand resurfaced being bought by a different italian company that started creating new keyboards under the same brand name. Currently Crumar exists as a boutique manufacturer with many high profile clients. Check them out here.
Obviously the Crumar Roady was discontinued and stopped being manufactured in the 80s, but we take much pride in being able to give you access to these rare sounds on the Roady Sample Pack Volume 2. The vibraphone sounds in the Roady are utilized heavily in these arrangements offering a sound that is just simply hard to find and duplicate anywhere else! You’ll hear in the arrangements also the varying tremolo depths and rates at work matching the quality of real recorded vibes. The board also contains a percussive feature to add to different sound patches to give some of that good old analog punch. The keyboard also has the capability to be split to allow for different patches to be played simultaneously. With this feature one could essentially play percussive bass lines while playing sustained vibes (which was pretty advanced for it’s time). The Roady weighs in at about 32 pounds and its pretty bulky and cumbersome, but that certainly was a part of design that all of music technology was still experimenting with and figuring out back then.
The Roady truly is a vintage analog studio gem and if you can get your hands on one it might be worth the purchase! Check out this old demo clip of the Roady from the 80’s!
- "Bit One/Bit 01/Bit 99". Sound On Sound. August 1998. Archived from the original on 9 June 2015.
- Bassi, Enrico (2005/2007), Crumar Museum (in Italian), archived from the original on October 3, 2011, retrieved 3 January 2014
- Bassi, Enrico. "Crumar DS-2 Reverse Engineering" (in Italian). Ebax Sinthy Production. Archived from the original on 29 February 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
- Reid, Gordon (2001), "Spiritual Enlightenment – Crumar Spirit Analogue Monosynth (retro)", Sound On Sound (July 2001), archived from the original on 2011-12-25
- "CRUMAR/DKI GDS SYSTEM & SYNERGY", Synthony.com, archived from the original on 1997-01-15, retrieved 2014-01-01
- Aaron Lanterman, Digital Keyboards Synergy Preservation Page, retrieved 2014-01-01