Behringer Crave

509

Semi-Modular Analogue Synthesiser

  • VCO based on CEM3340
  • Sawtooth and pulse waveforms with pulse width modulation
  • Noise generator
  • 24 dB ladder filter with resonance, switchable between low pass and high pass
  • ADSR envelope
  • Analogue LFO with triangular and rectangular waveforms
  • Step sequencer with 32 steps and 64 memory slots
  • Arpeggiator
  • Patch panel with 18 inputs and 14 outputs for expanded sound options and for connecting to other modular synthesisers & sequencers
  • Audio input for sound processing external sources
  • Poly-chaining of up to 16 devices possible
  • 3.5 mm jack headphone output
  • MIDI In/Out
  • USB-B port
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 320 x 164 x 47 mm
  • Weight: 1.5 kg
  • Includes 12 V DC power supply and 6 patch cables
  • Suitable cover: Art.477464 (not included)
  • Suitable case: Art.483027 (not included)
available since October 2019
Item number 475765
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Design Desktop
Polyphony 1
Sound Generation Analogue
MIDI interface 1x In, 1x Out/Thru
Storage Medium Internal
USB-port Yes
Effects No
Arpeggiator Yes
Number of Analog Outputs 1
Digital Output No
Display No
Optional Expansions None
Special Features Stepsequencer, Arpeggiator
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£159
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509 Customer ratings

322 Reviews

d
A fantastic instrument
dr.c 20.10.2021
Crave is a fully functional, semi-modular analog synthesizer with a really nice sequencer, for the price of a single modular filter... It's not a secret it clones Moog's mother32, up to the point where Moog's manual helps programming the sequencer (Behringer's short manual feels a bit chaotic). You can see comparisons between the two on yt, but that's completely not the point; neither is the often repeated "great for the price" - the success of (four times more expensive) mother32 makes the case this witty design of a synthesizer is just great, and price has nothing to do with it.

It is highly patchable: you don't see filter's resonance with CV input too often, yet this tiny machine has it... The VCO, VCF, VCA, LFO and the sequencer all have ins and outs. There are few utility modules as well: mixer/attenuator, noise generator, a multiple, and a "hidden" second LFO in the sequencer. All this encourages experimenting with synthesis much as any "large" modular would. The only thing lacking is sample&hold module.
I've learned some fun tricks with it (like VCF feedback for some distortion). It's fun to connect external gear (yes it is compatible with eurorack, 1V/oct and positive trigs), additional LFOs or a random voltage source for irregular sequencer resets. Some people claim the cheapest entry to modulars is getting two or three Craves and I can see this working nicely. Plugging another synthesizer as a sub-oscillator via external input works like a charm too.

The sequencer is a bit tricky to use (that's why it's worth to check out mother32's manual) and is limited to 32 steps: for most applications that's not a serious limitation as the sequences are transposable with either built-in keys or external keyboard.
The envelope is not a complete ADSR as D and R are controlled with the same knob. You can turn sustain off to get AD envelope instead. Sadly the envelope doesn't have CV ins (that would be wicked).
The filter (transistor ladder if you like that kind of stuff) besides usual low-pass has also a hi-pass mode (neat on higher resonance), and self-oscillates on a wide range of frequencies.
The LFO gets into audio range as well, though getting it tuned with the oscillator is doable only for a short frequency range (say 1 octave).

On the build quality: it's nice. The jacks are not screwed to the front-panel but so far sit well. Knobs are fine: you can twist them with one finger if you're busy, but you can also move them quite precisely. The built-in keys feel good to me. They are enough for transposing sequences with a left hand while playing the other synth with right one. Entering sequences from them is also fine, I rarely connect external keyboard to it. I've heard people complaining about clickiness, but somehow my unit is not that loud...

To sum up: it's a fantastic education/tinkering toy and a really nice, useful instrument with wide (and wild!) palette of sounds. After 9 months of everyday use I'm more than happy, I would buy it again, I would pay double that price too, and I do recommend it to everyone who wants to put their hands on semi-modular analog but don't want to invest into a large modular rack or (b)ARP 2600.
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Orange Mother 32 with clicky buttons
xyproto 27.02.2022
If you want a Mother 32 to a fifth of the price and don't mind that it's Behringer, then this is great purchase.

It sounds almost exactly the same as the Mother 32 and has a very similar feature set, except that the Crave also has a MIDI Out port.

The sequencer buttons on the Crave are controversial. Some people don't mind that they are made of plastic and have an audible click, while other people prefer the tiny rubbery buttons on the Mother 32.

For both Mother 32 and Crave, it's possible to make music with lead, bass and percussion, all with sounds from one synth (search YouTube).

It is also possible to achieve 16-voice polyphony with Crave, by buying several of them and chaining them together.

The Crave itself feels sturdy and has a metal case.

I have used the myVolts Ripcord 12V DC cable for powering the Crave with an USB battery, and it works great here.

In my opinion, it's not the ultimate synth, but it provides good value for money.
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Merita toti banii
Larman 26.11.2021
Asta e primul synth pe care l-am cumparat, l-am ales deoarece n-am vrut sa investesc banii intr-un Mother-32 (care esential face aceleasi lucruri) fara sa fiu sigur ca ma tin de asta. La inceput din poze nu mi-a placut deloc cum arata portocaliul acela dar m-am obisnuit si intre timp m-am indragostit de jucaria asta. Sunetul pe care-l produce ii foarte cald si poate fi foarte bassos - fix ceea ce cautam pentru productia muzicala, voiam ceva analog cu care sa pot face basslines faine si sa pot sa ma tot joc manual cu setarile.
Imi era greu sa inteleg care-i treaba cu LFOs, Envelopes, Wave shapes etc. doar jucandu-ma in Operator si Analog in Ableton dar dupa cateva seri in care m-am tot jucat cu Crave-ul pot sa zic c-am invatat extrem de multe despre ce inseamna conceptele astea si interfata intuitiva a synthului a ajutat mult.

Inca nu am facut patchuri deoarece vreau sa-l invat ca lumea mai intai dar din cate am vazut in clipuri exista foarte multe posibilitati de a programa melodii generative folosind patch bayul.

Sequencer-ul inclus mi se pare prea basic si folosesc Rozzer (plugin gratis pentru Ableton) sa trimit informatie midi in Crave. O sa cumpar si un Keystep 37 in viitor sa pot face asta fara laptop. Am facut deja cateva trackuri personale cu sunete doar din Crave (plus percutie din Ableton) si pot zice ca sunt foarte multumit de varietatea de care da dovada, daca treci sunetul si printr-un reberb bun devine magic de-a dreptul. Abia astept sa-l invat cat mai bine, sunt sigur ca n-o sa vand niciodata jucaria asta si daca ma las de muzica complet. Recomand cu incredere!
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More fun the more I learn
Bjørnar 13.11.2019
I'm new to modulars/semi-modulars. When I received the Crave and started playing with it, my first thought was "Ok, this thing is a liiiitle bit more basic than I was expecting" - but that didn't last for long.

Soon I had Googled my way to patches for the very similar synth from another manufacturer that I won't name (you probably know which other synth has 32 connections) and it opened my mind and I realized the real potential of the Crave.

This thing can really make a lot of nice sounds, especially for something at this price level!

Pros:
- A LOT of routing options for a beginner's semi-modular
- The oscillator (and envelope) sounds very nice, powerful and punchy
- Build quality is top notch. It's built like a tank
- Very smooth potentiometers that feel like they will last for a long time. Very sturdy, with no play.
- Patch-compatible with the other very similar synth (you know which)
- The sequencer is more advanced than I first thought. I recommend to read the manual to learn it fully.
- Configuring the "Assign" output to "Sequencer random" and patching it through the "Multiple" I/O's (or stackable cables) to inputs like e.g. VCO mod, LFO rate and VCF mod gives hours of fun.
- The side panels seem to be wood or at least wooden laminate as far as I can tell (not plastic as a Youtube reviewer recently said)

Cons:
- A 6.3mm TRS jack output would have been nice instead of the 3.5mm TS in the patch bay
- Input level of "Ext. audio" is -5V to +5V (that means the output from other line-level gear will be very low in volume
- Maybe I'm just doing something wrong, but I wish the sequencer would act more like a 303 when setting the gate length to max (the notes don't quite merge with the next note when gate length is 100% and glide is on, there's a tiny gap)
- Thomann's product page for the Crave says it has an ADSR envelope, but it's actually ADS
- On my unit the D# key on the sequencer "keyboard" is a bit more difficult than the rest. It has to be pushed exactly in center to trigger, unlike the rest of the keys which trigger both in center and sides. I assume this something that can be easily fixed by re-adjusting the placement of the plastic keys slightly. But I won't try as it's not too bothersome so far, and it might just fix itself after more use.
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